PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Revisiting Halloween

Several years ago, Gregory and I joined dear friends Ken and Amethel Parel-Sewell and their sons (our God Sons) Kai and Pas in Louisville for their annual Halloween Party. Everyone on the block decorates and thousands of people from all over Louisville come to the neighborhood to participate in the event! Gregory enjoyed sitting on the steps handing out Trick or Treats. My costume was a Pirate and Gregory was my parrot (although too big to sit on my shoulder.) The costume was provided by Nephew and Niece Mark and Colleen. Gregory and I won first place for best costume!


Gregory's Peaceful the Bear has a Halloween costume but he didn't get to wear it for Gregory.

Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead

Gregory and I have long celebrated Día de los Metros, Day off the Dead. We collected items from our travels in Mexico as well as from the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

At Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, two of the collections include a 24"x36" and a 36"x36" alter, offerenda. 

There are also offerendas in our home. This year one is modeled after a Mexican Cafe and the other, which for the first time, includes a photograph of Gregory along with my mom and dad and Gregory's mom and dad. I wonder if his soul will be ready to visit on November 1 and 2?

Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead:
On Kitchen Island of Condo: Mexican Cafe

Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead:
Family Alter

Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead:
Michael's Museum at Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier

Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead:
Michael's Museum at Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier

(Taken from the Chicago Tribune)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Present is All We Really Have


MTE had your name all the time. I just hadn’t received notification yet. Thanks so much for your donation in Gregory’s memory! So far they have raised $2,500.00, so pleased. I will be writing personal thank you's when I get the chance.

Yes this is a period of adjustment. For me I learned to live on a day to day basis without the Gregory I knew, when he went into Lieberman some 18 months ago. I am happy not to be going there every day. But I do miss him. And as you said the physicality of being able to hold him is difficult and I got so used to the  new “interactions” we developed as he continued loosing abilities. 

M: "You know what?" 
G: "What?" 
M: "I love you." 
G: "I love you." 
M: "You make me very happy." 
G: Laughter  
M: "I will always be here for you!"

For me two main issues are “haunting” me. 

1) Moving on to what will be the next chapter of my life. While I am trying to be good to myself and not rush things, I cannot yet envision what that will be. The idea of growing old alone is a little scary. My own mortality is a little scary. and 

2) Trying to make sense out of nonsense which is what life, death, Gregory’s journey, his death, and my life seem to be.  Periodically I loose faith in my understanding of what it is all about. Then I remember "Love and be loved!"

But as I said, I am being good to myself. I am allowing “day at a time” with no expectations, not too many plans, keeping myself busy so I don’t get overwhelmed by it all, and at times getting overwhelmed by it all. 

I will make a few short trips in the coming months. Am going to be with Gregory’s family this weekend. Want to get to New Orleans for 4 for 5 days. Will probably go to Gregory’s Great Nephew’s wedding in March in South Carolina but still thinking about that one.

The More Than Ever Education Fund as being promoted and organized by La Casa Norte will keep me busy. They want me to be part of the planning of a Spring luncheon honoring the fund, memorializing Gregory, and presenting the first few scholarships. There will be media events, interviews, and meeting lots of new people.

Also, I need to visit my Lieberman friends, residents and staff, periodically. I did so last Sunday and it wasn’t too difficult to be there. 

At my request, there will be a Lieberman lunch meeting (I’ll provide the Kosher tray from Max’s Deli) for all the administrators, department heads, and key Special Memory Care Unit where Gregory lived.

By way of sharing my observations over the last 18 months and my premise that they provide great health care but fall down on the social/emotional/community aspect of life for people with Dementia/Alzheimer’s, I am presenting a “Fantasy Story” of what an IDEAL Lieberman Center Dementia/ Alzheimer's Unit could be. I'll publish that here later.

So again, as I am prone to do, I started writing this as a reply to you and with you in mind as I wrote, but you will see it again on my blog. Love you and your continued support!


Monday, October 26, 2015

The More Than Ever Education Fund as of 11/01/15

A number of people have asked about what they can do to remember Gregory. Contributions may be made to:
The More Than Ever Education Fund (MTE.) Created by Gregory Maire and Michael Horvich and administrated by La Casa Norte, a non-profit supporting homeless youth and families. Make your check payable to La Casa Norte (MTE,) 3533 West North Avenue, Chicago 60647 or donate online at For more information e-mail Michael or leave a comment here.

