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My friend listens to these podcasts about stoicism and she always calls me with a short-hand-coles-notes version of each episode, and today she called to talk about mortality, how we need to accept and celebrate our eventual end before it arrives, and my friend and I, we have this thing in common where we consider the worst, prepare for it when our children or loved ones are away from us, talk about the tsunami or plane crash or rock slide they're going to die in, and we cry when we talk about these things like they’re a precursor to grief, like there’s a thickening of our souls, and we tell each other we're preparing, we're prepared for these devastating circumstances, and when we talk about kissing our respective kids or loved ones on their foreheads or cheeks or shoulders when they're sleeping to say good night or maybe goodbye, that it's possible their time will come before ours, I flash back to third grade and the lessons about greek gods and mortal beings and how unfair it seemed, these gods that lived forever while everybody around them died, and I trace the word mortality into the dust on my window, the one I'm staring out, waiting for my ex-husband to roll up with our kids after driving five hours from a lakeside cabin with his fiancée and her daughters, and all I see when I close my eyes is their car burning on the side of the road, the yellowed grass turned orange and black, the ash propelling deep into the sky, the fire fighters spraying the flames, the people on their cell phones standing behind the barricade, hands running though their hair in disbelief, and I firm up my face, think, we are mortal, I am ready.