Dear Departed

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Dear Departed,


I must admit it first came as a shock rather than pain. My mom brought me the news while I was showering. It seemed surreal. Hadn’t I just seen you yesterday? My body went numb as I asked my mom if you were going to be ok. She told me she didn’t know. I knew that was just a nicer way of saying most likely not. I scrambled to get out of the shower. Yet the colors of my dress and the bright paint of my walls weren’t enough to snap me out of my daze.


We went to visit you at the hospital the first day we heard. It was awful. Only two people were allowed in your room at once. My small, inexperienced feet shuffling along side my dad’s seemed to echo inside my mind. I was afraid of what I might find. I must admit, it was a lot worse than I thought it would be.


You had been conquered by a stroke. You didn’t look at all like yourself. Your mouth was frozen in a scream as if you were still in pain. I don’t mind admitting that I cried. I cried because you weren’t conscious. I cried because you weren’t there to sit up and tell me to be a good strong girl. I sat by your bed and held you cold hand. I can’t even recount how much it hurt. All I managed was a faint, “Can you hear me? I’m… I’m here with my dad.” The tears choked out any further words.


My head bent with my eyes closed as my dad said a prayer for you. I guess that if you did hear me, you were going to need all of the strength you could get. After all, the nurse did mention that there was a chance you couldn’t even hear anymore. It crushed me. I wanted to talk to you and tell you how much you meant. I knew deep in my heart I wouldn’t be seeing you for a while. As my small childish feet dragged out of the room, I took my last glance at you. I recall my dad saying that my mom and brother shouldn’t go in. I don’t even know if you heard me say goodbye.


I didn’t know a small six year old had so many tears inside of her. The pain swelled in my soul and spilled through my eyes. Yet, liquid wasn’t what I was crying. Pain and memories as new and as painfully sharp as glass were spilling through my eyes. I heard words of comfort. Promises of a time in the near future when I would see you again. It didn’t stop me from missing you.


Dear Departed, it has been nearly seven years since you departed. Although the tears come out occasionally, I am greatly healed. However, when I come across your faded name in the old phone book, or I see an old picture, the memory of the fateful day I said goodbye comes back as clean and sharp as yesterday. Only then do the tears return. I know you aren’t hurting anymore, and I know you can’t hear or see me. I also know I will see you soon in a new time when you will be young and happy. I don’t even know quite why I am writing this. All I know is that I loved you and writing this letter seemed to diminish the pain.

Always Yours,
Bradleigh H. Cash





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