After Dad died, I organized his stuff. When I cleaned out his bathroom I found the dental floss he was using when he died. It was pretty new.

Holding something he had held every day, every day, was good for my heart

So, I kept it and used it up. I allowed myself to believe using the floss gave me a special connection to him that would help establish our post-death relationship. It must have been brand new because it lasted a really long time.

It hadn’t used this brand before and I liked that it was thin and fit easily between my teeth

It was a way to pace my grief.

When it ran out, I had to sit down and hold it for a minute

After it was empty, I kept it in a wooden bowl with some other sacred-to-me items. But when I unpacked after moving last year, it didn’t feel right to put it back there.

The bucket I use for my recycling is almost sixty years old. It has a handle and a lid. Before there was running water at their summer cabin, my parents used it to get water from a pump at a nearby well.

The way the dead are with me changes just like when they were alive.

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