By tel l ing stories about her family, my grandmother taught me that death could come at any t ime. She was born i n the late 1800s and grew up on a Nebraska farm where her German and Danish neighbors "worked hard and drank hard." One of her uncles was six feet seven inches t a l l and weighed over 300 pounds. One evening he came back to the farm after a Saturday night of heavy dr ink ing and passed out face down i n a pigsty. He drowned i n a puddle of water. " I t took eight men to carry his casket," my grandmother said. "His grave was the largest one i n the whole cemetery," and she smiled while she shook her head sadly at the waste of such a good, strong man.