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Illustration by Bob AulI don't know if there's an afterlife, but if there is, and if you can still pick up newspapers, please read this. None of us knew you were suffering. Maybe we were deaf and blind to obvious signs, but you must admit you did a great job hiding your pain. And when the end came, when you left your body where others would find it hanging like a big question mark, well, "surprise" can't even begin to describe how we felt. And we were just co-workers. Your kids? They're like zombies. Your spouse? I haven't even seen your spouse in weeks. You took a little bit of all of us with you when you went down. Sure, you could have brought a gun to the office and cleaned us all out; instead, you took just a part of each of us—not because we loved you so much, but because it turns out we hardly knew you. How many other "friends" and "loved ones" are really just strangers to us? How many of them—apparently happy—are contemplating the same sort of death? How many of them are actually planning it right now as they sit near me? If there's an afterlife, and if you can still hear us, then hear this: Where's the suffering? And what should we do about it?

 
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