When my daughter took her last breath, I called hospice and the nurse came to make sure she was gone. He took so long, holding the stethoscope to her chest, listening, I worried she would surprise us all and wake up again, I had that happen once before, like something out of a horror movie. I moved to check on her and she opened her eyes wide and scared the hell out of me, but he confirmed she was gone this time, then called the mortuary to come for her, while I processed the sadness and relief that she was finally free of the body that betrayed her.

I met the young man, dressed in a suit, outside, and asked his name. “George,” he said. I laughed. Perfect. My imaginary boyfriend come to life to take my daughter away. I’m sure she loved that. I don’t think he knew how to react, even as I explained the dark humor to him. I probably made it worse.

George has been my imaginary boyfriend for a very long time. Christie and I sat on the couch one day when she was a teenager when he came to visit. The door slammed and I said, “It’s just George.” She shook her head and said, “Mom, you are so embarrassing. You are the only mother I know who has an imaginary boyfriend.”

Years later, when George came to visit, my grandson said, with a perfectly straight face, “So, George has been with us for at least 15 years.” I am proud to say, I was able to keep my laughter to myself.

Over the years, I’ve heard other mothers talk about their imaginary boyfriend, so I’m not as weird as she thought. And I think she began to understand that imaginary boyfriends are ok. Maybe not to talk about out loud, but ok to imagine. And just maybe, not to share the information with the young man from the mortuary. But now he has a story to tell about the crazy woman who imagined him real.

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  • ChereMcl says:

    I love how George was part of yours and your beautiful daughter’s life. I am so very sorry for your loss. Your loving Christie was a very special angel on Earth. I am thankful I got to know her the last two years. Much love.

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