i saw this on reddit and my lame ass thought “oh hey maybe ill find a cool quote to post on fb so i can change peoples lives and stuff.” i read through the comments and my take on the post altered and somehow it became something very personal.
the most powerful sentence that i’ve heard in my entire life.
“i’m gonna die.”
i was 15 and that was the first time i have ever heard anyone use it in the most sincere way. usually when people say it, it’s a bit of an oxymoron. of course you’re not gonna die, but whatever business you’re going through seems to be some sort of a shit show that you have to power through.
i was the first person he approached. i saw him shuffling down my hallway in the dark. when the light hit his face i was surprised to see the face of panic. there was a mild tone of urgency in his voice but he was very subtle in the way he said it while grabbing my arm. having been busying myself with prepping for a movie night with my cousins, i was completely caught off guard by this statement. are you joking? what was i supposed to do when my favorite cousin tells me he’s about to die?
he stared straight into my eyes, i asked a lot of questions…then i started laughing hysterically in confusion. it was a weird sort of laughter, i didn’t understand it, it felt like my body was laughing for me and the inside was screaming.
the situation started off slow but suddenly everything accelerated at 100 mph it felt like. suddenly everyone in the room was panicking, huddled over my 12 year old cousin who had collapsed on the ground repeatedly wheezing the words, “i cant breathe, im gonna die.” it was too much, i began to paced around the house. i was laughing still. my parents were hysterical. my dad grabbed me and shook me asking me why the fuck i was laughing like i was a demented sociopath. this went on for a couple minutes while his brother shook him and yelled back “no you’re not!” then vomit began to seep out of his mouth, his nose consumed with mucus, i could see the life passing through his facial expressions…i was sitting on my couch with my face in my hands in complete awe of everything happening. i didn’t wake up that morning expecting to lose my favorite cousin in my own house. everything was moving so fast and i felt like i was in slow motion. i looked over to him, he stopped responding and suddenly my mind was caught up with time. i rushed over to him and cried and cried. laid my head on his stomach. hugged him. cried a whole lot. begged for life, begged for a lot of things. everyone in my house was screaming.
the ambulance came in and they took him away in a silent manner. the fear in my heart was momentarily patched over with hope. i firmly believed there was a second chance and that this would all blow over by the end of the night. i just expected to see him again. it was so random the way everything played out. it was me, my other cousin, my sister, and my high school boyfriend that had huddled in my room in a circle. my cousin, his brother, sat in a beetle position crying. we were all crying. we all needed each other to convince ourselves that he didn’t in fact just pass away. we hoped and waited for an hour or so.
my parents were anxious and stayed downstairs. the house was quiet and my mom got a phone call from the hospital. i expected the best but my moms reaction sealed the deal. she screamed and threw things at the wall. and then we took the longest ride ever to the hospital. i didnt know what to say so i said empty words of encouragement to my cousin. my mind was exhausted and it was the longest ive ever cried. the hospital was so cold. i saw him again for the last time and he was so cold….. some therapist approached us and tried feeling for us but i didnt know her and couldnt believe anything she was saying. i called my friends and ruined their vacation because i didnt know what else to do.
anyway i woke up the next day and it all felt like a nightmare that never happened. but i woke up to phone calls of sadness and apologies and it was all very much real. such a weird situation to be in………well anyway that was the most powerful sentence ive ever heard. it did changed my life.