The room is silent as everyone gathers around the hospital bed. I stand back in the corner, afraid to go with everyone else. I’ve never been this close to death before, and keeping my distance was my way of fooling myself into believing that I won’t be affected.
A few minutes pass. Suddenly, a loud cry comes from the bed. I look up and hear the long, solid beep coming from the machine. I stood in disbelief, knowing that our family will never be the same.
A nurse rushes in and everyone clears away from the bed to give her room to work. Another nurse follows close behind her. Nothing is said between them; their stares and expressions tell us what we already know. As everyone moves out of the room, I stay behind to say my final goodbye.
Frozen, I stand in the corner trying to convince myself to not be a coward. Death is inevitable; so why do I feel a wave of guilt rush through me? For a few moments, I look down at the bed. The body is covered by a sheet, making it a little easier for me to stand where I am. I don’t bother to move it, even though I had enough time to peek. I’ve seen dead bodies on TV before, but those were just actors playing the part. This is family.
They must not be worried about me standing here, as the doctors and nurses gather back in the room to take the body out. The time of death was called; 4:37pm. The time rang through my head a few times, as if it was something important that I should recall later.
I opened my eyes as the doctor was moving the sheet.
“No”, I thought to myself. “Don’t–”
Too late. The sheet was removed. Fear, panic, and sorrow suddenly rushed through my body, and I was caught in a sea of mixed emotions as I stared down.
“This can’t be,” I whispered.
I took one last look, hoping that my already tired brain was playing tricks on me. But, my eyes weren’t playing tricks.
I was staring back at myself; lifeless, cold. It was me that died, and I didn’t even know it.