You can’t add to a person once they’re dead. When they’re dead, they’re finished. All the things they’re ever gonna do and all the things they’re ever gonna be are written in stone. They don’t get a stitch more of anything. They’re whole.
So when a person dies without knowing they’re gonna die, they die unfinished. They had plans, I’m sure, for all the spaces in who they were. But because they ended up dead, there’s no filling those spaces. They spend forever being finished with a lot of things undone. And if you never learned a thing in life, you sure as hell not gonna learn it dead.
So you’re stuck. Being unfinished.
And you’re already dead, so it’s a real shitty place to be.
I don’t always deal with the unfinished dead. I try to sniff them out when people are telling me their stories. Unfinished ghosts have some tried and true tells. Moving things so you’ll think they’re lost. Footsteps upstairs when everyone is downstairs. That sort of thing. So I can generally avoid the unfinished dead.
But every so often, one of them lands on my plate. Maybe there’s a kindness in their voice or a sweetness in the way they smile or a nagging desire to get deep into some bullshit. But I’ll take an unfinished dead from time to time. To keep my hand in it.
That’s why Jeanine’s at my kitchen table. And that’s why the kitchen table is floating two feet off the ground.