The Princess of Friendship grasped Tirek and removed him from Equestria.
 I can just imagine the level of care that was put into constructing this sentence. I have this picture of ‘Starshine’ or whoever wrote this racking their brain over how to convey that I killed Tirek without saying I killed Tirek. Because, in a sense, I did remove him from Equestria. Both technically and thoroughly by teleporting both of us outside of the atmosphere and then by sailing back through the atmosphere quickly enough so that his individual atoms fused with those of the air.*
*A side effect of which would prevent future attempts at necromancy. Can’t resurrect what doesn’t exist, right?
And then she descended from the sky in a bolt of fire.
 Igniting fusion reactions by going 100 km in 1/10 of a second tends to do that.
I don’t know what it was, whether traveling at near-luminal speeds does this or I was convinced that I was going to die as well, but time seemed to slow down immensely. I experienced this assault of sensory data―the intense heat attempting to scorch my skin, the stench of ozone inflaming my nostrils. Most importantly I saw the expression of regret on Tirek’s face as his body dissolved and its individual elements fused with the sky. Then I lost consciousness and plummeted to the earth.*
*That’s how the San Palomino Canyon was made, which was eventually repurposed into the Los Pegasus Reservoir through a desalination project I spearheaded.
She then rested twelve moons and awoke. On the dawn of the first day of the thirteenth cycle, Princess Radiant Dawn was born to the Princess of Love.
 I quoted these two sentences together to remind myself that the only reason my niece has such a beautiful name is because I woke up.
I didn’t intend on surviving the murder of Tirek. Prevailing theories on my survival posit that I reflexively molded a sort of ‘shock absorber’ upon passing out. If you had asked me upon regaining consciousness, I would have told you it was because Fate knew I needed to pay penance for the unforgivable crime I had committed. When I woke up, I felt like I had been stabbed with an ephemeral corkscrew through my gut and couldn’t stop crying for a month. I didn’t want to be alive. I wasn’t supposed to be alive. I didn’t want to have to tell the ponies of Equestria that I had used the power bestowed upon me to strike someone from history, even if they were an existential threat to them and their way of life. I wasn’t that kind of pony.*
*Apparently I was, for one brief moment that ensured the planet’s survival.
And on the day the Princess of Friendship awoke, you shall light a candle to honor those who fell.
 When I suggested this to Princess Celestia, it was after the death of Applejack, the final Element Bearer. She acquiesced, initially worried I might be taking the death of my friends a little too personally until I reminded her that everypony has had someone important to them lost to the ravages of time.
What I didn’t tell her at first is that I suggested it so that I could mourn Tirek’s death openly. Everypony dies, eventually―my parents, my brother, and my friends being examples―but I didn’t murder any of them. I felt that with the loss of my closest friends, those whom I felt most comfortable unloading my greatest fears and regrets upon, that instituting a general day of mourning would be the most efficient use of everyone’s time.*
*I also didn’t think Cadance wanted to hear the same sob story until the end of days, either.
On that day you shall prepare a great feast for your family.
 Honestly, this bit was just an excuse to stuff my face with hayburgers without anypony bothering me about it. You’d be surprised how much you can eat when the death of a sapient being weighs over your head.*
*Also, I really like hayburgers.
That will be the day you remember Equestria lived.
 Yes, Equestria lived, and ponykind knew war no more. Through one last act of tragedy, I had shocked the world into submission. Queen Chrysalis and her changeling horde swore fealty, afraid I might come after them next. The Equality revolution was halted in its tracks. Starswirl the Bearded ripped a hole through time and space to personally thank me, having felt the reverberations through a thousand years. Apparently, my attempted sacrifice to save Equestria defined history, both before and after.
And I’d take it all back if given the chance.
I’ve come to terms with the incredible good murdering Tirek has bestowed upon us as a planet, and I’m infinitely afraid of what might change if I figured out a way to change it. But Starswirl informed me in his visit that history has certain ‘freeze’ points―things that can never change, and that every force known and unknown to ponykind will fight to preserve them. Tirek dying was one of those points.
And that hurts the most of all. So I’m only left with one option:
Tirek, I cannot express the immense amount of remorse I feel for taking your life. My execution of you has left a stain on my being that I can never wash away. If I had seen another option, I would have gladly taken it. The only penance I can offer you is that I live my life to the best of my abilities.*
*I can’t change the past, but I can use the present to improve the future.
Twilight Sparkle wiped the tears from her eyes, closed her journal, and smiled.
That should be enough introspection for this year. My niece’s birthday party is later today and I wouldn’t miss that for anything.