When the Xiongs’ only son died, instead of calling the crematorium and arranging for a funeral, the family came to me.
Pneumonia, they told me. Never mind the blunt-force trauma to his face and head, the ugly concavities causing dips in the white sheet wrapped around his body. It was late-onset pneumonia. Tragic.
“Tragic,” I agreed, slipping the smooth envelope they had laid on the table into my pocket. “I’ll need you to sign this waiver.”
First published in Fireside Magazine, 2016.