I don't really connect with how Western society deals with death anymore. I don't believe in Heaven, and I don't really believe in putting people in metal boxes in the ground to preserve their bodies forever.
Crying in bed and consuming nothing but black coffee for days does not bring anyone back, nor does it make us feel better. (If this your personal way of mourning, I am not knocking it, because I definitely gave it ago four years ago. Please continue to mourn in whichever way you see fit.) For me, personally, however, I don't want to cry as much anymore. Spending my time commiserating over "what ifs" and "should haves" is doing a disservice to those that are no longer here. We are fortunate enough to still be here, and so we should spend it out living.
Each year, I bake something (usually cheesecake, since Kurt was a cheesecake master) for this anniversary, and each year, the symbolism of my doing so changes. At first, it was a way for me to stay at home and cry and cope. The next year, it was a way for me to honor his memory. Last year, I used it as a reminder to be grateful for the friends that still surround me. And today, I made a cheesecake to celebrate life in general. I am celebrating Kurt's life, my life, your life, and the life of my Hawaiian volcano plant, Viv, that is sitting on the counter next to me. Life, as hard as it is, is still beautiful, and sometimes it takes death, or the memory of one, to remind us of that.
Over break, my housemate, Greer, had a birthday while she was in Georgia babysitting coaching a teenage crew team. I decided to bake this celebration of life cheesecake in honor of Kurt and in honor of Greer's birthday. Because really, what better way is there to celebrate life than with a birthday? May I present to you the very lively:
Honey Whiskey Cheesecake
Recipe VERY adapted from the new baking book
Yield: 1 large cheesecake (16 servings)