I have had a few friends pass away recently. Perhaps you have as well. I took note that most conversations regarding death started with the question, “How did they pass away?”
My instinct wrote the question off to insensitivity, but the pattern was undeniable and I wrestled with it. I concluded that the question stems from wrestling with our own mortality. For example, you don’t want to hear that a peer drank themself to sickness when you have a cocktail in your hand. Or, the childhood neighbor whom you compared sunburns with, woke up with cancer. It is uncomfortable when there is mystery that you may be equally vulnerable to.
I concluded that the response people look for is death by a freak car accident. It is somehow comforting to hear about instantaneous death by random circumstances that aren’t drawn out by lifestyle choices or genetics.
The motif is a broken traffic cone. It represents a death easily understood, but I hope it pushes you to wrestle with your own mortality and the precious time you have.