Illustration by Minna

We’re only running one diary this week, Ruby’s, because we’re too sad to edit the other ones right now. Minna, Dylan, Naomi, and Katherine will be back next week.

Ruby

My mother died last night. She was far away from us when it happened.

I don’t want to think about why.

She was in so much pain for so much of her life, and she stayed here for us until she couldn’t.

The last time I remember speaking to her was when she took us to Target. She was in a rush and wasn’t paying too much attention to me. The day before we had cried together and said we love each other. She said she loves me so much. I said I love her too. I hope she believed me.

She dropped us off at school on Monday. That’s the last time I saw her before she left us and then everything. I think I remember being mad at her and leaving without a word. My sister says that was on Friday, and that the last thing I said was goodbye.

I’m so sorry for acting like I hated her sometimes. She isn’t like anyone else and she understands me more than anyone.

We were so close and yet so distant. Is this a memory? Is this a dream?

I keep telling myself I’m going to wake up and she will be home. I was angry at her for leaving home until I heard she was gone forever. Now I don’t know what to think.

I feel empty. I feel like I can’t cry as much as I should. I don’t understand and it doesn’t feel real. My brother and sister cried, too. Of course they did. We all love her.

I searched her room, trying to find things that smelled like her. I needed to find something. I found her favorite coat—the same coat that led me to believe she would come back because I thought she would never leave without it.

I don’t know if I can ever see anything the same way again.

“You write essays as good as David Sedaris,” she said in the car one time. She was saying I probably had ADD and was reassuring me that nothing was wrong with me.

“You are perfect,” she has said countless times. She is perfect, but her problems sometimes overshadowed the real her. She’s perfect now.

I love you, Mom, and I’m so sorry that I didn’t act like it all the time. I love you. ♦