This is such a sad time. The holidays, full of light and cheer, good times, and better food. And yet, death descends upon us. My first husband died on Christmas when I was in my early 30s. Then six years ago my sister’s husband died suddenly from a massive infection, just two weeks before Christmas. And now? Our dearest Mickey, our love and dearest one. She is such a bright light, all I had to do was turn my face towards her glow and feel immensely better. She delights in the most simple things, a poem, the sunset, a silly story about how I put the coffee pot into the fridge one day. Her eyes would crinkle up and she would laugh and laugh. Now, she is fading. The laughter is still there, but smaller, less often. Her blue eyes wander around the nursing home room, you can see that she is not sure exactly what is going on anymore. But her grip is strong, as she tries to slide out of the nursing home bed. “Lets go” she says to me, tapping my hand, “Let’s go to the river.” Oh, that I could pick her up, and carry her home, tuck her into her bed and let her go. But these are not my choices. I don’t get to choose how a person dies. Heartbreaking, so painful it is like a blast of artic air in my lungs. So, my job now? To get her to laugh one more time, to see her blue eyes light up at a small joke. To give her one last chance at humanity.