Age 14, Florida, USA
I didn’t understand you were dying. For whatever reason, the truth of it was buried deep in my head.
Maybe that’s why it was even harder to accept.
I was used to going to visit my dad in the hospital. It didn’t occur to me that hospice was different. That last day you could talk. I wanted to go home, and now looking back I realize you knew I wanted to leave. You smiled at me and said, “Good-bye, daughter.”
I didn’t realize you were saying good-bye for the last time.
The next day, your body was shutting down. I held your hand as your body shook. Every once in a while, your eyebrows twitched.
Someone said that was because you were listening to us, could hear us, and that it was your way of acknowledging us.
That didn’t make it any easier to let go.
Your death changed me. Mom and I fought more (and I feel badly about that.)
I became more independent. I started like being inside more, writing, talking; all of it.
I like who I am today. I wonder if you would, too?
What did you learn?
Death is inevitable, and we should live the very best, positive way while we can.