When I woke this morning, I thought I’d dreamt the heartbreaking events of yesterday. The reprieve from my grief lasted only a moment before reality crushed my hope.
My dear friend, Deborah Osment, passed away. It breaks my heart to think of such a tender spirit dying alone in her apartment, but I pray she has found the peace that eluded her most of her life.
For those of you who don’t know, Deb and I worked together for a little over two years. She had a hand in each of my novels, proofread my blog posts, collaborated with me on the Ask Deb & Kate site, and handled many other oddball writing/publishing tasks I sent her way.
Her support meant the world to me, but it’s her friendship that I’ll miss the most.
Deb became a member of my family, like the “cheek pinching” aunt that could either drive you crazy or warm your heart —sometimes both at the same time. She held my hand through several losses this year, and never grew tired of my blubbering, sobbing, 3 am phone calls. Well, okay, she might have lost her patience with me once or twice, but she never let me know it.
Deborah battled many personal demons in her life, including the loss of a child and mental health issues. However, she never lost her intelligence and quick (snarky) sense of humor. Her outlook on life and death is well documented in her novels and is surprisingly hopeful considering she suffered from devastating bouts of depression and anxiety. I bring this up not to spill her secrets, but as a testament to her quiet strength. Not many could walk a mile in her shoes and remain standing.
Deborah’s greatest gift was her ability to make me laugh, cry, and believe in myself. She always said she was my biggest fan, and she meant it. My world is darker without her in it.
Please remember, just because someone is smiling, doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering. It’s easy to take people at face value and never look behind the mask to know who they are, what they’re going through, if they’re alone. Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, hug a family member, check on the people who drive you nuts. Let go of grudges and learn to forgive.
Sometimes the people who are hardest to love are the ones who will become your most cherished friends.
And, Deborah, if you’re watching, I will cherish every moment we shared— the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Please ignore my typos and awkward sentences. I’m a little blurry-eyed and lost without her.