The following contributions have been made to La Casa Norte in memory of Gregory. A very generous, gracious contribution total amount of  $2,770 has been given in his memory so far. Thanks one and all. You have made me, and Gregory in his new role, and the student's who have yet to receive the More Than Ever Education Fund's scholarships awards, very happy! Thank you!

Hank and Marilyn G
Joe, Cathy, Alex and Lily E
Domnic A
Barb B and Fred T
Amy and Michael S
Rita Me
Heidi S
Mark and Bonie M
Rita Mo
Robyn G
Rose B
Lisa and Gerald P
Barbara D
Luba A
Cheryl A
George P
Nancy G and Kenneth F
Roger Z
Anne S
Bronfman E.L. Rothschild
Laureen and  Kevin W
Kristina Tober
Daniel W and David K
Ken C
Scot L
Corinne P
Wendy S and James S
Robert and Floriana B-L
Dorothy J
Ken C
Robyn G
Michael S
Marc S and Alan H
Cash donations at the Memorial Party

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Brief Obituary on Sunday 10/25/15


Had to return to Lieberman to face my sorrows and to visit some old friends. 

Martha was happy to see me. She has been sad since Gregory left her behind. I invited her to go down to the Sunday concert and she accepted.

At one point, Angie, a nurse, came up to say hello to Martha. Martha introduced me as "Father Time!"

When she saw the above photo she asked, "Who s that old bag?" Then she giggled.

She said, "It looks like I don't have a tooth in my mouth!" She doesn't.

I told her, "I love you!" She responded saying, "You say that to all the pretty girls, don't you!"

She commented about how wonderful it was to have a place like this (referring to Lieberman)  to provide entertainment for all the old and infirm. "If you can call it that!"she added. 

She ended by saying, you know you can do what ever you want to. You don't have to be old and infirm!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Past

As we approach Halloween, this photograph of Gregory taken at Ken, Amethel, and God-Sons Kai, and Paz Parel Sewell's at the annual Halloween celebration at their home in Louisville, KY. I went as a pirate. Costumes were provided by nephew Mark and niece Colleen.  

Gregory: A Collage

Row 1: Baby, Kindergarten, Elementary School,
Junior High

Row 2: High School, Under Graduate School, 
Graduate School

Row 3: Successful Architect/Interior Designer, 
Paris, Madrid, on stage at the Lyric Opera, Lake Michigan

Row 4: Happy, well lived days at the 
Lieberman Center in Skokie, Illinois

Widow, The Term "Dead," and The Grief of Others

It seems the "Gay" thing to be a "Widow" instead of a "Widower." But that is just me:-) This realization shocked me. I knew (and hoped) that Gregory would die before I did, if only because of the odds set up by his Dementia/ Alzheimer's. But never thought that would mean that I would get a new title. "Widow."

In some ways I do not need or want to hold on to that label. I am just me. Michael. Whose life long partner, Gregory, person I loved more than life and still do, has died. And now I go on to decide who I am without a partner to accompany me through life. Title, label not necessary.

I am pretty well "defined" if only because Gregory and I lived, grew, and loved on parallel tracks that converged more often than not. We had our own unique interests, our own unique activities, and our own unique friends and those interests, activities, and friends crossed over often and we enjoyed learning from each other and experiencing life through each other's eyes. But none-the-less, I am still needing to redefine myself, yet again, now that Gregory has died.

I wrote a "kitty story" about one of our pets who died many years ago. It ends with and the title is: "My Kitty is a Memory Now." It is still painful as I continue to get used to saying and realizing that Gregory is dead. I prefer that to "passed," or "left us," or "gone," or "is an angel now." While those comments might make Gregory's death easier to talk about, the use of the word death, died, dead ... helps make the reality of the situation easier for me to learn to live with.

Based on a post from my friend Pat, who was one of Gregory's champions and who visited him very often, always to Gregory's delight, I realized that I am not the only one who is grieving his death. Click here to see "Pat Remembers Part 1" and Pat Remembers Part 2 (Both open in a new window.)

The following can be said by many people about Gregory's death:
     "I have a good friend who recently died."
     "I have a loving uncle who recently died."
     "I have a dear great uncle who recently died."
     "I have a brother who recently died."
     "I have a brother-in-law who recently died."
     "I have a colleague who recently died."
     "I have a good neighbor who recently died."
     "I have a wonderful college chum who recently died."

