The cat got sick on the floor today but I step over it. Normally, I’d rush to his aid, cleaning the mess with my spray, paper towels, and plastic bags but I’m exhausted. It’s been a rough day. Week. Month. Year.

I must look like I feel because people keep doing double takes on me, stopping to ask if I’m alright or if I’m getting enough sleep. The answer to both questions of course is no.

Two days ago, I went to see Captain Marvel for the second time in a week. I came home, stared at my fridge before microwaving myself a hot pocket and settling in on the couch to call home. When no one answered, I turned on The Resident and ate my sad dinner. Ten minutes into my show, they called me back. When I hung up, I turned my show back on. Always the multitasker, I was playing the Harry Potter phone game and scrolling through Facebook when her face popped up.

Cami had died two days ago.

I hit the denial stage of grief real fast. I had just seen her snapchat story featuring her dog on Friday? Saturday maybe? She was very much alive.

Anger followed quickly when my laptop wouldn’t load the pages I frantically looked through to figure out what had happened that took her away. I didn’t cry until the spinning cursor on my screen kept me from my answers.

Around me, everything was frozen. The tissue box sat empty so I hyperventilated into the napkins I brought with my hot pocket and The Resident was still paused on the TV when my roommate found me unmoving in my bed.

I knew Cami from high school, four years ago, and probably hadn’t talked to her in about a year since we last exchanged Gilmore girls theories enthusiastically over Snapchat. Normally, I try to forget about high school but suddenly it didn’t feel so far away.

Cami and I were in yearbook together for two years. She joined as a nervous sophomore with some of her friends while I was her editor. Even when her friends had to drop the class my senior year, Cami stuck around and became my partner.

Yearbook was characterized by food, with regular snacks, pizza delivery, and burrito runs. For my eighteenth birthday, she threw me a surprise party complete with party hats and Chipotle. Cami was kind and thoughtful. We didn’t always agree but she was a good partner and a great friend. 

We may not have talked in a while but I know the world lost a truly wonderful person.

Now is not the time for an argument over religion. I know Cami was proud to be a Christian and I’m not here to discredit her beliefs. But for me, as someone who doesn’t believe in an afterlife, loss is hard. Coming to the realization that you can never see someone again is painful and makes me wish I could believe in something else.

I think I’ve gone through bargaining as I write this and have certainly felt depression these last couple days as I cried in the parking lot. I like to think I’ve hit acceptance as I struggle to acknowledge this is the world now. It’s unfair and the world is a little worse without her on it but I have to accept that there’s so much that I can’t control

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