Jan's friend Georgann and Jan's cat Diego, an orange and white tabby laying on a beige couch together. Georgann has short dark hair and is wearing glasses


I can’t remember when my late best friend started telling me this, but I do know that she mentioned it fairly often throughout the 17 years that she coped with metastasized colon cancer. “I have a grateful heart,” Georgann would say.

Bird palms against a light blue gray sky

Begin with the word and

And so it goes, as we’ve learned, not a way of facing life but of facing death—grief tagging after us like a shadow

Stone sun and moon hanging on green wall

Tell me the world

Tell me the story of how you came to be …

Hanalei River with greenery on both sides, a white egret on the right side in flight

What we sustain

Or has everything happened,
and we are standing now, quietly, in the new life?

Pink dogwoods against a blue sky

Advice from a dead best friend

Put on your shoes and walk in the world,
talking to me. I’m right here with you;
I’m always within reach. It’s a good time
to chat, so go ahead. You’ll know it’s me
when you know it’s me. But even when
you’re not sure, I’m listening.

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