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Death was lying on the grass. I was out for a morning walk on the beautiful wide walkway running along South Miami Beach, listening to a podcast with headphones on, living in my own space when I was interrupted by death.

A man’s body, with a sheet not quite covering all of it. The right arm stuck out with the hand upturned and still. Still in an erie way that broadcast one thing: this soul is gone. The bottoms of his feet were also visible, the well worn soles of shoes that will walk no more.

A fire rescue vehicle was there and an attendant was by the dead man’s side. There was nothing for the fire department paramedic to do. He was waiting, for what I don’t know.

The dead man was homeless, all his worldly possessions in a plastic bag by his side. Close by, another fire rescue worker was talking with an elderly homeless man, I assume trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

I didn’t want to stop and gawk at this tragic scene. I kept walking and thought of a life lost. An anonymous dead man covered head to toe by a white sheet with an exposed dead hand reaching up to a beautiful morning blue sky. A fresh day full of possibilities for the living.

Who was he, this dead man?

He was someone’s child. What was his story, what were his hopes, dreams, ambitions, joys, disappointments and regrets? Who was he and how did he come to this unglamorous exit on a grassy area by a sidewalk by a beach? What was the life he lived and how was it processed in his head? Was he happy, sad, tortured, haunted or oblivious? Who woud remember him and how would he be remembered?

I’ll never know. Who could possibly know?

I walked by. Death in the morning is a hell of a wake up call.