Last weekend I attended my aunt's funeral in Delaware. It was an emotional time for my family, especially my cousins. There are not many passages as painful as losing a mother. And one grief has a way of bringing up all the other losses we've experienced. As I gave my eulogy for my aunt, I mourned my own dead parents and brothers again. But I also realized how fortunate we writers are to be able to put thoughts and feelings into words. Stories have a way of sustaining us through the difficult times in our lives. This much I know to be true. The dead are alive when we think of them. And grief is the price we pay for love. A steep price, but well worth it.