Hey, Amy. Welcome to the forum. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I hope that you are able to get back into the saddle. The good thing about the equestrian world is there is no such thing as "too heavy to ride". Regardless of what your body size is, there is a horse to match you
. I have found that it isn't the height of the horse that matters so much as his heaviness. I have a horse that is rather short, only 14.2 hands but is very heavy and stout. He has carried my Dad easily several times (Dad is 6'3" and averages about 230, maybe more). When looking for a horse, keep a close eye out for horses with big bones, joints, and feet. They will be hardy and capable of carrying you and 3 of your closest friends.