Thanks, It's Been A Long Time Coming

July 14, 2008
By Selena Makrides, Atlanta, GA

Before, I considered the fear of death asinine. I expected pain, recognized its looming presence, yet had never really experienced it, and laughed (rather immaturely in retrospect) at anyone who feared the inevitable. Death, and subsequently, pain, wasn’t quite as funny from the receiving end. Even as I watched my mother go in and out of hospitals for three years, and even as I witnessed her deteriorate in mind and body, I was convinced it could never and would never, happen to me.
The phenomenon of experiencing death is strange. The air is sucked from your body, you forget details: what you were wearing, or if it was raining. The world around you blurs, and for a mere few seconds you think of no one but yourself, your pain; your suffering. It is a vortex of ultimate selfishness, sadly, a temporary one.
Granted, this is warranted. Neither I nor I doubt anyone else, could rationalize the magnitude of such news. Beyond being sad about the loss, I was frightened of the change it meant. My life will never be as it was before, no matter how many tears fall, or how many pleading prayers are made by the bedside each night. I must also express the frustration of realizing that your fate is sealed. A major, if not the most important, part of my life was taken out of my hands, and to grasp for it is futile, yet I did it all the same. For many days, many weeks, the pain cannot be alleviated. It is perpetually there weighing on your shoulders, and all you can think of is when it will get easier. The most excruciating torment, however, is to see the world continue around you as it always has.
Now, 7 years later, I’m at a point in my life I never thought I would see on that day. I am basking in the light at the end of the tunnel, and I can barely remember the passage in between it passed so quickly. My mother’s death from Hepatitis C is me. It was a defining moment that determined who I am versus who I could have been. It was the strangest blessing in disguise that I have ever received, and from it I have gained resilience and empathy, and have been granted a perspective about life and loss I otherwise would have remained ignorant to.

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