I’ve seen, in my estimation, two real-life dead bodies.
The first was last summer. Returning from Vancouver Island via BC Ferries after a gruelling and rewarding 2 weeks of back-to-back summer camps. Whislt enjoying some hard earned cold-brews in the bow, we heard an announcement that there was a “Man Overboard.” Like everybody else we ran to the deck to search for the body. Part out of summer camp do-gooderness (assistance was requested) and part out of general human perverseness). The body was ultimately found, and the inept resuce effort failed. OUr boat was delayed two hours do to the searching, then waiting for the Coast Guard hydroplane. There was a finality to the ending: we saw the man ( asuicide, apparently) get hoisted out of the water, and first aid performed. Later we saw him being carried onto the Coast Guard vessel.

Yesterday Chiara’s aunt passed away. I went with her, her mom and her cousin to the hospital, then the adjacent mortuary. It seems to me to be practical but stunningly pessimistic to have the mosturay next to the hospital, though i suspect it’s common practice. Anyway, somebody had to check the body, neither Chiara nor her cousin could do so, and her mom asked me to come with her. SO I did. I’d never met Zia Lori before, and when i saw her she had gauze over her eyes and purple yellow shading to her body. It only took a couple seconds. The body was lifeless, I didn’t know Lori, but she wasn’t there. That spirit had left. The recent tragic death of another friend has kept death in my mind lately: thoughts of loss and mortality and spirituality. I like to think that that spirit when it leaves the body diffuses into that persons loved ones, and re-energizes them. Connecting people who were unconnected, still a conduit.