Amelia-

I'm sorry that Becky died. Is that too harsh? Becky died. That's like being hit with a hammer in the face. Maybe just say "I'm sorry". But is that dancing around it too much? I don't want to be so… unsubtle. Uncaring. Harsh.

Now what? "She was a very nice person"? Yeah, right. Can it get anymore shallow than that? Shallow. That's the word I've been looking for. I want this to be different. Not another "Hi-I'm-sorry-she-was-wonderful-how's-my-hair" from people who barely knew her. I want you to know I cared. But how do you sum up a life in one sentence? How do you capture the snowball fights in the front yard, where my shoe fell off and I had to chase after her in my socks? How do you capture the homemade hot chocolate, the French toast heaped with maple syrup and brown sugar and blueberries and strawberries, the hollering up the stairs before our 8th grade graduation that we needed to finish up or we'd be late? How do you capture her cheerful presence, not a distinct memory but everywhere in your house? I guess I'll settle for She was always upbeat and I'll miss her.

I'll be around for a little while if you want to hang out. Because I don't know if you're ready to yet. And I don't know how you're dealing with this. I don't know if you've retreated into your own world and are trying to forget about it, if you're wallowing in your misery, if you're trying to go back to life as normal. Because we're going to have to move on some time; she's not coming back. But when does it stop being disrespectful and callous to go back to normal? When does it change from denial into acceptance? How long is it going to take before the hole she left in your house is so normal you step over it naturally, even if it isn't filled? How long before the memories die down?

Love, because I'm sorry. Because you're my best friend, and you can't see the tears running down my cheeks, and because no one should have to see their mother's coffin before the start of sophomore year. Love for all the hundreds of people who are writing this letter to you too; who can't find the words, who kept hoping she would get better. Who keep repeating "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" like broken records, but mean so much more. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're not alone, because in the end the only thing we have is each other. Because as much as this hurts, if we don't love in the first place, there's really nothing worth living for.

Please don't pull a Holden Caulfield on me.

Jenna