The dead and gone: Rituals of mourning

Not only did they die, they disappeared. There’s the terrible fact becoming all too clear. We will not get them back to let them go again, to wake and weep over them, to look upon their ordinary loveliness once more, to focus all uncertainties on the awful certainty of a body in a box in a familiar room, borne on shoulders, processed through towns, as if the borderless country of grief could be handled and contained, as if it had a manageable size and shape and weight and matter, as if it could be mapped or measured.

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