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        On July 11th, just after one o'clock in the morning my cousin woke me. Together we scurried into my sister's room, like the smallest of mice in the shadow of that moment. For it was just a moment, just a few breaths, and she was gone.
        We stood there, the five of us, somewhere between wanting to tear our clothes and howl, and complete and utter stillness. It was like the final moment of a sun from the viewpoint of the outermost planet. Everything felt suddenly cold and dark, no less so for having  been expected for long enough to have allowed us to gather.
        Slowly we left the room and others began to arrive. The air was heavy as we slowly collided from across rooms or couches. There seemed to be no escape from the sorrow in the gaze of another, for it echoed each heart.
        Finally, the weight of grief and pure exhaustion became too great and we settled into our sunless orbit, pulling up chairs.
        The silence was broken by a sister of another mother, "What's your soap opera name?"
        This was unexpected, and lightened the mood as each of us combined our middle names with the name of a street where we had once lived. We even chuckled.
        Next she asked, "What's your porn name?"
        The laughter and tears that followed were the first indicators of how that long, long day would play out. At every turn we met grief and tears with moments of life and laughter. It made it bearable. It strengthened my belief that if you can find something to laugh about, even the worst day becomes better.