I’m not sure how to start.

One of our friends is dead.

She passed away a couple of days ago. She was barely 30, in good health. A few days earlier, she had complained of abdominal pain. She went to the ER and was sent home with a diagnosis of constipation. A day later, the pain hadn’t subsided. She went to a walk-in clinic and the diagnosis was repeated. A day after that, she collapsed at home. At the ER, they found her abdomen completely full of blood. She had lost so much blood, they couldn’t get a reading.

And she died.

Her baby had just turned one in February. She has a chronic medical condition, and when we heard the words “abdominal pain,” we all assumed she was the one who had died. Not her mom, V. Not this vibrant, healthy woman who always had a genuine smile and was so earnestly kind and caring.

I am in shock.

I cannot comprehend this travesty.

Sometimes I am sorry for V. I am sorry she will never hold her baby again. She will never see her husband again. She will never see her child grow up, do all the mom things she was supposed to get to do.

Then I am sorry for her baby and her husband. Her baby was a momma’s girl through and through. We’d had long conversations about this, because Teapot is the same way. It guts me to think of her baby calling out for her mom in the night time and dad trying to explain that mom is never, ever coming home. It hurts to think that she will not remember her mom. And her poor husband – so much loss, and pain, and fear, and uncertainty.

And then I am sorry for me. I only knew V for a year; she had been Teapot’s dad’s friend through sports first, and my friend after our babies were born and we began to navigate our new roles as moms together. We were a lot alike: we had the same taste in baby clothes, and once we showed up at a lunch together with our little ones wearing the same outfit. Neither of our babies were good sleepers from the start, and our texts went on and on lamenting lack of sleep. We had been weaning at the same time and were having similar experiences. I will never, ever get another message from her.

What’s the lesson, here? Is it that life is a shithole and you could just fall over dead at any moment, randomly, without any previous risk factors, so why care about anything, and what’s the point, and why don’t we just give up, then, if our aortas are just going to explode and we are going to die without warning, far, far, far too soon (aortic aneurysm being one possible explanation for what happened; we are still waiting on autopsy results).

I guess that’s one side of it. Maybe one day soon I’ll figure out the other.


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