I was so wrapped up in my own grief, in planning for Gregory's cremation and his memorial at the condo and the one at the Lieberman Center, that I didn't stop to think how many other people would people would be grieving Gregory's death. He was loved by so many people. When a person dies, you get to hear about how they touched so many people's lives and so it is with Gregory. He will live on for a long, long time in the minds, and hearts, and memories of many.

Friday, October 23, 2015

More Memories from Pat

A post from my dear friend Pat Anderson
Pat Anderson
47 mins
This is my friend Gregory who passed away a couple weeks ago. (See Michael Horvich for more info if you wish.) Preparing to move, I was having trouble getting rid of this well-worn and very old teddy bear. I took it to visit Gregory. Now I will have a harder time getting rid of it.

Pat Remembers

This was taken from Pat's Facebook page.

I never knew Gregory “before.” When I met him, his Alzheimer’s had progressed significantly, but was often not evident to a casual observer. We’d go for long walks, and visit the bird shelter to hug a big parrot. He had an art show. When we ate at restaurants, he needed help ordering.

As time passed, he needed help zippering his jacket, putting on his gloves, and pouring his Perrier into his glass. When I offered to do these things, he was always grateful. Through all this, he was patient with himself, and handled his confusion with grace and dignity, at least in front of me. 

Moreover, he never lost his manners, like standing aside for me to go through doorways first (although I felt he should go first, so I could watch over him.) Alzheimer’s stole a lot from him but he remained responsive and gentle and agreeable with me. 

While I do not begrudge him the relief of his death, I regret that I no longer have him as a model. We must remember these things in our hearts and continue to be the better person our friends inspire us to be.
Like   Comment   
Michael Horvich That's why I love you. You and Gregory instantly bonded and you were always gracious but not condescending to him. He loved you so and I swear, when you visited him at Lieberman, he was usually happier to see you than me smile emoticon I am not jealous but it made me love you all the more.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Two Words

This article on Autism and how not to respond to a diagnosis and how you might respond can beautifully apply to Dementia! Sharing it with you from: 
The two words you should say to someone facing an autism diagnosis
This blog is from Mandy Farmer who writes a blog called From The Bowels of Motherhood where she writes about raising her three children, one who has autism, and her military family life. You can read her original post here.

We have been through the diagnosis.  We have been through the IEPs and evaluations.  We have navigated education systems in three different states.  I am beginning to feel like a veteran autism mom.
As seasoned and experienced as I'm feeling as of late, I was caught off guard when two friends recently started going through the diagnosis process with their own children and I didn't know what to say.  I think I found myself tongue-tied because all I could think about was all of the things not to say.  All of the well intended comments that were made to me when we started this journey that were meant to comfort but cut like a knife.  During my discussions with these moms all of those comments came rushing back into my head.  Some almost came out, because I just didn't have the right words in that moment.  Wow, this is what it feels like to be on the other end of this conversation.  Even without the right words early on I just couldn't bring myself to say the wrong ones.
I wouldn't say "I'm sorry."  I heard a lot of these.  And they were always empathetic and heartfelt.  But they made me feel worse, not better.  I didn't want people to be sorry for me.  While this life might be different, it is not less.  While my child might miss out on some things, he is not less.  His life and his diagnosis are not things I feel sorry for, you shouldn't either.
I couldn't say to these moms "He'll be fine."  I don't know if your child will be fine.  I don't know that early intervention will move mountains.  I don't know what the next twenty years looks like for you and your family.  And when people told me "You caught it early, he will be fine..." it hurt.  If he does not overcome, if he does not mainstream, if maturity does not lessen his symptoms...does that mean I failed?  Please don't compare our journey to that of a friend of a friend whose child has ASD, had therapy and is now "fine."  ASD is very complex and no two journeys are the same.  Even as a mother of a child with autism I am very hesitant to give advice, as I know my son's autism is not your child's autism.
I knew better than to say "Really?  He seems so normal."  I was surprised by how much I heard this one.  It seemed like a backhanded compliment.  But it not only minimized what we were going through daily and nightly, it inferred that if he did indeed have autism he was abnormal, broken.  
I would never say "Oh, I hope not."  I only got a few of these doom and gloom responses. They lacked empathy and pretty much damned us to a life of a misery in one simple phrase. It is not a comfort and it is not helpful to try wish away a family member's diagnosis. It's hurtful.  
You see, all of those are overthinking and overanalyzing someone else's situation. Those phrases do not comfort, they simply insert my opinion when my opinion was not asked. Parents facing an ASD diagnosis do not want unsolicited advice or pity. They do not want you to minimize their feelings or give false hope. They want you to listen. They want you to care. They want you to stay in their lives and not brand them as special needs parents. They want you to understand that although their lives might be taking a different turn, they still need friends.  Their children still need friends.
Then it came to me. The two simple and perfect words you can say: "I'm here."  And mean it.  Mean it through every struggle, every victory and every passing year.  Mean it on the days when autism is all they can talk about and on the days when they need an extra set of hands.  Mean it when you are making out the list of which children to invite to your child's birthday party.
They don't need you to be an expert on autism. They don't need you to always say the right thing.  Now, more than ever, they need you to just be there.  

