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  • It was time to tell my coworkers why I was acting strangely. It wasn’t a confession, but it was painful to say, so I started with the easiest person, our twenty-one-year-old assistant.

    Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t been myself lately.
    I’ve, uh we’ve, had a death in the family.
    My daughter’s best friend,
    She fell off her bike,
    She had her helmet on,
    It was a freak accident.

    I started talking even faster,

    The doctors did everything they could,
    She was 19 years old,
    A beautiful athlete,
    Experienced cyclist,
    They went to college together
    and high school,
    They played water polo together.

    It sounded like a lot of words to me, mechanical, but I didn’t want confusion or questions or absolutely any talking about it.

    He said, That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. He was pissed—instantly angry. I’d never seen him angry.

    Ridiculous! Pointless and Stupid! He tromped off.

    No one had said the wrong thing to me about Sarah's death, but he said the right thing. It was good in my grief to have someone say the right thing.
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