The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch

So... here's a story I found myself telling a friend today. I'm not quite sure why.

When I was a child, a squirrel died on the roof outside my bedroom window, and I then spent several seasons watching it make its slow progress towards its dusty skeletal fate.  I'm not sure why this memento mori didn't traumatize me more.  Or more obviously.  

Maybe because my grandfather once took two birds who had flown, fatally, into the house's windows and entombed them in state in the freezer.  They were obviously in love, you see, and deserved some Shakespearean dignity. I'm not sure how we finally convinced him to end their cryogenic vigil.

Or maybe because my grandmother once found a freshly dead mole and gave it to me to examine (I was 7 or 8, so "examine" looked remarkably like "play with") while we made a tombstone and wrote eulogies for its funeral. The whole neighborhood's children attended; its final resting place is by the Spanish Steps in Washington.

 My family: bacterial hygiene = 0, anthropomorphic romance = 10.