The Day After You Died

January 25, 2009
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The day after Daniel died, I went into his room.

"Hannah, I don't think you should-" my brother Charlie said, trying to get me to think.

"No, Charlie, I don't believe it. He wouldn't leave without leaving me something- something besides this four-letter poem," I said, opening his door.

The room was cold and lifeless. There was no movement, no sound. I threw a box of plastic bags across the room. I pulled the room apart. I looked through every drawer, every notebook. I found a well-drawn picture of Jesus on the cross, a picture of Mega Man, a sketchbook of all the things he drew when he was younger.

And then, I found it.

A box of all the letters, cards, and papers he received when he was trapped in Rivendell.

I sat down, thinking, 'I'm in his room where he died.' I looked down at his bed, and on the floor. 'That's where he lay when I saw him, dead, his body on the floor, defeated.' And I looked at his letters. The symbol of the single, worst way the court let him down- let us down- sending him to prison, when he needed help.

I found the cards consistently sent to him. I saw the picture they took of him when he got there- a healthy weight, colored face- and a picture they took shortly after- when he was pale, starving, his clothes hanging loosely on his body; when he was giving up.

And then I found the letter.

The one I wrote in my messy, childish handwriting. It was dated June 13, my birthday. It said, "I know that you can't be here for my birthday. But as a present, could you just start to eat again?" And I signed it, your sister, Hannah.

And I remembered the day I had sent it. How I sat down, crying, after seeing his sunken cheeks, his pale skin, his dark eyes, his catatonic state, and I had hoped, as his youngest sister, that he would listen to me, and begin to eat again.

And he did.

I began to cry as I went through more of his letters. I came to a more recent one I had written. He had been sad, in his room. He wouldn't come out, similar to how he acted just before he killed himself. I was worried, so I sat down and scribbled out a note:

Daniel, I know you've been sad. But I want you to now, no matter how lonely you feel, you will always have me. I love you, and I will always be on your side. Love, Hannah

I had put it on his bed. And here, now, I found it, in his pile. It had been folded and unfolded so many times, and I put my face in my hands and began to sob. Charlie put his arms out to hug me as I sobbed to him-

"He kept it Charlie; Oh Charlie, he kept it."

And Charlie said, "See? This is something. This is something... that kept him alive."

And I carefully put the letter back in his organized pile. I slowly walked out of his room. I shut the wooden door. With the click of the latch I realized, he wasn't in that room anymore.

Now, he was everywhere.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

jem88143812478 said...
Feb. 9, 2009 at 10:57 pm
very emotional and powerful
writer24/7/365 replied...
Sept. 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm
woah. i don't even know what to say. this is just, full of meaning and power.
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