Andrew Wyeth - 1949
The Rev. E. Nant had enjoyed his funeral tremendously. His wife had followed every word of the instructions he had left behind about the big day; the ceremony had done him great honour and the whole congregation had taken part. It might have had something to do with the promise of a lavish celebration of his life after the service and his interment. In fact, the only flaw in the ointment had been his white suit, made of paper rather than fine silk. Never mind, the day would come when he would be able to take her to task about this omission, he determined to leave her in no doubt that she had badly betrayed his wishes in this respect.
Some members of the congregation too had been less than fulsome in their praise of him. While he had been their shepherd he had spent hours telling them the righteous way, the only way, the way he himself laid out for them. They had not always shown him gratitude for his selfless actions then, but he certainly would have expected them to see the error of their ways after his death. Again, he made a mental note to remind them of their gross dereliction of duty towards him, as and when they joined him in heaven. "That is, of course", he said to himself, "if they are given the great mercy to join me here."
He would enjoy keeping a tally of the people who had accorded him less than the full appreciation and veneration, to which he knew he was entitled.
In fact, he'd have a word with St. Peter about it. He would, no doubt, meet him very soon now, a man of his rectitude would not be kept waiting for long.
Just one thing puzzled him, why were they keeping this ante chamber so overheated ? He'd be glad to settle somewhere cooler soon . . . . . . . .