Cover Photo: Photo provided by the author.
Photo provided by the author.

Closed Casket: One Family’s Story of Suicide

“I never told dead brother I loved him. My fear of him was too great.”

Death is a mystery, and burial is a secret.

of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep

She should probably leave the roomWhatever you have to say to us you can say in front of her.

Your son has been found dead.

Jack, there’s no need to identify the body.

:The foot bones connect to the shin bones, the thigh bones connect to the hip bones

His body was found when neighbors complained of a foul odor

Why did you ever hit him?

Three bullet holes to his head

I’m so sorry for your loss.sorry for your loss thhh-ank,thank you.


killed himselfgun, rope or plastic for suffocation? I’m not one of them

Lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

Go to church and light a candle for him, then go into a house where all the rooms are made of wood and enter left, turn and take another left, go straight and then make another turn. Do not make another left . . . devil. Make a right.

It’s too dangerous. A trio was involved with his murder—two policemen and another person.the intention to light the candle was what mattered. You had the intention.

pass the pepper pass the salt.

explain it like i’m fiveStay out of your brother’s way. He’s a difficult kid. Leave your brother alone.

I see your side and how hurt you are. I hope you see that I mean it, my thanks, and that I see your pain. I do not know if the pain you feel has made it impossible to see anyone else’s, or their points of view. For that I am sorry as well, as I do love you.

I-see-your-painWould you like them here or there? Three bullets to the head? I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere.

Yvonne Conza’s writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Blue Mesa Review, F(r)iction #5 and Funhouse Magazine and her author interviews can be read on The Millions, The Bloom and Tethered by Letters. She has performed at The Moth in NYC and has recently been a finalist for the: Penelope Niven Award in Creative Nonfiction, Cutbank Literary Journal, Tobias Wolff, Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction, Blue Mesa Review and The Raymond Carver Short Story.