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By: Laura K.

My grandfather died yesterday, of COVID. He was ninety, but not waiting to die. He used to fly planes into hurricanes and he adored his great-grandkids. 

There will be no funeral, no looking at pictures with my aunts. 

Over in the next universe, there is a hell of a party, with ice cubes in the white wine and everyone acting Midwestern stoic but elated, except my sister, who is just giddy. 

No invite to that party, yet. Instead, I feel guilty, but take my ‘bereavement leave.’ I buy some Christmas presents online and go for a walk.  And….that’s it. 

Birthday

By: Steve Fite

Jack sat in the dark, only the illuminated candle sitting on top of a store-bought muffin provided any light.  He half-heartedly thought about singing “Happy Birthday” to himself since he had gone this far, but chose against it.

“Not dignified,” he thought.  He watched the candle burn for just a second before using a small puff of air to extinguish the flame.

He clapped twice in rapid succession, cueing the lights to come on.  He chuckled lightly at the gimmick purchased to bring a smile to other people, knowing he’d be the only one to see it.

He sighed lightly.

The Party

By: Amy Ball

I know the song I want blasted at my funeral: The Party by Regina Spekter. I want everyone to make the trumpet sounds at the end in a raucous chorus—maybe with kazoos and confetti poppers too. I told this to my mom. She didn’t think it was morbid. We just played it in the living room and danced, while I belted out the lyrics: You leave such a mess, but you’re so fun!

That got an eye roll.

“Thanks for dancing at my funeral, Mom.”

“Just this once, girl.” She moonwalks to the kitchen, waggling her finger at me.

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