Learn more about how you and your family can interact with and support people with autism by downloading our free "Friend's Guide to Autism" available in our Family Services Tool Kits section!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Roles Reversed

This photo showed up on my "Facebook Memories."

During this time, October 2013,  I was still cooking for Gregory and me. It was a new skill for me as he used to be the chef and I the sous chef.

Then the roles reversed. I was so "proud" of my new abilities that I posted a lot of "food pix."

Testimony: Part II

In a post dated February 25, 2014, I talked about the futility of worrying and that "working at not worrying" depleted one's energy as well and served no purpose.

The post began with: This post is a testimony to NOT worrying about the future. I know that one has to experience on their own to learn lessons, telling doesn't help all that much, but maybe a few words from my experience might help you.'

And now, Gregory did it again. With his passing on October 4, 2015 at 12:00 noon, he jump skipped over many of the "possible scenarios" that could have been, that could have caused worrying, that could have caused me to spin and spend my energy erroneously and unnecessarily.

I do believe that I did a better job of not worrying (or working at not worrying) than I have done in the past. I would recognize my feelings of worry, acknowledge them, and quickly release them; having faith in myself, in Gregory, and in the universe that order would prevail and both Gregory and I would be able to deal, cope, and live with any situation.

So many of the things that cold have happened, that I read about might happen, that has happened to others; NEVER HAPPENED to Gregory or me. I will add, however, that what ever might have came in the future, Gregory and I would have gotten through it gracefully. Without worry. Only love.

Gregory never forgot who I was. During his last month, his level of acknowledgment or joy at seeing me (or any visitor for that matter) was not as energetic as it had been but none-the-less he always was happy to see me (and visitors.)

Gregory continued to give me kisses, to enjoy his chocolates, to hold and munch on his pretzel stick, to sip his juice from the foil bag container, to sigh when you massaged his back, to squeeze your hand when you squeezed his.

He continued to enjoy his meals; hamburgers, skirt steak, chicken, lox and bagels,  sandwiches, stew, cereal, omelettes etc, etc. He never needed "mechanical," which is food chopped to facilitate eating and while delicious amounts to "piles" of food and limited choices. He never needed to move to "puree," which is food reduced in a blender with thickener added and then baked in moose like loafs, which amounts to a green custardy like square (green beans,) a white custardy like square (potatoes,) and a brown custardy like square (beef.)

I will say, to Lieberman's credit, that all of the food was tasty and of the same quality. The marinated, roasted chicken breast that Gregory enjoyed was the same one that was chopped up or pureed. I know because I tasted all levels of that chicken breast and all were tasty!

Gregory always loved his music on the earphones or on the speakers in his room, his "South Pacific" DVD which we must have watched 100 times, going down to the community room for the Sunday concerts. He enjoyed playing rhythm band with the instruments I brought in, dancing (arm and body movement in his wheel chair) to Abba, singing, and whistling.

He never became comatose, totally unresponsive (except for the four days he was preparing to leave us,) angry, fearful, confused, frustrated (in part due to the loving care from Manny and the Lieberman staff and in part due to the carefully monitored, minimally dosed Risperdal which was prescribed by joint decision of the doctors, nurses, and me. I know that the use of antipsychotic drugs is very controversial but in Gregory's case they served a good purpose.

His skin help up beautifully even though he "lived" in his wheel chair all of the time except when he went to bed, even though he had to shit an pee himself as a way of going to the bathroom and sometimes had to sit in it until an aide could get to change him. In the beginning, he hated soiling himself and would grab his penis as if trying to hold it in. I would tell him, "It's OK. I know you hate this but just do it. They will clean you up all fresh. Just let it rip!"Eventually he just released what he had to without a care. As the children's books says, "Everybody poops, you know!"

