"What's this?" I asked him this afternoon, when I went to visit him for tea.
It was a doodad, but I wanted to ask more.
"When someone finds out someone they love has passed on, they have two urges," he answered, "The first is the need to do something - anything. Death is a desperate call for action because we're so helpless against it."
I served up some ice cream while I listened to him.
"The second is the sensation that somehow they're not mourning enough, or that they're mourning too much. People suddenly want to know if they're mourning the right amount. That they're not being heartless or melodramatic. This gadget tells you. Put your thumb on the input display and it gives you an answer. Which is also something to do, I suppose."
I didn't bother with the device any further. I said, "I know your ways. It always says Just Right, because mourning is an individual process."
Before he could answer, we got distracted by something else.