My mentor passed away last week on 9 June 2015, around 5:30pm US Central. For the previous month and a half, someone from our caregiving collective was there every day, including some who stayed overnight.

Effectively, I took a leave of absence from my work. During that time, I got up at whatever hour, got on the bus and the light rail to the nursing home, came home, and did what I could to decompress.

I did a lot of reading, both fiction and nonfiction. I did a lot of thinking about what holds up (and what doesn’t) in the face of mortality.

Now it’s time for re-entry to ordinary life. A lot of the things I’d planned for this past month didn’t happen, and my book deadlines are going to be moved forward by at least two weeks.

But I wouldn’t have traded the last month and a half for anything.

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