Saying Goodbye 


She passed away at 2:42 pm on January 25, 2016. On this day, I witnessed death for the first time. She was 84 years old. It almost seems unreal that you can see the life leave another’s eyes. In one moment they are in this world and in the next they are glassy stares into another place. It also hits me; I was the last person she spoke to. I was the last human face she looked into before taking her last breath. I carry the burden and the honor to have been with her in her last days of life. I was there for her in ever struggle until the end. I was there for the daily routine of feeding, changing, diapers, and medicine. And I was there at the end, working for thirty minutes to keep her heart beating. I was there as the other nurses rushed in and insisted they could let me rest. But I was stubborn and insisted that I would keep going. I would keep her heart beating. I was with her as her last three heart beats turned into a flat lined beep. This was my first goodbye. Shocking, I know. I’ve somehow managed to scathe through 21 years of life without personally feeling the sting of death (and for that I am incredibly lucky). I am honored to have been by her side. I am honored to have been her caretaker, even in the end. And I am thankful for the lessons that I have learned. This is proof that anytime can be your time. Cherish life. Do something nice for a random stranger, call your parents and tell them you love them, read a book, travel often, eat well, love yourself, love others, and live your life, because it could be your last day to live it.

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