Michel de Montaigne, the 16th-century French writer, tells us in one of his Essays that we cannot be deemed happy until after we die, because how we die might void any or all of the happiness we experienced in life. A great king might be executed by one of his rivals, after having his lands seized and all of his heirs killed. By contrast, an “execrable and ill-famed” man might leave this mortal coil “in all respects perfectly reconciled” to This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Five Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 That’s Life The quiet tyranny of clichés. Arts & Culture Issue 41 Mixed Emoji Is a picture worth a thousand words? Arts & Culture Issue 38 Social Work Hettie O’Brien considers the cost of never logging off. Arts & Culture Issue 31 The Newer You On starting over—and over—again. Arts & Culture Issue 30 Word: Sonder Every stranger has a story. Arts & Culture Issue 26 Bob Ross Learning the art of relaxation from the master of happy accidents (and accidental life advice).