Every year is different because every year I am in a different place in my life, but there is no way I would ever forget. I'm in the waiting room right now, counting down the days till the anniversary of his death, while also counting down the days to the birth of my nephew. The plan is for me to be with my sister (and her fiance) when she's in labour, and i'm feeling the responsibility of that. I have a ton of work to do – all of it work i want to sink into and enjoy – but i am a mess of emotion. Birth and death, all packed into my small head. I haven't been sleeping well, unsurprisingly. My dreams are filled with babies in my arms, and his arms around me; it is impossible to hide from the memories when you're unconscious. He was kissing me last night and i woke in tears; i find it extraordinary that these memories still have this effect on me. I am in a really good place in my life – his memory is honoured and cherished, but i am looking forward to new possibilities this year, and am so so ready to embrace them. But still there is this sadness – sometimes i think it is merely the echoes of grief resounding around me; it gets twisted into a new shape, and you learn to live with the loss, to find new paths and joys, but the grief really does mark you forever, like a ring in a tree trunk, a raised scar on your heart. In years to come i will still have these memories, kept in a dusty shoebox in the back of my mind; i will pull them out occasionally and run my fingertips over the smiles and promises. For now i will try to string words together for work, thinking of birthing babies by day, and sleeping with the deceased at night. And the world keeps turning.