We don’t know how to deal with dead people
"You like grief eating casserole, you dumb little f**k?"
Something like 3.42 million people died in 2020. 2.85 million died in 2019. As a former mathematics and economics double major, I am uniquely qualified to say: that’s a lot of fucking dead people. Each year, it’s the same story: every mildly distant father will purchase a Ford F-150 and an absolute avalanche of people will die.
Hot take: people have been dying for as long as people have been alive. And it’s a uniquely human trait to have no idea what to say or do.
You would think we would have figured out how to deal with this bothersome byproduct of life by now, but we haven’t. Charlotte’s brother passed away, what’ll we do? Here’s what you will do: you will give Charlotte flowers that will also inevitably die—fuck you, Charlotte—and you will bake Charlotte a shitty casserole.
Nobody likes casseroles. The words, “Wow, that was a delicious casserole,” have never been uttered. If people liked casseroles, they would eat them more than once a year, on Thanksgiving, as an afterthought amongst 12 other dishes.
However—once poor little Terry’s mother dies, we can’t help but clench our teeth, whip up some southwestern casserole war crime, march over to Terry’s doorstep and let out a little hiss, “You like grief eating casserole, you dumb little fuck?”
Now, Terry has to:
Deal with storing your misplaced compassion, and
Figure out, amongst the funeral arrangements, when to return your casserole dish. “You can return it whenever!” You’ll say. But three weeks will pass and you’ll get antsy. You need that dish before the Mothers’ Guild Afternoon Social on Thursday. You pace the neighborhood, peer over her back wall. You spot Terry having a glass of wine with her friend from church. Your eyes stray to your handgun. Is this the day Terry sees her mother again?