Tonight I have too much to say and no right words to say it: I just lost my best friend, Pam, one of the brightest gifts in the long arc of blessings that illumined my way. She helped me through my husband’s death. She helped me through my sister’s death, becoming my sister, too. She was the sweetest, humblest, kindest, funniest person I knew, with the most infectious laugh, and the thought of moving forward without her boggles my mind and breaks my heart.
But I know I will move forward. Because I know she’ll be helping me and everyone she loved and loves still. I know she’ll be laughing with me, though I won’t hear her wild giggles again until I’m a cranky old fusspot and I die in my sleep and she finds me in the crowd at the pearly gates, eyes crinkling, sidling up with some wacky story of some weird guy in the line ahead of me. Someday we’re going to double over again with laughter, and heaven’s occupants won’t know how to handle it. We’ll make too much noise. They’ll have to send us back.
I just saw her a little over a month ago — and sure enough, after eating subpar sushi on a Saturday night, we fell into a bout of laughter that left us with aching bellies. “Amesadoodle,” she used to say. “Amesadoodle, wait’ll you hear this. I have a funny story to tell you.”
She always did. She will again. I’ll be waiting for it.
So tonight, in Pam’s memory, I’m asking you — whoever you are, be you friend, family or random stranger — to call up the person in your life with whom you laugh the most radiantly and contagiously. And let it rip, the both of you.