Yesterday there was no plane to jump on. There were no calls to make. There were no arrangements to book.

The news came from closer to home: just a MUNI, a BART and a County Connection away. In a Lyft, I could have been there in an hour. But, because of coronavirus, there was only stillness.

I rushed out of no doors.

I set no email responders.

I cancelled no meetings.

Death in the time of coronavirus means processing a strange type of grief, even when the grief is unrelated to the virus’s havoc. There are no distractions. There are no gatherings, no memorials, no escapes. The pain is purer, but the inaction is debilitating.


These phone calls come like clockwork, every six months, delivering another blow. I should have been prepared.

But this time, with no logistics to distract me, I’ll let myself rant again at technology’s cold indifference.


Three weeks ago, I challenged my grandmother to a round of Words With Friends. We played often; she beat me often.

Around that time, her health took a turn. She never saw the game.

Yesterday, she died.

As Words With Friends so callously reported, she timed out.