Five Things

A Hard Start to a New Thing

Death makes up most of what I think about these days

Ashley C. Ford
4 min readOct 9, 2020


Moody photo of the ocean on the left & apartment buildings on the right, separated by a strip of sandy beach at Coney Island.
Taken by me at Coney Island on Christmas Day 2015

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances.


It took me so long to write this first post because I don’t want to talk or write about death, but death makes up most of what I think about these days. I’m not quite arrogant enough to believe I’m alone in that during a global pandemic/climate emergency/racial uprising, but that shit don’t make me feel better. When I was a kid, I comforted myself by making up last minute survival scenarios in imagined, sudden, life-threatening situations. The school bus crossed a bridge on our route, and each time we reached it, I thought about what I would do if one of the guardrails gave out, or the driver miscalculated a turn. I had no fear of bridges or crossing them, but I was taught to look for danger, which was always coming, and to be ready to do battle when it showed up. I don’t remember a time before I knew death, for all of us, was only a matter of days and years gone by. It’s the oldest truest thing about humans. The only reason I didn’t want to talk or write about it is because it’s hard, and this was the best I could do.