Guest Post: Hilarious Obituaries Written for a 20 Something Living in San Fransisco By Her Mother

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Article by Bess Kalb, The New Yorker

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Bess Kalb, twenty-four, of San Francisco, formerly of New York. The cause of death was botulism from a homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam that was prepared by one of her housemates. The housemate, Aviva Something, holds a degree in—I kid you not—modern culture and media. She certainly had no formal training in sterile canning and preservation. If the kitchen in this “co-op” where the jam was prepared looks anything like it did six months ago, there is compost decaying right there on the counter next to the sink. Bess is survived by her brother, who once looked up to her.

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We mourn the death of Bess Kalb, twenty-five, beloved daughter and sister, who passed away late yesterday while hiking in the middle of nowhere with no cell-phone reception. A product of Manhattan, Bess had no awareness of wild animals, so when she inevitably encountered a bear/coyote/mountain lion (apparently no longer nocturnal due to ambient city light, which she’d have known if she’d read the article I sent her), she may as well have had a giant sign around her neck that said, “DINNER.” It also could have been sunstroke that did her in. She had a fair complexion, like her mother.

* * *

Today we lay to rest our daughter Bess Kalb, twenty-six, who was claimed Saturday morning by Contact Yoga. In an attempt to prove that she’s some kind of “free spirit,” she decided it would be a good idea to do this thing where you balance your entire body on a stranger’s hands and legs—like a child. That Bess’s brief, puzzling life was cut short is a tragedy, though the far greater tragedy is that right before she snapped her neck, some kid with a tribal tattoo was staring down her shirt.

 * * *

 Our hearts are broken as we announce the demise of our daughter Bess Kalb, twenty-seven, who was taken from us by a Lyft driver. And dismembered. Despite learning at the youngest possible age never to get into a strange man’s car, Bess, ever the techno-optimist, decided to enter her home address into an app, hop into a Hyundai, and hope for the best. The family would like mourners to treat Bess’s death as more or less a suicide.

 * * *

Today we said goodbye to Bess Kalb, beloved daughter, sister, and former reader of serious books. After years living in the Bay Area, her brain essentially atrophied beyond the point of return, forcing us to make the brave decision to let her slip away peacefully. Shortly before the end, Bess spoke with genuine enthusiasm about a TED Talk—a pat distillation of a zeitgeisty subject spewed by some billionaire narcissist in a headset, accompanied by inaccurate line graphs. Weeks prior, she had used the word “impactful” in a sentence. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to the Bess Kalb Fund for Adult Illiteracy.

* * *

Bess Kalb, twenty-eight, died immediately upon entering Burning Man with her new boyfriend, Travis or Trevor. There were no remains.

[H/T The New Yorker]

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