In his On the Square column this morning, Russell Saltzman reflects on the myriad ways death drifts into our lives, imposed on us like ashes:

Death intrusively imposes itself upon us, sometimes in the oddest ways, with aged gerbils and sheep disappearing down the road and boats a man will never sail in again. “Remember,” I will say as I impose the ashes upon my people next Wednesday, “you are dust and to dust you shall return.” They do not need me to remind them. “Change and decay around is all I see,” intones the old hymn.