Losing someone, whether expected or not, is an event that truly shakes you to your very soul. I recently experienced that awful feeling when a friend and former clinical teammate died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. I think of her frequently and still can not completely accept her death, sometimes thinking she is simply on vacation and will soon return to share her compassion and unique view of life. In the weeks since her death, I have challenged myself to make changes that allow me to better appreciate that which life has to offer. Too often we are consumed with tasks that fill up every minute of our waking time and steal the moments that should be reserved for family, friends, and ourselves. It has said that time is a gift. How true! I have always been a strong proponent of time management, often organizing my days around schedules, chores, and errands and taking care of others at times to my own detriment. Since losing Becky, I have been more aware of simply letting the unnecessary things in life no longer determine how I chose to live. Laundry piling up? Oh, well……dishes in the sink? Too bad…..House not tidy? It can wait……Phone call during dinner? That is what answering machines are for…….. When I start to worry about the growing mound of ironing, streaks on the bathroom mirrors, and crumbs on the kitchen floor I ask myself, ”Did it matter if Becky had emptied the dishwasher or cleaned off the porch on the day she died? Did it matter to her grieving family and friends?” Remember those who have died by honoring your life and all those who you adore. Live fully, love hard, laugh often. Rid yourself of negative people and influences. Rise above ignorance. Always take responsibility for your actions. Be the best parent. Lend a hand. Allow nature to inspire you. Offer hope. Take care of yourself. Honor those who have gone before you by making the commitment to live, not simply exist.