This past Saturday I laid a very close friend of mine to rest. It was tough. It's the kind of thing you never expect you'll have to do, but when it's time to do it, you hardly feel present in the moment. It didn't feel real at first, but now reality is setting in so I feel the need to write about it - lest I explode.

I got the call a week ago today that a car accident had claimed the life of Kaia and her unborn baby. At seven months along, we were in talks to have her baby shower in my apartment complex just a few days earlier. I didn't have that immediate feeling of my heart dropping to the pit of my stomach. Tears didn't burst from my eyes (right away), and my world didn't stop. Not like I'd expect it to in a situation like this. Everything felt fine. It wasn't true in my head. Sure, she might be hurt, but she was gonna pull through. "They're doing everything they can," I heard bounce around my head like an episode of Grey's Anatomy. I could call or text her and she'd get my message eventually.

I went home and got sick to my stomach. This holiday season already hasn't been the merriest or brightest in my book, and this wasn't helping. I tried to go about my day and keep it as normal as possible, but nothing is normal when you lose a close friend so suddenly.

When you walk into the store and get greeted by the salesperson, you say you're doing fine but really you're still processing the horror. When you get a work-related call you smile and put on your nicest sounding voice while trying to push the possibility that it might be true to the back of your mind.

Your social media feeds begin to flood with photos of her smile and some of your fondest memories, and soon enough it's time to log out and re-focus your attention.

Some mutual friends start calling and texting, so you put your phone on Do Not Disturb.

You sleep, eventually. When you wake the next morning it starts to feel a bit more real. As the days pass it hits you harder and harder instead of getting easier and easier, and when people ask how you're doing, you tell them you're hanging in there, and that's the God's-honest truth. Because that's all you really can do.

This past Saturday I laid a very close friend of mine to rest - a friend who was one of the first people to really reach out to me when I moved to Atlanta. A friend who stuck around ever since, even when we got on each others' nerves and butted heads. A friend who I couldn't catch up with around my birthday, so she dropped my birthday card off on my doorstep, laying it under my welcome mat. A friend who's baby I was so excited to meet.

My soul is crushed in so many ways, but the service was marvelous. It was filled with so much love, warmth and all the things that make your spirit merry and bright.

'Til is see you again, love.