I’ve got a recipe for you: sun moving through the trees, the smell of fresh water and firewood, and the sound of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs.

I can still see him standing in front of me – baggy shorts and a too-big T-shirt. Crewcut. Teaching me gang signs.

My first kiss died two weeks ago. He’d been in a coma over a year. Even now, I remember his scent and the giggle he’d make instead of a laugh. Unbecoming of a wanna be gangster.

We were an unlikely pairing – me a country club and khakis kid and him from who knows where in the city. But he was dangerous and dreamy and had the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen.

I don’t know how to write about him because my memories aren’t all rosy. The perfect petals of childhood are singed with anger and fear; holdovers from a moment yet to come that now I’d rather forget.

But that kiss was lovely and in my mind he’s still alive, though I know in reality he’s not with us anymore.

Death is a weird concept with people you rarely see. You can freeze frame them in your head as they were – as you wish they continued to be.

But the body isn’t impenetrable and a moment can change the game. A motorcycle, heart attack, or silent war within.

Most of us are scared to die. Maybe not of the moment itself but of the thought of not having more. Of missing out, of not trying again.

Death is our obsession – an easy out and the dreaded end. Most days we walk the line between wishing it would wait and wondering when it’ll come.

It’s in our news, our shows, and the games we play. It’s the why behind the rush of speed and heights and love. Death gives us life by promising only to someday take it away.

And so we live, always knowing yet rarely believing, it could be today.

As someone who’s taken on the role of motivator and life coach, the act of living is always on my mind.

Can you live bigger, better, bolder? Is it failure to let precious time slip by?

Is writing these words to you worth the breaths I took to pound them out? Or should I instead have laughed and loved and hugged?

They say not to die with the music left in you. But do you really know what life is left in you to live?

If you do, then I’d agree – let your trumpets blare. Trade some of your nows for the truth that they’ll end and you’ll want to have shared what you’ve got.

But if you don’t, I’m not sure. I’d say laugh and love – chase the happiness in you till you’re so overfull it pours out in some form. Which would be your song after all. So we’d end up the same.

What I really know is this – Sitting on another friends’ hospital bed this weekend, looking at pictures of his now healing heart – this life is a good one.

It’s worth living. So get out there and get to it.

Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!