As i watch you breathing

I look deep into your eyes

I try to read your face

For clues of any feeling

Pain or peace

I know your body is tired

Everyone already whispered into your ear

That it would be okay for you to let go

No one would blame you

If you couldn’t wake up


This wasn’t the first time

That the thought of you being gone

Crossed my mind

But it was the first time

That it was real

It was happening

The news got worse

But somehow my delusion survived

Maybe he’ll open his eyes

Maybe a miracle will happen


The last time you were awake

We were carefree

No one had any doubts or worries

It was just a bump in our daily routine

Those last words

Like we said everyday

“Alright, we’ll see you later.”

Without question

Without the slightest thought

That things might change

In an instant


We saw you later

Cradled by your burgundy bedsheet

With the paramedics on either side of you

Your only response

The sounds of deep slumber

A sound that I had never associated with fear

or peril.


To the outsider you were asleep

I keep wondering

if even you knew what was happening

As you slept

You were losing your mind.


But was that you?

The still, quiet body that lay in the hospital bed before me

Rocked by the constant breath of a machine

or were you already long gone?


I return to that morning

A thousand times in my head

What could I have done?

If only I had known

Where the choices in those moments

would have dropped us.

It could have been nothing

But instead it turned our world upside down

for a moment.


Clarity comes in waves

Like the ocean rolling in

To wash the shock and pain from my mind

And open my eyes wider

Past my own perspective

To see the divinity in the universe

Your body is gone

But I still feel your presence

In the things you used to say

The places you used to be.


The feelings that overwhelm me

are not of sadness

But of disbelief

I have to remind myself that you’re missing

Even though I feel the absence.


And as I stand in the back of the room

watching your last, labored breaths

But no struggle, no fight

No panic or response from you

I had the slightest glimmer of hope

That the life would return to you

And you would be back to normal

In at least your final moments.

In a way I’m glad it didn’t.

Because that would have meant that it was you

Laying there, taking your last breaths

Before my very eyes


And I don’t think I could live with that.

This poem is about: 
My family


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