As you prepare for the end you sit and watch every breath. Those that once watched us as we took our first breaths are now laying still taking theirs. It’s ironic that life comes completely full circle.
You sit, silent, praying and hoping and wishing. You boldly demand peace and an exit free of pain and anxiety. You want a miracle but it’s too late for one now, so you sit and wait and cover them in love.
Others gather beside you feeling the same pain and emptiness. Each of you unique in your loss but joined in this grief and final experience. You don’t have to say a word, you understand each other. You embrace the quiet moments, knowing soon things will get chaotic and messy.
Death now has a new meaning. Finality now has a new meaning. Love now has a new meaning.
You feel deeper than you’ve ever felt any emotion, experience or circumstance. Life is fragile and this moment is proof. You’re paralyzed by the fear of what the next few minutes will hold. You’re grateful you get this last goodbye but also you are traumatized by it.
You’re trying to stop the unstoppable. Life comes with an expiration date, and as much as you prayed and hoped this wouldn’t be the one, this is hers. This is now the date that will be forever ingrained into your life and each piece of your existence. This is the date that will be etched into stone. The date that will create your family’s own “before and after”.
Others have told you that they felt the very moment their loved one’s spirit had left the earth. For you, it wasn’t like that. Maybe because you were wrapped so tightly to the body that remained, hoping and praying it would keep her soul, her spirit, and every delicate piece of her that is and was. Hoping it would help her stay.
Nothing could have prepared you for this. Nothing. It is an experience you can only understand from living it, from breathing it in and exhaling it out. An experience you can only comprehend by the forced reality that lays right in front of you. Your mind doesn’t want to accept this reality, your heart works boldly to deny it, but there is one less person breathing in this room.
As you were taking deep breaths through endless tears, her last breath was slipping out. You silently hope that you breathed them in, those last pieces of her existence. You will be different from this day forward. You’ve just witnessed an end, a heartbreaking finale.
Death now has a new meaning. Finality now has a new meaning. Love now has a new meaning. You’ve just witnessed life’s harshest reality, the reality that you’ll lose people you love. You’ll never be the same, but you wouldn’t want to be. Endings change people.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.