I Collected Four Pall Bearers Along the Way
1: The Notifying Officer
Estranged is an elegant word for a particular brutality. My family is sick with it. My brother died within the immurement of many estrangements: from me, from our bad father, from our mother, from (presumably) friends and old lovers. Meaning, he died alone. “Unattended” is the word the very gentle sheriff used when he broke the news to me a full country away from that brother, away from his body that was now in need of a next of kin. We don’t discuss how or why my brother was not in possession of a next of kin during the last moments of his life nor in the many days he waited after death for neighbors to summon a clean-up crew.
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