This “calavera” is painted with the colours and textures of lichens and cherry blossoms. In the aftermath of the death of my loved one, I have spent a lot of time thinking about trees; considering that they are often at once living and dead, that a tree whose body has perished is arguably more alive than it is dead, that it nourishes a host of other life with its body. I’ve thought about the brief, fragile lives of flowers and the deep strength of root systems which hold the very earth beneath our feet together. I have thought that to live a life like a tree is the best a human being can hope for, and that to die a death that nourishes a different kind of life is the best and most hopeful kind of death. I’ve discovered that hope and bereavement can coexist, that they are part of the same organism, that they are intrinsic to the structure of life itself.