THERE MAY BE SPOILERS - WORSE THERE MAY BE THINGS SAID WHICH SPOIL THE STORY - I WOULD SUGGEST READING IT FIRST AT
L’esprit de L’escalier by Peter M. Ball
A guy walks down a never-ending staircase to scatter his dead lover's ashes. He goes further than anyone has been recorded going and keeps on. Along the way he has written things about their relationship, some truths, some lies, mostly trivia.
It is a metaphor.
And when I finished I thought it would have been cool to put this at the end of the anthology -- but then a book full of sad stories with this at the end... maybe not. I don't know what is at the end yet but maybe pushing oneself to read another story keeps one from dwelling a little too much (and now I'm extending the metaphor beyond the story)
It's not perfect, but it has a lot to be said for it, and says a fair bit for itself.
(Or reading a large amount of downward trending fiction makes the effort of an endless staircase to nowhere shinier)