A Guide to Departing for the Left Behind
By Sarah Schmitt
I am a poor wayfaring stranger,
Traveling through this world of woe.
Yet there's no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright land to which I go.
"Poor Wayfaring Stranger,"
"Just hand me over to a stranger,” he said, embarrassed at the idea of my having to prepare his vulnerable body, both literally and ritually unclean. My poor partner had to endure an information dump — unsolicited — about the home funerary workshop I attended earlier that evening. I had been taking photos the entire time, but something about the intense artistic and technical fidgeting of needing to operate a camera meant that I absorbed every detail offered by the presenter, who is also my best friend. I was anxious to tell someone else what I learned, and so he got an earful about provisional death certificates, shroud sizes, and rigor mortis. He tried to change the subject a few times. He was visibly uncomfortable; death has that power over us.