192 • pearls around the neck
She chose the color black to attend borrowed funerals.
She was truly moved by those deaths that were entirely alien to her. She wanted to feel the pain; she
wanted to be united in body and soul. Thus the mission she imposed on herself daily was to absorb all
the feelings of being alive.
She was dressed in black and the color black moved her.
At home, she kept a precise account of all the names of those who had eventually passed away to the
other world. She could run the statistics of the names with the highest mortality rates.
For this reason, future parents eager to avoid the names linked to death consulted her. And before she
knew it, she was known as Lady Death. She started to sign with this name and when people greeted her
on the streets, a new savor would slide through her brains at the sound of the word Death.
As years passed, it became obvious to her that she would not attend the most important funeral of her
life: her own.
Those that knew her said they had never seen her more alive than before her departure, as she had been
able to possess all the feelings a person can possibly have.
She had the premonition of her final moment and she hung a white paper on the wall with her name…
And so Death had the opportunity to recognize her own death.
Author: Amalia Saporiti Amorim, Spain, 2010
English translators: Catherine Beeckman and Susan Surrat
Illustration: Catherine Beeckman