Grief.

“A year ago, Jiayu’s mother had called to report the death of Yingying. Ovarian cancer, forty-three, her daughter just starting middle school. Jiayu could not see her childhood playmate as a woman in a coffin, a mother’s lost child, a child’s lost mother. But what difference did seeing make? Perhaps grief was nothing but disbelief.”
When We Were Happy We Had Other Names,” Yiyun Li

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