In Bulgaria people are not afraid to remember the dead. When someone dies, they make a flier with that person’s name, birthday and day of death, a poem or quote, and–if they have the money–a photograph. They then post these fliers around town.
One year later, they post the flier again. And five years after that. Ten years after that. Twenty years. On and on until there is no one to do it anymore.
They never take the fliers down. The weather wears the paper away.
It changes how you see the world when death notices follow you down the street.
How do you deal with death in fiction? Off screen? Avoid it all together? Is it the death of action movies–nameless, forgettable people? Is it the manipulated death of a tear-jerker? Or is it the death that stays and returns to your thoughts, like happening to look up and see a faded photograph staring back at you?
Well, can you think of a great death in fiction? (Let’s leave out Shakespeare, all right? Think harder.)