In my family, we don't really talk about death. But, every now and then, we joke about it.
For some reason, there is a running joke among my immediate family about how my parents will die. Specifically, my brother and I will come home for Thanksgiving one year and find them decomposing on the couch.
Yes, this is a bizarre thing to crack jokes about. But it's also, in its own, ghoulish way, a bit of a fantasy — an affront to the way that Americans tend to die in the 21st century, with ticking machines and tubes and round-the-clock care. In this joke, my parents' death is a simple, quiet, and uncomplicated death at home.