I met the Dame a few years ago - it feels like ages now - through a mutual friend. We became close quickly, and I gave her my whole heart when she needed love while going through a string of family dramas. During one of those incidents, one which would have debilitated a lesser person, some terrible awful no good things were said about her by someone I will not name because it's not fair; in such a way that she felt orphaned. "This is bullshit," I told her, "I'm adopting you."
It started out as a silly joke on Facebook (silly because she was 8 years older than me), but it grew into a strong, unbreakable relationship. So strong that I helped give her away at her wedding (in addition to being her witness when they did the legal bit), and she called me Mama. Her kids call me Mama. I became Mama, she was my beloved daughter and even though it made NO SENSE, everyone close to her accepted that. Then at some point someone gasped "OH MY GOD MAMA SETZER IS A TIMELORD!" and that's how that whole Timelord thing happened. It got sillier as time went on, but in doing so we were solidified as mother and daughter.
Today, my hearts are both broken. Crushed by the horrible facts of mortality. She didn't make it back to a TARDIS in time to regenerate.
By 4 o'clock this afternoon, her hospital room was filled with her family. People she loved and loved and loved, never really knowing the degree to which we loved her back. Several of us remained in the room well past the point where it was clear that she was not in that body any more (it had even begun to smell), but we couldn't leave. We couldn't believe it. How could someone who gave the world so much, who devoted every waking moment to loving others and doing the right thing; how could that person be taken from us? If it becomes real, what are any of us going to do?
Her husband said it well: she was the embodiment of the fact that love multiplies. There wasn't a person there with us today for whom she wouldn't have given her life, and maybe she did. No, she LIVED so that all of us could be loved that hard. She lived so that we would all be together. I have grandchildren because she lived, because we were weird enough to be family. I'm never letting go of that, no matter what. And that goes for the rest of her weird-enough-to-be-family crew, too. I won't ever let go of you, because you tie me to my daughter, and I'm never going to have another daughter so we all just have to deal with each other.
She was the most loving, the most valuable, the most optimistic; strongest, most resilient and open. Nobody did ALL THE THINGS like she did. She was a win for humanity. I love her so much. Many people loved her as much or more, and even though her body is no longer occupied, and that same laugh will not echo again, NO ONE can take that away from us. Maybe we feel broken now, but as long as we keep loving this amazing woman, we remain whole.
All that being said, mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Timelords.