Death. It’s ironic, wouldn’t you say? Especially when your life really hasn’t started yet. Teenagers think they’re forever young, nothing in this big bad world could ever hurt them, who cares about the rules, adults just don’t want us to have fun, right? Wrong. Life knows just when to break you.
On September 17th, a cold, foggy Saturday morning, my mom and my sister, Marlee, went to a little league football game to support my little cousin, Devin. There they saw a tall scrawny blonde women with unwashed clothes on. She had the smell of cigarettes escape her mouth as she spoke, slowly in fact, holding a huge white ball of fur with a little dirt around the edges of its paws and immediately fell in love. The lady was selling American Miniature Eskimo puppies who happened to live at the corner of our street.
After a long discussion on if we’d get the dog or not, we went down there, and named our new puppy Casper. My grandpa (we called him Poppie), fell in love with him and decided he needed something to keep him company. You see, my grandma (we called her Mamaw) passed away in 2001. The house was completely vacated. Creaks and cold breezes passed through rooms as if the house was a model for a horror film. The strange woman invited us into her home once more and Poppie decided to let me pick out another puppy as long as I came over and took care of it everyday. I picked out a girl and named her Nelly.
Two days later, I walked to his house, and took care of Nelly like I would continue to do. I let her out, played with her, fed her, like you should do with a new puppy. I left approximately around 9:00pm, I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, he returned a slobbery one back, and on my way out he shouted, “I love you.”
I responded with an, “I love you back.” I was the last person he talked to.
The next day was like any other day, but it didn't stay that way. I was waiting outside by the huge tree in the courtyard of the school, laughing hysterically with my friends. Now, normally like a pick up should go, your parents wait in the car while the kids walk out to them. My parents started making their way inside, which was odd to me at first but then I just followed behind. I started walking with my dad, and punched his arm jokingly with a huge smile across my face, but he looked at me with these soulless eyes; I didn't even recognize him. And my mom? She wouldn’t even look at me.
For some reason we went into the office, where my mom whispered something to the secretary.
“What’s going on?” I asked my dad confusingly,
“We’re getting Marlee,” my dad said harshly. My mom took us into a room that was in the office and turned my whole world around with 6 words.
“Poppie was found dead this morning.”
Immediately I was in denial but I didn’t dare mutter a word. My sister quietly let the tears fall. Saying nothing. After a few minutes passed, my mom asked:
“Do you still want to go to your game?”
Marlee had an away volleyball game that day. She shook her head yes. Maybe because she wanted to get away from it all, to keep herself occupied. For her sake, we all were trying to keep our mind on anything else but the horrible news. They gave her a hug and said their “good lucks” and we left. I didn’t say anything on the car ride home, and as soon as I got in the front door, I dropped my bag, and started running to his house as fast as I could, as if he would be there, waiting. I remember thinking the faster I run, the faster I could see him again. I realized the pace didn’t help. No matter what I did, what I said, he was never coming back.
What waited on my arrival were at least 6 relatives. I didn’t acknowledge them. I went inside, and I don't know why, maybe just to feel as if though he wasn’t gone, I laid on his bed. I cried for 2 hours and into a deep sleep. When I awoke, I then silently without speaking to anyone walked to my house, where again I started weeping uncontrollably.
A year after my grandpa died, I shut down. I went into a hard-state of Depression and got diagnosed with anxiety. I hated life, I hated myself. I hated feeling anything. I always find myself remembering thinking why? Why would God do this to me? What could I do to get the best person in my life, back in my arms?
5 years later, it seems like everyone but me has forgotten his warm presence. Every September 20th, I wake up with tears and go to bed with tears. As if they were my best friend. I’ve come to the conclusion that death isn’t for the dead, it’s for the living. It’s our job to carry on their existence through our memory. But death? It’ll change your whole life, forever; and there is nothing you can do about it.