A Message from Your Bereavement Center

Rain is predicted for the remainder of the week, rendering the ground muddy and unworkable. The backhoes are grounded…Ari, the stonecutter, will be on vacation beginning March 8, please refer any special requests to his direct email—he will see to them on his return. He has asked us to pass this along also: Any misspelling in your correspondence will be duplicated exactly on the stone. Proofread!…Life is short, if not always sweet. Cookie sales are allowed on the grounds by prearrangement only…Is this shortness of breath something to be concerned about? Is its intermittent nature a good or bad sign?…We’re excited about the new urn designs, are you? Visit the Vessels tab on the homepage to see the complete, updated line…There is therapeutic value in laughter, psychologists agree, but concede that one can go too far…The lilies are coming in. They are beautiful, no?…We live on the cusp of the hypothetical, our orbits perturbed by what-ifs…Do angels cry? Are there in fact angels, outside of Anaheim?…Please do not promulgate the fallacy that time heals. Time dulls, which is not the same thing. Tastes, sounds, colors are not what they once were, and in their diminished state cannot be expected to bear the same weight…April is not always the cruelest month. New plots opening this Spring!…Am I moving forward? On a strict chronological timeline, obviously; but is that progress?…I had no idea that love could be outweighed by despondency. The young should be told the truth…Do you remember the weekend in Reno? The comped room, screwing in the shower? Two-dollar blackjack tables, losing without loss…A multitude of green alternatives to burial are now available, including arboreal reincorporation, organic cremation, and bemulching… You are asking too much, as always…There is a song in my head I cannot remember the words to or recall the tune a hundred percent, though at one time it meant the world…We leave behind and are left behind. There is no easier way to put it…I will wait here for as long as it takes. I will wait and wait, though it occurs to me you may be waiting elsewhere…Be careful what you promise…The light falls across the room with the disregard of an unacknowledged fart…Listen to your heart. Then stop.

Jeff Ewing’s stories, poems, and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Willow Springs, Crazyhorse, and SmokeLong Quarterly, among others. He lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and daughter.