What It Really Means to Love “Like a Mother”

She stands in the kitchen looking at me. Her hair is stringy and needs to be brushed. She’s shifting from side to side uncomfortably, unsure of what I’m doing there or what to say. Her brother overdosed last night. Her mother is my good friend, and the swirling vortex of grief and community sucked me into her kitchen, stocking the refrigerator and tidying the counters because that feels like something when there’s nothing. “I don’t know how to make lasagna,” she says, glancing at the pan I’m sliding into the…

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