03/16/2015 04:52 pm ET

How My Divorce Helped Me Get Through My Mother's Death

itsmejust via Getty Images

I went home to Portland, Oregon to celebrate New Year’s in the waning days of December 2011. In the few months since my previous visit, I had decided to end my marriage to my husband of three years — and closest friend for nearly seven. He’d be moving out of our Brooklyn apartment while I was away. I was 29.

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