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  • How was I to know what he would look like? He wanted to come home to die, and he finally had. It only took three more days. I was relieved.

    My mother, ever the physician, had used a bandage to hold his mouth closed before the rigor. It wrapped under his chin and over the top of his head. Seeing his mouth bound shut was shocking – there were now “things” that had to be done to his body. He had no more needs of his own, only the demands of death, the same for all bodies.

    The man came to take his body away, to burn it. I helped him. We lifted the dead weight on to the gurney. I zipped up the black bag. We pushed him down the hall. I pushed against his chest as we balanced him at an angle to fit into the elevator, so he wouldn't slip down. We wheeled him to the van waiting outside the building.

    I knew that my father never liked to be alone.
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