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October 8, 2013
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Tears had been streaming down my face for minutes when the antiseptic smell hit me. The call… driving to the hospital… it all happened so fast. The day that started out so sunny and cheerful had turned to a drizzly, overcast afternoon.
As soon as we arrived, however, time slowed to a crawl. We waited in uncomfortable chairs for what seemed like hours. The endless tick-tock of my watch felt as if it was the only thing in the world. Finally, the doctor walked up to us.
“She is on life support. There is nothing more we can do,” he said as my world came crashing down around me. No more mother to hug me or make smiley faces on my pancakes every morning. I pulled my younger brother close to me and looked up to my dad.
He was crying. The fact hit me like a punch to the gut. I’d never seen my dad cry. He was the strongest and smartest person I knew. He protected us. My life had changed so drastically in the last few seconds. How could I handle that when my father wasn’t able to?
As the doctor led us to the room, my younger brother just stopped.
“It’s… so…unfair… Why… my… mommy?” he said amidst loud sobs. My dad led him away in order to calm him down and I realized I’d never felt more alone. My mom was a constant in my life. The one person that would always be there to pick me up when I fell off my bike or cheer me on during a soccer game.
My dad returned and set my younger brother down in a chair outside the room.
“Can you handle going in?” my father asked me in a shaky voice.
“Yes, dad,” I said. We began walking in and I slipped my hand into his. He gave it a reassuring squeeze.
Walking into the room and seeing her like that felt like I was getting the news again. It made it real. I felt dizzy and nauseous but kept moving. We approached the edge of the hospital bed and stared.
She looked peaceful, almost as if experiencing a serene bliss. There was a hint of a smile on her lips that reduced me to tears. Soon, I would never get to see that smile again.
A little while later, my brother stumbled in. We stood and stared, each of us saying our good-byes. For a long time, the only sound was the beeping of machines.
Later, a nurse came by and told us that visiting hours were almost over. As we were walking out, a doctor pulled my father aside.
I could just barely make out a few words from their conversation.
“How long…want to…on support?”
“I…don’t think…say good-bye.”
“She…a lot…pain.”
Wake up. Go to school. Eat lunch. Walk home. Do homework. Eat dinner. Sleep. Repeat. I spent each day just going through the motions. There was no reason for joy or happiness. An essential part of me was lying in a hospital bed only breathing thanks to a machine. Nothing felt like it mattered anymore, it could all end at any time.
I walked into the kitchen and sat down. My first thought was to ask my mom what was for dinner. I tried to stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. My dad was on the phone. I sat there listening until he hung it up and turned to me. His eyes were red from crying. That’s when it hit me. The words he had said on the telephone. “Pull the plug”. The statement hit me like a wall. I looked up, tears sliding down my cheeks.
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, months turned into years of keeping up the façade of life.
Everything felt emotionless, all one monotonous shade of everlasting gray.

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JRaye This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm
Just remember that everything heals with time. You'll move on from this. Of course you'll always have a peice of her, she'll always be with you. And if she were here she'd be proud that you can write like this :) This is a very well written, intriguing peice, and I hope writting it will help you find closer. Have a good day :-)
ROYCEPHUS This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 13, 2013 at 4:44 am
I'm so sorry this happened to you. You managed to take a deeply tragic and personal event and make it accessible to everyone. Good job. I know sometimes writing about terrible painful things can be hard but it can also feel good to "let it all out." I hope you experiened some kind of comfort from writing this. You are an awesome writer and I hope you find the comfort you can to move on.
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