Why would I choose to name my blog folding paper cranes, to talk about grief? The answer is two-fold, one being my own life, as well as the better known traditional Japanese stories. My introduction to the stories about paper cranes came as a teenager when a childhood friend was dying. The version of the story she had, was that 1,000 paper cranes would carry her to heaven. When it became obvious it was the end she began folding paper cranes. Soon, her friends, family and classmates also began to fold paper cranes for her. When she chose to enact her living will at 15 years young, she was surrounded by 10,000 of the paper cranes, they became a symbol of her spirit as well as her struggle. At her memorial service, her family handed out some of the cranes from her room to her closest friends, and to this day, some 25 years later, they decorate my Christmas tree each year. The second reason, the Japanese story about paper cranes, is similar but different, stating that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will be granted one wish. Traditionally, these paper cranes are strung together and presented as a gift at weddings or to loved ones that are ill as gestures of peace and happiness, however, the story was forever changed because of an atomic bomb that made a little girl sick. Sadako Sasaki was only 2 when one was dropped on Hiroshima. Some years later, she was diagnosed with lymphoma as a result of her exposure to the 'black rain', and near the end of her illness, she began folding paper cranes. There are some versions of the story that say she fell short of the 1,000 cranes, only folding 644, and that her classmates helped with the rest. Some other versions that say she folded all 1,000 and even continued to fold after. In both versions of the story, she was buried with 1,000 paper cranes, which in Japan, have gone on to represent those who have died as a result of the atomic bombings during WWII. For me, folding paper cranes represents accepting the end is near and working on making it a peaceful transition.