My tears are a strange mix of happy and sad. She is free of all this fighting she had to do for the past 20 years, and she is finished with all the pain and struggle of being in sick.

We had a great last conversation, which you can see in this screenshot.

![mom’s last text]({{ site.url }}/files/uploads/2016/09/mom-last-txt.png)

I wish in a lot of ways I’d gone to see her more, especially after I started working for GitLab and could work from wherever. I know it isn’t my fault and I know there is no way I could have known. I know she held no ill will and neither does my dad. I know she was extremely proud of me and I am so lucky that I was able to share so much life events with her, such as beginning a career, buying a house, etc.

I am so glad she loved my partner Michael. She thought he was basically the funniest dude on earth! I think that is just great.

Since I don’t really believe or know if there is an afterlife, I think the best anyone can do after a loved one’s death is to try to live on their legacy. Perhaps with small things, perhaps with large. I think Michael truly does live on her legacy with his humor and I think she would agree. I believe I live on her legacy with my open ears and willingness to help anyone I can.

My mom simply loved Sonic. When I was in high school, she would go to Sonic almost every day during happy hour to get a cheap drink. She would always tip the carhops a huge amount. She would always say something silly such as, “oh I just have to put these girls through college!”. The girls even started to recognize her. Thus, the other day I was at Sonic and I told the waitress, “You know this may be weird, but my mom passed away last week and she loved Sonic. She always loved to tip well and be friends with the carhops, so I’d really like you to have this” and I gave her 5 dollars haha!

This kind of stuff is how we should deal with death and let her legacy live on, not with some weird notion of heaven or afterlife. Even if there is a heaven, she would love to see the same thing.

I encourage anyone who has lost a loved one to think on this. Think on what this person did in their lives and how you might integrate that into your own life to let their legacy live on. Whether or not there is an afterlife, we only know for sure what is here on earth, and as such we should help live on the legacy of the lost to the best of our ability.