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  • Writer's pictureJaye Gaff

The Golden Girls were my family

Rose, Blanche, Sophia, and Dorothy had no idea I existed but, to me, they were my world. I never felt quite right in my family. I always felt damaged. I always resented them. It was never a fit. A lot of that had to do with me and my head telling me things I didn’t understand.

But, man, The Golden Girls made me feel safe. I felt loved. I felt understood. I felt like they were my home. And, even now, they still feel like home.

I woke up on New Years Day to the news that Betty White had died and I felt like I’d lost my mother. She was the last surviving Golden Girl and the most broken parts of me always held on to this ridiculous idea that I’d meet her and she would say: “my dear, you always felt like home to me as well.” And then we’d eat hot dogs and she’d welcome me into her family and, finally, I’d have one who loved me for who I was.

And now that’s never going to happen. As if it ever would have. But, gosh, she meant so much to me. She saved me. I didn’t know her but I loved the fuck out of her.

I don’t quite know how to mourn someone I never actually knew. I treasured her so. And as I continued to watch her as Rose I also got to see her continue to star in other works and continue to be a bright presence in my life. Watching a new movie she was in felt like visiting an adored relative with none of the baggage I had with my real ones.

Knowing she’s gone makes me feel terribly numb and hollow and I feel slightly ridiculous that I’m spending time crying over this. But, for a girl who had nobody, those four women were my only somebodies.

They’re only a button click away but I miss them terribly.

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