The week my mother died I hosted a party.
The funeral had been small. She was a weird woman. She didn’t have many friends. Regardless, I planned the festivities soon enough after her death that most of my second- and third-tier acquaintances wouldn’t yet know she was gone.
That made it easier. I was twenty-eight, grown up enough that even if they had known, they probably wouldn’t have suspected me of holding auditions.
It was after all the sort of thing a poorly brought up child might do—and although I was poorly brought up, by the time you’re in your twenties no one really expects you to act like a child anymore. A twenty-eight-year-old woman is expected to take in stride that the dead can’t be replaced.
But I saw my mother’s death as an opportunity. I’d been intending to replace her for years.