He always kept his sense of humor, his sense of empathy for others, his patience, and his compassion. He always had a smile, an arched eyebrow, a laugh. He loved doing his accent correct imitations, although with nonsense language, of a French man, a Russian man, a Jewish man, a developmentally disabled person, a child.

His unexpected death (I had anticipated another two or three years at Lieberman with a continued downhill trend) allowed Gregory to skip over most of the difficulties inherent in a death caused by Dementia/Alzheimer's. 

So if I had worried a lot, that would have been a waste of my energy and would have diminished the time I was able to spend with him; being happy, being content, being good to myself and therefore being better able to be good to him.

As I said in my previous post about life in general: In the end, what is there to worry about? When you have seen death approach and leave with your parents, when death has also taken friends and relatives and pets, as death slowly but surely took away the person you most love in the world, and when you accept that eventually death will come to for you ... fear looses its edge. Nothing to worry about. Be happy! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I Miss Him

Chicago Tribune Obituary

The Chicago Tribune featured two versions of Gregory's obituary. The previously posted one was the digital, online version. This is the print, newspaper version. I like the headline of this one better! (The online version read: "Gregory Maire, architect, stricken with early onset Dementia dies at 67.)

Family Memories

This letter is from Gregory's niece, Michelle, oldest daughter of his brother Alan (RIP.) Alan and his family are known as the "Southwest Maires" because he and Dellaura, his first wife and long time love and the mother of his children all live in that part of the U.S.
Alan and his wife Iris, his soul mate and "Annie Oakley," and all of the children and grand children continue to live in that part of the country.

• • •

My dearest Michael,

I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to write you to let you know how sorry I'm for your loss. I know this has been bitter sweet for you. He hadn't been your Gregory in so long but it is always such a shock when it happens. 

I still can't believe he's gone. Ed and Renee called to let us know at the same time. It didn't hit me until I called Sarah to tell her. Then I lost it. I started telling her things for which I loved him so much, and the more I talked the more I cried. Poor Sarah. Even long distance she got a wet shoulder.

I am not very good at Facebook. So I thought I would wait a little bit to write you. I knew you were probably a little overwhelmed by everything at first. Not really being able to keep up with all the love you were shown by friends and loved ones from all over. Iris said the two of you had a nice visit. I'm sure your home was bursting at the seams for your open house for Greg. Wouldn't he of loved that. 

I know I have said this before but I will tell you once again how much he meant to me even though down through the years we didn't communicate very often. Years and distance tend to get in the way as much as we mean to keep connected. I guess I need to get better at social media. 

Greg was the big brother I always wished I had. I thought he walked on water when I was a kid. I remember laying in the school house in Vermont listening to him playing the guitar, he would let me sit on his lap to go down the waterfall because I was so scared. Listening to him play the piano in the house in Orange. 

He always treated me like I was his age, not a little kid nine years younger. He gave me my first Beatles album, which I am still addicted to much to Mark's distress. Lol. He took me to New Haven to walk around Yale. 

He and Barbara would have me come spend part of Christmas break with them in Boston. He even met my bus when our high school trip took us up there, so I could spend the day with him. He always made me feel special. He would take the time to talk to me and really listen, what I thought mattered.

Do you remember the stone blocks and the wooden circus that was at Grandma's in Orange. He would sit on the floor and play with us with those for hours. Hey, my name is because of Greg. I was born early and they were going to call me Stephen Daniel until Greg who was taking French suggested Michelle. Thank goodness. 

I remembered I felt so proud of him one time when we lived in Milford. He had gone to a peace rally. I was in 6th grade and didn't really understand why Grandpa and Dad were putting him down. It got a little loud as usual. But he very calmly stated his case and then came out and played cards with us. I felt like it was important to him.

When Grandpa and Grandma moved to Brentwood I got to Know Greg through Grandma's eyes. She shared the stories that he wrote with me. I remember one was about Grandma Carrie towards the end of her life. He helped Grandma design the crazy quilt. She would ask me to help with it when we would come over for dinner. 

When the girls were young the three of us went to visit them and spent the night before we went to Elkhart. Greg took the kids to the zoo. They have always remember ed that trip. Greg wanted to go to the fabric store to get a piece of material for a back to a pillow Helen had made. I offered to drive. 

