Today was the Complete and Total Loser's first day back at work since his mother died last week. Remarkable, how ordinary things seemed. Polite expressions of sorrow from some coworkers, some conversations with others. The youngest among them remained silent, which the Loser found curious at first until he remembered that such an event is new in scope to them and even those who've experienced such loss have done so under a filter of youth and their experience is remote from the Loser's.
He is an expert on loss now, of course. This stage of it, anyway. His expertise will fade over time as he adjusts to the new reality of having only one parent.