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My Best Friend is NOT a 2-foot Stuffed Jellyfish: And She Never Will Be

I let go of the last gift my best friend gave me before she passed away. Why?

It was a running joke we had; who would take the giant jellyfish on the ferry first? When my best friend and I moved across the bay from each other, we would take turns visiting each other. One of us would take the ferry, and one would be on the opposite side waiting to pick the other up.

Then there was a huge stuffed jellyfish she had bought for her granddaughter, but somehow she insisted it had to be mine. Every time I would visit her, she would put it next to my bag for me to bring home. And every time, I would conveniently “forget” the stuffed jellyfish at the door. She told me to stop being embarrassed and take the darn thing home with me on the ferry. Nope.

So one of our last visits, when she got off the ferry she was carrying the overstuffed jellyfish. She couldn't stop laughing when she saw my reaction. She had finally got it to my side! I awkwardly grabbed it and threw it in my car as we drove around the rest of the day. When it was time for her to go back on the ferry, I tried to send it with her. But alas, I was stuck with it.

When she passed away shortly after, I knew I couldn’t keep it. I didn’t want it to become a symbol of her. If I kept it then, I would have to keep it forever. I didn’t want her memory to live in the item. The toy was fun until she was no longer with me. Then it held more sadness the more I looked at it.

I took a final photo of it and then passed it along. For me, it was the only thing I could do. My best friend isn’t a ridiculously large blue jellyfish; she is the silly, kind, sweet, make-me-crack-up person who was by my side for more than 15 years. She can never be reduced to something that is just not her.

Me & My Best Friend -Dana


Check out these other articles that deal with death and letting go:

You Can’t Take It with You, even if You Tried: The Ultimate Realization of Life & Stuff (

Death Cleaning: Before or After? A Story About Cleaning Up After Loss (

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