Some days are excruciatingly, heartbreakingly beautiful. And sometimes days are excruciating and heartbreaking. Today was one of the latter, I'm sorry to say. It's never easy to lose a friend, all of those sad moments you recount and think, "I should've hugged him a little longer the last time I saw him," or "if only I'd known, I would have told her how much I loved her." I hate those words: IF ONLY. They resound such regret, so many unspoken things.

Today a friend passed away, and his family is broken. How could they not be? He was brave, kind, funny, and thoughtful. In writing this, I am trying to process things, and deal with a few losses I've recently suffered but haven't yet come to terms with. I don't want it to sound as though this is meant to make me feel better, rather it's to remind you, Dear Reader, that life is short. Yes, it can punch you in the stomach so hard you lay on the ground gasping, and yes, there are unkind moments and people at every turn. Please, when you read this though, forget the awful things, and focus on the sweet moments and the people who make you (and your life) better. They're there, I promise.

And can you do me one more favor? When you see those people who make you smile, who give you hope, who encourage you, who love you... Tell them you love them, and give them a good long hug.

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