In Lieu of Flowers A first cousin my age dead from an overdose. A childhood friend dead from a rare cancer. My very nice mother-in-law dead from Alzheimer’s. A twenty-something student of mine dead from an undetected heart condition. Death, death, death, death. Some say it’s by design, but others that it’s mad slaughter. I don’t know. Maybe. There are times I’ll find myself staring at the back of people’s heads on the commuter bus with just so much sadness.