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The Slice: And if they weren’t to die for?

Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist. (The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist. (The Spokesman-Review)

Let’s get right to it.

Today’s Slice question: What’s the grown-up way to react to the news that someone you did not like has died? A) Say nothing, other than “Thank you for telling me.” B) There is no need to be a phony and deny your feelings, but perhaps they can be kept to yourself. C) Dance a jig. D) Regard the news as an invitation for a moment of introspection. What was the cause of the bad blood? Could it be that you might not have understood the deceased as well as you assumed?

E) Imagine how he or she would have reacted upon hearing that you had died. F) Consider reducing the amount of energy you devote to other grudges. G) Consider the possibility that both of you had changed since back when the bad feelings first arose. H) If you send a note of condolence, do not allude to the animosity or engage in a lot of now-pointless “If only…” speculation and rationalizations.

I) Contemplate the fact that many of us do not become the people we had once hoped to become. J) Keep your mouth shut. Then keep it shut some more. K) Avoid faint praise, but if you have something kind to say about one of his or her survivors, this might be the time. Though, on second thought, that is apt to sound exactly like faint praise. L) Even if it’s true that there are, in fact, terrible people in this world, you can still strive to be the classiest version of yourself.

M) Gloat unreservedly. N) Bear in mind the title of that one Hemingway novel. O) Consider reaching out to various rivals and nuisances in your life with honesty and truce offers. P) Mull your beliefs about the afterlife.

Q) Loudly speculate about the will. R) Mutter “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy” or “Good riddance.” S) Describe your relationship as “troubled.” T) Confront the possibility that all the friction and resentment stemmed from your own jealousy.

U) Pray. V) Go for a run and try to clear your head of negativity. W) If there is a charitable donation option, consider that.

X) Silently toast the old goat with a shot of your best stuff. Y) Hop online and post snarky anonymous comments about the deceased. Z) Other.

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. The Spokane area’s all-time best board of directors? Worst?


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