May She Rest Among A Sky Full of Butterflies
The Final Moments
My mother passed away when I was in 7th grade due to liver cancer. I still remember that day vividly and everything that happened. I remember the ambulance coming to get her because she had fallen out of bed. She could barely speak or respond. It pained me to see my strong, beautiful mother like this. As I saw her being rolled off into the ambulance truck, I saw a final glimpse of her beloved butterfly tattoo on her back.
My aunt took me to school with her kids and all of us were worried, but my aunt told me that everything would be okay; that she just fell off the bed. I tried so hard to believe that.
When I got to school, I stayed in my favorite teachers' class who was also a family friend. He let me cool off in his class and then I went to take my other classes. However, in the middle of my third class, he came and got me and took me to another room.
I could feel a burning pit in my stomach as I feared for the worst. I hoped that it was just that I was in trouble, but I knew it wasn’t the case this time. He told me what I had guessed was coming, and all I could remember was falling to the floor, screaming and crying and not being able to control it.
He along with my homeroom teacher tried to console me. He ended up taking me to the hospital where my mom had passed. On the way there he tried to talk to me. He knew me very well and he and I were very alike. His father had died from cancer when he was young too. He explained to me many things about life and death, even gave me a book about the afterlife that he said to hide from my grandparents since they would disapprove. He told me what to prepare for, the constant “I'm sorry, I know how you feel, everything will be okay.”. I was grateful for him.
Once he dropped me off, I went straight to hug my stepdads' and we both started crying uncontrollably. He was the one person who truly knew how I felt in the time of loss. I wasn’t very close with any of my family, and I didn’t want to hear the lousy “She's with God.” words my grandparents would tell me.
I went in to see her, and I didn’t want to believe it was her. I remember begging her to get up, for her to yell at me that I was in trouble, something that would prove it wasn’t real. But none of it happened, she just lay there, still and pretty.
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© 2019 Jocelyn Negron