For years when I lived around my grandmother, I'd read the daily "funeral notices" to my her first thing in the morning--although most mornings the 9 a.m. newscast had gotten to her before I had. Three years after my grandmother passed away, the first thing I click on in the paper is the وفيات tab at the top of the website.
Every morning, I'd look it over to see if the list includes someone I know, then I count people who are my age or younger and keep their information in mind as I skim the pages trying to find an article that could possibly explain their deaths. Maybe there was a bad car crash, an alleged drug overdose, or perhaps a suicide?
It would seem like this morbid habit would be disturbing in the morning but it's strangely comforting. Every morning the list confirms what I already know. Death is indiscriminate, irrational. No one's exempt. We're all just waiting for our back page mention, right? This is a fact of life. A fact that's neither pleasant nor surprising.
I have never really thought anything of this ritual till this morning, when I grabbed the paper from a stand at a coffeeshop flipped it over and started reading to my friend.
Why would I want to know this? she asked.
I stopped reading.
It only then dawned on me that my ritual might be a little peculiar. I guess I like my morning coffee with an extra shot of mortality.