Today is the one year anniversary of the passing of my mother-in-law, Tami. I don’t really know what to say about it poetically or verbally, or really even with prose. Other than I understand how limited our time is here, how brief our relationships with other people can be. I can’t say I believe in heaven and hell in the traditional sense, but I do believe in life after death. I do not believe that we return to nothingness and blackness after death. I believe in the separation of spirit and body, soul vs. matter, etc. Tami left this world at far too young an age, undergoing much suffering, surrounded by those who love her. And she is missed every single day. But I know she has moved on from this place, and is hopefully in a better one in some capacity. I don’t care what people label as cliché, I am starting to realize more and more than every day is a gift and we should make the best of it and find joy and love each other — at the very least, be nice to one another — and just be the best human being we can be. And I know this is easier said than done. We all suffer, we all lose people, we all get sick — we all die. But we also live. And love. And leave our marks on others. And create. Hopefully more than we destroy. We all put up pretensions, we all have reservations, inhibitions. But we can all stand to grow and open up and be free. And I believe we forge strong enough connections with certain people, and we will always be together with them in one form or another. We all suffer, we all lose people, we all get sick — we all die. But we also live.