In Memory of Sandi (Jewer) Corcoran

I haven't posted much online about my sister's passing, but with her funeral tomorrow and me being half a continent away, I break my silence.

Sandi was 37 when lymphoma took her life 4 days ago. My heart breaks for my young nieces most of all.

Sam, Sandi, & Abbie
I can't be there to deliver this speech in person tomorrow, so this platform will have to do.

In memoriam

I’m not a religious person. My belief system is grounded in experiential wealth. The money sitting in your accounts or the knick-knacks filling your cabinets do not create happiness. All a human can do is measure their life in time.

Time is two things at once: the great equalizer and the invigilator of unfairness. We must all make our peace with time; there is no escape from this reality.

We can live in the past and remember things better than they were. We can live in the present, consequences be damned, and we can live in the future and forgo the joys of today for the spoils of tomorrow.

Time was unkind to my sister. In too many ways, her peace with time was made for her. Early death stole Sandi from the present. Her perspective, her humor, her candor: gone.

I can’t draw comfort from the thought that the dead are in a better more peaceful place, and I refuse to mourn and move on. To me, these customs betray the value of human life by removing them from our understanding of time.

The easy path is to tuck the best memories we have of Sandi into nostalgia. Bask her in rose-colored light and smooth over any tensions held onto longer than we’re proud of. If this path is how you must survive, do so without shame.

There is, however, another path. Carry your memories of her into the future. Let these memories inspire you, comfort you, and calm you.

Sandi was the first person who really imparted to me that blood does not a family build. She and I had much more in common than I do with my biological brother. We loved sci-fi, board games, cooking, art, and if we were mad about something, it took approximately 6 seconds for the world to notice.

We never lived together, but I like to think we learned together. And I’d like to think that everyone who reads this can learn something too: measure your life in time.