After attending four funerals in as many months, Polly is thinking about her own death. How will it happen? How much longer does she have? Polly doesn't believe that there's an afterlife. She's not afraid of being dead. But she is afraid of suffering before she gets there.
Will she be lucky, like her grandfather, and have a quick and painless death? Or will her death be prolonged and painful, like her sister Emily's had been? After reassuring herself that she would not allow her death to be either prolonged or painful, Polly decided to tackle the issue as if it were a project in the journalism class she took in university. She would answer the questions where, why, when, who, what, and how, in as much detail as possible. She knew that answering the who question would involve remembering, and writing about, things she hadn't thought of for years, and that not all of those memories would be happy ones. But a project was a project, and anyone who knew Polly would know that she'd give it everything she had.
Excerpt from Polly's Journal
I went down to the lake one windy afternoon, and saw that the two inuksuit somebody had built, on the huge, flat rock, at the edge of the water, were getting showered by waves. I'd only been there a few minutes when a strong wave washed one of them away. It was there, and then it was gone. Mother Nature had decided to tidy the shore. It was a reminder that any one of us can be wiped away at any second. Our lives can be over.