I saw two dead bodies in the same week, and I stopped sleeping.
The first body was my father-in-law, at his viewing. He looked natural, as if peacefully asleep. But his total stillness betrayed this illusion.
My uncle died a week later, at an assisted living facility in Concord. He’d been estranged from our family for more than twenty years, but he’d reached out recently, and we were all getting to know each other again. He’d been ill for a long time, with COPD, but that week he had a stroke, and died a few days later. The morning he died, my mom and I drove to Concord, and waited in his room for the mortician. My uncle was emaciated, and pale, and obviously dead, but still warm. I helped move his body from his bed to the gurney. He weighed almost nothing.