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The First 24 Hours After My Friend's Death, In Photos

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    Photo: Courtesy of Zivar Amrami/Modern Loss.

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    Modern Loss is a place to share the unspeakably taboo, unbelievably hilarious, and unexpectedly beautiful terrain of navigating your life after a death. We serve up candid personal essays and timely resources with no judgments. Beginners welcome.
    By Zivar Amrami 

    Grief does not like routine. She is wild and mysterious. She arrives when I least expect her, when I believe she is sleeping in another room: today, on my morning run in Prospect Park; on the Q train next to a man reading a self-help book; in a meeting with clients in Union Square.

    A very dear friend passed away recently. She was my mom’s best friend, a second mother to me growing up. My siblings and I went to her house after school. We ate ripe avocados split in half, with a pinch of salt. We listened to Really Rosie on her record player over and over. She told us colorful stories and introduced us to obscure books. I love to read because of her. We went to her house on Shabbat and indulged in homemade challah with cold cans of 7Up. We lounged in the dining room and then on the couches or at the kitchen table until sunset. I loved being in her home — first on Ford Parkway and then on Yorkshire Boulevard.

    And, I especially loved seeing my mom with her. Together, they seemed so happy, youthful, and carefree. They would go on late-night grocery runs; my mom would usually pick her up on the way in our Volvo station wagon. We would beg to join and wait for their return at the edge of our beds — always with special goodies stuffed between veggies and fruits.

    She was a dancer, an artist, our "cool mom," and also a very devoted and hardworking person. She had lots of opinions, and I hated when she told me what to do, but I respected her voice and always felt accepted and loved no matter how the conversation ended.

    I could not make it to the funeral. So, instead, I took photos of my first day without her. Wherever I went, I captured pieces of my day and remembered the loss. Life continues, but it is different — not the same without her here.

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