It's been a good year. And it's been a rough year. It's easy for me to feel deep emotions when I watch films, or when I hear certain songs. But I've avoided really engaging with the painful thoughts—like my mom's cancer—by focusing on potential solutions rather than accepting the fact of her death. 

 

But then when Chip took his final turn, and we brought him home for those last three days, I was finally forced to confront how I felt—or rather how I'd refused to feel. 

 

And it hurt a shitload. But it was also a powerful gift. I love Chip and I miss him. And his death became a conduit into something much deeper and more beautiful than I was capable of understanding before he died. Without Chip, I couldn't have written the book for my mom. 

 

I still can't quite let myself drop my guard. But I'm making progress. Thanks for always being there for me. Thanks for letting me know Chip. I love you.