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The Week That Left Me Weak

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Seven days full of death makes one weak. It was the worst week of my life, not able to be compared to any other week. Death was what filled that dreadful week. Three figures full if life lost theirs in such a short time. All happened so close to each other; we had barely any time to reflect on one before the next one happened.
The week started off perfectly fine. We were given a pleasant surprise on Sunday night. He croaked, for the very first time. My sister’s toad made noise for the very first time in the six months we had him. When Monday morning can, he croaked. The night before he was a healthy, earthy brown, active as usually, because he was a creature of the night, nothing seemed wrong at the time. We woke up and found a motionless, ashen gray lump slumped in a corner. For six months my sister had him. Six months of joy for my sister. All of it was taken from her in a single night. The first victim of a shadowed week was taken. But this was only the beginning, we had no clue what was to come next.
The next morning brought with it our second wave of troubles. We knew it would happen, but we didn’t expect it to happen this soon. We knew something was wrong that morning when the litter box was as empty as a vacated room, nothing in it. He also ate nothing for the entire week. On top of all this had a sudden lack of energy, like a battery on its last reserves of its juice. Drinking stopped the next day. The sound of a clicking water bottle became as rare as the sounds that came from the toad that passed away just a day earlier. We took him in to the vet against his will, and got a diagnosis, along with all the possibilities to cure him. We feed him the horrible smelling sludge, which he refused to take, spitting it out onto the one who gave it to him. He no longer had the skip in his hop, never moving fast. More of a turtle than a rabbit, we took him in for the last possible solution. He stayed the night at the clinic. That night was the longest night of my life. We went back to pick him up, but their attempts were equally unsuccessful. We were to return that same night, except we wouldn’t be taking him home again. We had done our best to revive him, but he just seemed to lose his grip on life. Our final hours with him were worse than the day before. When you picked him up to hold him, the first thing you noticed was his lack of weight. When we placed him down, he refused to move. You had to carry him wherever he needed to go. We tried to feed him one more time, but he didn’t even eat the special treats we had for him.
All too soon, the time came to leave. His time was up, and at such a young age too, no more than three years. We took him in again, but this time he wouldn’t be returning home. Time seemed to slow down. Nothing could cheer us up. We were called into a private, back room. I reached the door with slow, heavy steps, not wishing to go behind the door, but I knew I must. I sat down and felt like one with the couch, not because of its cushiness, but because it felt like a long time before everything was in place. They placed him in my arms, still warm, knowing this would be the last time I would ever see and feel him. My vision blurred. I could barely make out a needle that was inserted into his leg. Within seconds, he grew limp, lifeless, and cold in my arms. My face sprung two rivers fueled by invisible springs hidden inside my eyes. As they took him away from me, I didn’t want to let go. When I did, my chest grew tight, and my stomach floated like a rock in a lake. My life now had a huge, gaping hole in it, impossible to refill. That night was one of the longest nights in my life, but I had no clue what night was coming to me in just a couple days.

We had scarcely any time to mourn the death of not just a pet, but a member of the family, when we received even more troubling news about another family member. My great-grandpa had passed away a few months earlier, leaving my great-grandma in a state of depression. She constantly told us how her life was empty, how she was always alone, wishing that she died with him. “My life is so empty without him,” she would say, “Just let me throw myself off of a cliff to be back with him.” “He’s in heaven now. He is happier up there” we would tell her. “But I am not happy down here. I want to be happy again” would be her response. We told her not to give up, and she didn’t. Her health wasn’t the greatest before this week, but it seemed to get better, but not for long. In a turn for the worst, she was hospitalized again, against her will. My family knew this would probably be where she would pass away; it was just a matter of time. I saw her the night before her time was up. So frail looking, she was like a flower after a drought. She was losing the last of her petals, shriveled and old. The life was draining out of her like a candle running out of wax, showing its final light. She hated the IVs. They stuck out of her like weeds in a garden, making the beauty of that garden muddled with their appalling look. They were constantly giving her fluids that were not going to accomplish anything. They were fighting a losing battle. She was constantly complaining about how they felt like thorns in her arm, adding to each complaint how much she wished to be home or dead, whichever came first.
I am not my grandma, so I don’t know exactly what was going through her mind. But in our minds, we knew she wouldn’t be going back home. When we left, the air was humid, foggy, and there was a slight drizzle, only enhancing the depressed emotion we all felt. “Not another one,” we prayed. “How can this week be any worse? Please don’t let grandma die.” But our grandma did die. She passed away the very next day. That funeral was the one of the ones with the most tear shed in it. Not a single eye was dry. She would be missed by all of us greatly.
I have heard people say that bad things come in groups of three, but they never specify how distantly placed the events will take place. My three happened in a time frame of seven days, much to close. I could have seen them separated by a full month in between each, but never in a single week. My eyes never received any rest, hidden wells never ceasing in producing ample amounts of water that ran down my face like a waterfall over a cliff. My face was never dry, always moist. Death hit me hard, not once, not twice, but three times it struck. A week of torment, a week of pain, a week of dread, a week of sadness, this is just describing it vaguely. That week was so much more. I have never understood why God would allow so much death, but then again, most people don’t understand why God allows close loved ones to die. I guess it was just their time, God was calling them home. That week was the week that left me weak.




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