It's been ten months since Mackenzie McKee's mother, Angie Douthit, passed away following a long, painful battle with cancer.
Mackenzie has stated on several occasions that her mom was her best friend, and she's felt incomplete since her passing.
But instead of tamping down memories of Angie, Mackenzie copes with her grief by finding new ways to pay tribute to the mother she loved so much.
And this week, that meant running a half marathon on a whim with no advance preparation or training!
Mackenzie told the tale on her Instagram page on Sunday, and like so many of her posts honoring her mother it was heartbreaking, hilarious, and ultimately hopeful.
"Woke up at 7 and heard my moms voice loud and clear say 'get up and run for me," Mackenzie's story began.
"If you know her you know she loves to run. And I wanted to somehow spend this day for her. I grabbed my glucometer, snacks, and Fannypack and took off," she continued.
So far, nothing that unusual -- Angie liked to run, so Mackenzie honored her by going for a run.
But then, like Forrest Gump before her, the mother of three just ... kept ... going ...
"Planned on 5 miles. But felt so good I kept going. Talked to mom, God, and felt so blessed. At mile 10 I heard her tell me what she always told us kids “ALWAYS FINISH” so To my suprise I did the full half marathon," Mackenzie continued.
"I cried at the end I wanted to just hug her so bad. But Everyday I strive to make her proud. I’ve crawled out of such a dark scary place and worked so hard to get here."
Yes, Mackenzie even posted a pic of her fitness tracker as proof of her incredible feat.
Interestingly, this all happened on her birthday, and it seems an MTV camera crew was on hand to capture the magic.
"This run wasn’t me though. It was God and my mom. Because trust me. I don’t just wake up and run half marathons miss you momma," Mackenzie concluded.
"Ps.mtv surprised me with my favorite cookies and it was perfect after my run. Here’s to 26 but still feeling 16."
Now, you might never pay tribute to a departed loved one by randomly running a half marathon on your birthday, and that's okay.
What Mackenzie's post reminds us of is that there are many ways to mourn, and if the method you choose makes you feel closer to the person you're grieving -- just go for it ... and remember that you don't have to explain it to anyone.