It’s weird watching people in your friends list mourn strangers on the internet, particularly when you’ve just lost someone who was integral to your life, your development. When one of the people who created you dies, some friends do no more than click the sad face icon, but these same people lament and curse over the passing of people they’ve never met.

I get it, of course. Those strangers helped shape them. Those strangers played beloved characters and we can all come to feel as though we know them personally. And it’s not like many of them met my mother, either. Still, it can’t help feeling a little bit like being forgotten.

I know that’s not what’s happening, of course. Even still, every time I see a “who died in 2016” montage or list, I can’t help feeling like they forgot the most important person. My mother may not have been an influential piece of the zeitgeist, but she was so important. Is. I may not have picked up her affinity for femininity and gender roles, but I like to think I picked up her heart and her emotional strength, among other fine qualities.

As Carrie Fisher is announced dead this morning, I can only thing about her daughter—she’s just 24 years old. Her mother had a heart attack, but then she was stable, so presumably they thought the worst had passed. Then she died. How heartbreaking.

I can relate.


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