Dear Mister X, I loved your son once. I still do, although now we are only friends. From stories, I can see he got his sense of humor from you, his ability to joke quickly, laugh heartily, and live fully. I can imagine as a father, one of the most important things in life you want is for your kids to turn out okay. He has so much to offer the world. He doesn't know or believe it yet, but those who love him see his many gifts and treasure him. He has many friends and we will look out over him now that you have joined your wife -- his mom. We won't let him be alone. Thank you for raising this wonderful young man who has taught me so much.I was so proud of him when he got up to share some memories, unrehearsed. He made the entire room laugh on a somber day.
Afterwards, when everyone drifted away and we were alone, he slumped, face turned away from me. "Today was really, really fucking hard."
"I know," I said, rubbing his back gently. "I'm glad you invited me."
"I'm glad you came."