How to mourn


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Write his or her name in the snow, get a comfortable chair and watch how it melts: the letters expanding, becoming illegible and finally disappearing into the earth.

Spend time—the only form of currency the dead still honor.

Find the perfect slab of polished granite and release it into its native habitat.

Every year on the anniversary of your loss, take out a small ad in your local paper. Let it remain blank—an oasis of propriety among the ads for legal services and riding mowers.

Become migratory.

Visit caves that have lost all their bats to white-nose syndrome. Stand at the entrance and listen.

Visit mountaintop-removal sites in the Appalachians that have been terraformed to look like Wyoming.

Wear a cowboy hat and squint.

Become addicted to a tear-flavored brand of chewing tobacco.

Bleed yourself regularly with leeches to remove the black bile.

Follow a river from its mouth to its source: a spring small enough to empty with one long sip.

Plant a stump.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

2 Comments


  1. This one is so poignant. I could see myself doing that first one when there is snow… or maybe on the sand to be washed away by the waves and tide.

    Reply

    1. Thanks. Yes, I fear this one might have veered dangerously close to valuable advice. I’ll try not to let it happen again. :)

      Reply

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