My sister is 9 years older than I am. I have many memories of her friends being kind to a kid sister.

Rika was a friend and a character I remember true.

She was diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago and given a year to live. She filled every moment of it with gusto, kindness, strength and compassion.

She didn’t make a year.

She died in the arms of the ones she loved. I cannot fathom holding the one you love when it is their time to let go. I can even less fathom letting go.

The world is changed now. For a good soul has left this place.

So remember that you are cherished. You are loved. Breathe deep and breathe long, for every breath you take is a gift to the ones you love.

Breathe long.

You will be remembered Rika. Rest easy now.