Dear Death This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 11, 2010
Dear Death,

Can you understand love? I seriously doubt that you can; because, if you could, you would have looked into my mother’s eyes when she had turned around to smile at me in the car that day. You would have seen what I had seen: the affection glowing in her hazel gaze and the joy that flitted across her lips. That blissful moment before terror.

You witnessed that love shining like a headlight in our midst, yet still you made our car swerve off the road. And you wrenched my mom and dad from life’s embrace. My embrace, even though I thought I was holding on tightly enough. Why did you take them cruelly in your arms, and stalk past my brother and I? We were in the car too! I’d rather be walking hand in hand with them (wherever you took them after that day) than be left in the dust of life.

When I woke up in the hospital the next obscure morning, white-coated figures told me that they were gone. Through my tears, I made a solemn vow. It was a vow to hate you for the rest of my life. Mom and Dad, gone? You don’t understand love.

Your newest enemy,

Dear Death,

It’s been a year since I last wrote you, and I have already broken my vow. You took Grandpa yesterday, but he was different. I loved Grandpa in a way that would bring tears to anybody’s eyes. He used to tell me fantasy stories, swearing that they were real. I’d say, “you’re crazy, Grandpa!” He would look really serious and say, “What? You think I’m crazy?” then smile and wink: “maybe a little bit.” He warmed my heart so much.

Cancer, supposedly, was the murderer. But I recognized your aura in the hospital when he called me in to talk. He told me that everything was okay, giving me a smile that I had come to know as my friend. He told me that everything was all right, that there was nothing to fear from you, that he was just moving on, that I would see him in time. His words consoled me, but I cried as he gave my hand a little squeeze. Then I saw his spirit floating like a veil out of the room. I could have sworn that it winked at me.

I broke my vow, because I forgive you.

With love,

Dear Death,

It has been four years since Grandpa died. My brother has had a really hard life (as have I, for that matter). I had often seen him in his room praying, with tears in his eyes, before he left home to get a job. I guess no one answered his prayers, because I was told this morning that he was found dead after having jumped from his apartment building. This time, I shed no tears. I am beyond that now, even though my big brother is gone.

Before Grandpa called me to his sickbed, I heard him saying to my brother with a smile “teach Rose all that you know after I’m gone.” He has done so, because I’m looking at the noose that I have tied for myself, a foot in front of me. I’m almost ready to walk into your arms, just like my family. Now I have just stepped up onto the chair…

I don’t know how these letters will reach you, but I hope they do.

I want you to see what you have done.

See you soon,

Dear Rose,

I want you to know that I have read and reread your letters; they were very beautiful. Silver tears line my worn face as I watch you swing slowly like a pendulum from the rope. I also want you to know this: I’m so sorry. But your brother, he had jumped; somebody had to catch him. But I know you loved him. Your grandpa, he shook my hand as I helped him from his deathbed; he knew that it was all okay. And I know that you loved him. As for your parents, I did see that look in your mother’s eyes; and I’m so sorry that she and your father had to leave with me. I know that you loved them. But I am the deliverer; some people must be left behind as I take the others with me.

I remember your first words to me. To answer, I do understand love. I have seen so much, how could I not? But I’m glad you wrote to me and that you will be joining the ones that you care about. I look into your tranquil face and think: this is not the end, Rose.

Your friend,

Join the Discussion

This article has 232 comments. Post your own now!

Ghrenqi said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm
Wow. I can't believe I just read that. What was that? Why would anyone write letters to Death, and then kill themself when they lost their family? And why would Death write back? Death understands love, but he still must take the people we love in order to alleviate their suffering. Try writing something more upbeat. There is just too many articles and other things about death and sorrow. Try being more cheerful. The name of the person who writes to Death just contradicts itself. Rose is such a ... (more »)
An-eloquent-leaf This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm
About the name: it's called irony. Just sayin'. Also, telling an author to make their piece to be "more upbeat" is just plain silly- I'm not even gonna get into that, for your sake. Lastly, different people have different way of dealing with death. Remember, Rose is Rose, not you.
FULLSTOP replied...
Mar. 23, 2012 at 5:39 am

Well said (@ An-eloquent-leaf)

 Ghrenqi's comment was just stupid in my opinion

xxDayjaxx said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm
I really liked this it made me really intrigued. Good job! :)
Artemis--Sherwood said...
Mar. 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Wow... I actually got a few tears in my eyes with those last two letters. Can I please have your fantastic writing skills?


Cookiemonster1997 replied...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm
Hi i love your writing it's so awsome. i love what you said. What should i do about my cutting?
Will-Ed-Roe-III replied...
Mar. 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

Wow. As a fan of darker pieces I am slightly impartial to this one. But even ignoring that, this was still amazing. Looking at the sorrow in each of these letters is like looking straight into Rose's eyes. I can see the pain and frustration, even without you going into full detail. Which is another thing, with these letters it could have very easily gotten to the point where they were just to much and completely unreadable. You gave Rose a cool and almost disconnected persona towards  he... (more »)

Figue said...
Mar. 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm
I am so glad someone else feels the way I do, Victor. I didn't feel any emotional response whatsoever when reading this, and I honestly don't think it's well-written either. It's overwrought, overdone, and trite; it attempts to be raw and emotional and ultimately falls short of the feat. I truly don't understand how people could have cried while reading this.
LaEmo002 said...
Mar. 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm
This was wonderful! A tear came to my eye. Great work.
Margaret252 said...
Mar. 11, 2012 at 9:31 am
This is just so beautiful ..i mean i cant express how well you have expressed it..jst luvd it
supertigerMMC said...
Mar. 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm
Wow! This was amazing! I love how you changed the mood and feeling from letter to letter until the final resolution! Every word can be felt, I find this hard to do, but you've mastered it! Awesome job and keep writing!
_Acastillo_ said...
Mar. 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm
Wow, it was really really good. I had tears in my eyes by the time I was done reading it. Please, keep writing:)
Amethyst.Mazarine said...
Mar. 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Your writing is beautiful. I love how the mood changes through each of the letters, and you show a resolution at the end.

It is always wonderful to read something different. And this was. You could feel the emotions of the speaker with each word you wrote.

Keep writing, this was amazing.

J-punzle27 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm
Never stop writing, this is beautiful and it almost made me cry. Continue writing m friend!
MiiSs_AlySsA said...
Mar. 7, 2012 at 12:53 am
This brought tears to my eyes as i read this. This piece is so beatuifully written. You did such a great job! Keep up the great work!!! :')
ashleyn said...
Mar. 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm
This is sooo good! I love your perspective and the letter idea and making Death seem like it's own character. I just love it. Good job and keep writing! (:
blwblw1 said...
Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm
this made me cry! wonderful job!
MaryZann said...
Mar. 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm
I really like the idea.
C.Michelle1295 said...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm
Death plays the bad guy in a lot of situations but you are right he is the deliverer. I believe that death is actually giving us the perfect eternal life if we trust the one that healed us and shed blood for us. Your poem has inspired me to write a new one. Thank you.
Schwingelhalie said...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm
This is so amazing. I had to stop reading because I was crying so hard! This is simply beautiful.
sweetcaroline2339 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 7:35 am
AMAZING! I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and shivers all over my body. Really creative idea, and perfectly executed! 
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