Death is hard.
It’s just this hard stop – that’s it. No more. You’ll make no more memories of this person.
It’s difficult to deal with, or to even imagine. You’ll never hear their voice again, hear their laugh, get a hug or a kiss.
It’s hard to think past the initial shock of it, to be honest. I’ve written about death before – in both fiction and for news stories – but when it affects someone close to you, whom you spent countless hours with in your youth and beyond, it’s so different.
My best friend’s mom passed away this week. She was like a second mom to me. She fed me (giving me grief because I was a picky eater and she didn’t deal well with that), gave me hugs, treated me like one of her own brood. She was the consummate mama hen – always ready to take in and feed whoever her friends brought home.
One of my favorite memories was of the afternoon my friend and I fell off a horse our freshman year of high school and bruised our tailbones after we’d chosen to ride the horse (with just a halter rope, no saddle) to the dam to go ice skating. She made us hot chocolate, giving us grief for not just walking like she’d allegedly suggested (though I cannot recall her making that suggestion), and we lay watching movies on the couch and floor.
As hard as this is for me, I cannot imagine how difficult it is for my friend and her family. Mom #2 (as I called her, and as she signed my graduation gifts from high school and college) was a best friend to her daughters, a loving mom to her sons, and a doting grandmother of four, who was looking forward to meeting two new grandkids this summer.
Their family is big on celebrating life, not mourning death, and I appreciate that worldview a lot. We will need it in the coming weeks. So I will keep her in my memory as I remember her best – my beloved Mom #2.