These are the things you will learn about death:
You will learn that you can stay up all night and the baby bird you found at the base of a tree will still die. It won’t matter how many worms you dig out of the ground and mash into a paste—feeding it every hour with the medicine syringe your mother used to feed you that pink bubblegum penicillin with. It won’t matter if you make it a nest—a discarded piece of fake fur your mother gives you wrapped around a heating pad set on low.
You will still wake up in the morning, plastic cup of dead worms dangling from your hand, and learn for the first time that loving something isn’t enough to keep it alive.
You will learn that death comes for everything. It comes for the leaves in the fall and it comes for your best friend when you are only sixteen and it comes for your Grandmother when you are still too young to lose her. You will learn that death will take people you never met, but whose loss will still gut you. You will learn that there are no exceptions.
You will learn that death seems to never wait and then it waits forever when you are convinced it is just around the corner.
You will learn that the only thing you can do in this life is live so hard it hurts—kiss people in dark parking lots and spend an afternoon driving to nowhere sometimes and make things with your hands that have purpose and make some things that don’t and learn to enjoy the silence of your own company and the silence of someone else’s.
Most of all, you will learn that part of death is letting life be wonderful, even when it is horrible and seeing how everything can be both beautiful and painful, if you just close your eyes, let go, and live.