1. My aunt died unexpectedly three months ago from a cardiovascular disease
    Don't smoke cigarettes, guys
  2. She was young, only 67
  3. She was my mom's oldest sister
  4. My mom and I stayed at the Hospice with her the week she was dying
  5. My 98 year old grandfather was there, and it was so horrible to watch him go through that
  6. I've always valued family immensely
  7. But that week in Hospice, surrounded by my family, caused something to shift in me
  8. Family is forever
  9. Watching my mom lose a sister was extremely difficult for me
  10. My sister is my best friend, my favorite person, my biggest blessing
  11. I've known people who died before
  12. But my aunt was the first person I've ever seen so close to death
  13. It was terrifying to see her deteriorate
  14. And it's been a grief that has hung in the air for me
  15. Some days lightly, some days heavily
  16. My mom is so sad
  17. Two weeks later, my cousin gave birth to her first child
  18. A boy named Zachary
  19. And two weeks ago, my other cousin's wife gave birth to their first child
  20. A boy named Noah
  21. Today was Noah's bris
  22. And his Hebrew name is after my aunt
  23. My other aunt (the grandmother of Zachary and Noah) sobbed through the naming ceremony while hugging my sister
  24. And even as tears were streaming down my face
  25. I was looking around at my precious family
  26. And at the two new baby boys we have now
  27. And I felt so thankful, that even with all our flaws and arguments, we all value family so much
  28. The reality of life, that we all die and a new generation lives, has never been more real to me than in the last three months
  29. And it's scary and sad for the childhood illusion of immortality to shatter
  30. But it also really makes me realize that I'm becoming an adult
  31. And that's a good, tough thing to do