We got to the store and I embarrassed myself by admitting that I didn't know how to parallel park. He very calmly said to switch drivers so he could park it for me. A long of car very patiently waited while he parked it. I'm sure some were laughing, no one honked. He never mentioned it because I'm sure he realized how silly I felt. 

You and I went for a walk and you bought me a blue glass coffee cup. I have been collecting blue glass ever since. 
You and Uncle Greg always called us on our anniversary. For years and years. Even though it is hard to catch up like that only every once in a while, I still knew he loved us and cared.

The last two times I saw him was at funerals. Grandpa's, he had the flu when grandma died didn't he? And when you all came to Goshen for Grandma Marvel's. That was so loving of all you to do that. It would of been miserable to just be us. But you all came and brought laughter and love into the room. So the last time I saw him was getting into that little sports car with you. You were going to go on vacation somewhere and he was so excited. That's the way I want to remember him.

You had forty years of wonderful memories of him.  I know this has Been hard on all of you. I am glad that I was spared watching him go down hill. That would of been extremely difficult. It was always bitter sweet when you  would send your updates. We knew this day would come and we didn't want it to drag out for your sake. But that doesn't make it easier.

I am not very good at expressing myself especially in emails. Mom says I just ramble. But, I wanted to let you how truly sadden I am over a great lose to all of us. I will try to keep in better contact. I have to get to work.

All our love

Michelle and Mark

Monday, October 19, 2015

Alzheimer's: A Love Story Documentary Takes Three Prizes at the Laguna Film Festival

The first-ever Laguna Film Festival has awarded 19 short films among jury and audience award categories. The festival ran October 16-18 and was founded by 18-year-old filmmaker Austin Fickman. 
"This weekend and this festival have blown me away," said Fickman in a statement. "To be able to provide an environment for filmmakers of short films to have their films screened, meet and talk with other directors and producers, and have a cool experience is a dream come true. The support from the community, people from many branches of the entertainment industry, as well as my family and friends, is truly priceless."
The jury deciding the winning films included Andy Fickman (Director/Producer/Writer, Oops Doughnuts Productions), Betsy Sullenger (Producer, Oops Doughnuts Productions), Phillip Raskind (WME, Partner), Michael Wimer (Executive Producer, 2012), Meredith Wechter (Feature Film Agent, WME) and Elissa Leeds (Manager, Reel Talent Management), among others.
The Jury Awards included:
Best of the Fest Short Film: "Alzheimers: A Love Story," directed by Gabe Schimmel, Monica Petruzzelli, Amanda Le and Riani Singgih
Best of the Fest Film School Student Short: "The Magic Shows," directed by Sahand Nikoukar
Best Animated Short: "Cry of the Fox," directed by Jason Ronzani and Ning Xu
Best Comedy Short: "Twisted," directed by Stuart Bowen
Best Documentary Short: "Alzheimers: A Love Story"
Best Drama Short: "Unspoken," directed by Eric Otten
Best Experimental Short: "Effort," directed by Kuesti Fraun
Best Horror Short: "Night of the Slasher," directed by Shant Hamassian
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short: "Prism," directed by Jackson Miller
Best Youth Filmmaker: "Tree Hugger," directed by Kira Bursky
Best Film School Student Film: "Alison and Jeremy," directed by Alyxandra Press
The Audience Awards included:
Best Documentary: "Alzheimers: A Love Story"
Best Animated Short: "Cry the Fox"
Best Drama Short: "Unspoken"
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short: "The Looking Planet," directed by Eric Anderson
Best Comedy Short: "Murphy's Law," directed Alexander Fichera 
Best Horror Short: "Don't Let Them In," directed by David Lawrence
Best Youth-Produced Short: "Tree Hugger"
Film School Student Short: "The Magic Shoes"

A Life So Quickly

What is a life?
A moment in the day?
A memory to think of?
The passage of time?

Why does it go so quickly?
Where does it go in the end?

What is a life?
Living to the fullest.
Family and Friends.
Lovers and loved ones.

Why does it go so quickly?
Where does it go in the end?

What is a life?
A photograph, a video.
A love letter with flowers.
A special gift to cherish.

Why does it go so quickly?
Where does it go in the end?

What is a life?
A kiss hello and one goodbye.
That special smile and wink.
A hug that doesn't stop.

Why does it go so quickly?
Where does it go in the end?

Why does it go so quickly?
Slow down! Don't miss it!
Where does it go in the end?
You carry it in your heart.

Obituary - Chicago Tribute - Gregory Maire