Dear Death | Teen Ink

Dear Death

August 11, 2010
By Thesilentraven PLATINUM, Mableton, Georgia
Thesilentraven PLATINUM, Mableton, Georgia
40 articles 2 photos 1632 comments

Favorite Quote:
"il piu nell' uno," (according to Emerson, an Italian expression for beauty)

"Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality" ~Emily Dickinson

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain"
~Kahlil Gibran

Dear Death,

Can you understand love? I seriously doubt that you can; because, if you could, you would have looked into my mother’s eyes when she had turned around to smile at me in the car that day. You would have seen what I had seen: the affection glowing in her hazel gaze and the joy that flitted across her lips. That blissful moment before terror.

You witnessed that love shining like a headlight in our midst, yet still you made our car swerve off the road. And you wrenched my mom and dad from life’s embrace. My embrace, even though I thought I was holding on tightly enough. Why did you take them cruelly in your arms, and stalk past my brother and I? We were in the car too! I’d rather be walking hand in hand with them (wherever you took them after that day) than be left in the dust of life.

When I woke up in the hospital the next obscure morning, white-coated figures told me that they were gone. Through my tears, I made a solemn vow. It was a vow to hate you for the rest of my life. Mom and Dad, gone? You don’t understand love.

Your newest enemy,

Dear Death,

It’s been a year since I last wrote you, and I have already broken my vow. You took Grandpa yesterday, but he was different. I loved Grandpa in a way that would bring tears to anybody’s eyes. He used to tell me fantasy stories, swearing that they were real. I’d say, “you’re crazy, Grandpa!” He would look really serious and say, “What? You think I’m crazy?” then smile and wink: “maybe a little bit.” He warmed my heart so much.

Cancer, supposedly, was the murderer. But I recognized your aura in the hospital when he called me in to talk. He told me that everything was okay, giving me a smile that I had come to know as my friend. He told me that everything was all right, that there was nothing to fear from you, that he was just moving on, that I would see him in time. His words consoled me, but I cried as he gave my hand a little squeeze. Then I saw his spirit floating like a veil out of the room. I could have sworn that it winked at me.

I broke my vow, because I forgive you.

With love,

Dear Death,

It has been four years since Grandpa died. My brother has had a really hard life (as have I, for that matter). I had often seen him in his room praying, with tears in his eyes, before he left home to get a job. I guess no one answered his prayers, because I was told this morning that he was found dead after having jumped from his apartment building. This time, I shed no tears. I am beyond that now, even though my big brother is gone.

Before Grandpa called me to his sickbed, I heard him saying to my brother with a smile “teach Rose all that you know after I’m gone.” He has done so, because I’m looking at the noose that I have tied for myself, a foot in front of me. I’m almost ready to walk into your arms, just like my family. Now I have just stepped up onto the chair…

I don’t know how these letters will reach you, but I hope they do.

I want you to see what you have done.

See you soon,

Dear Rose,

I want you to know that I have read and reread your letters; they were very beautiful. Silver tears line my worn face as I watch you swing slowly like a pendulum from the rope. I also want you to know this: I’m so sorry. But your brother, he had jumped; somebody had to catch him. But I know you loved him. Your grandpa, he shook my hand as I helped him from his deathbed; he knew that it was all okay. And I know that you loved him. As for your parents, I did see that look in your mother’s eyes; and I’m so sorry that she and your father had to leave with me. I know that you loved them. But I am the deliverer; some people must be left behind as I take the others with me.

I remember your first words to me. To answer, I do understand love. I have seen so much, how could I not? But I’m glad you wrote to me and that you will be joining the ones that you care about. I look into your tranquil face and think: this is not the end, Rose.

Your friend,

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This article has 239 comments.

james14 BRONZE said...
on Feb. 22 2012 at 2:33 pm
james14 BRONZE, Charlotte, North Carolina
1 article 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Worst excuse for not turning in homework: 'I couldn't find anyone to copy it from'".

I love this SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!!!!!!! I wrote letters to Death when my Grammy died,s o I can really relate!!!!!!!!! Keep up the fantastic work!

on Feb. 22 2012 at 2:20 pm
brainiac SILVER, Grove City, Ohio
8 articles 1 photo 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.


Labyrinth said...
on Feb. 22 2012 at 2:14 pm
I really love this! And death replying? Brillant but the people who seem to be offended by this and say don't get mad... WHO WOULDN'T!? You just basically trashed the poem in a polite way! Posting things about God isn't going to change this. Accept it. And the suicide message? I didn't feel that in the slightest. In fact, it made me see the value in life. I didn't "see" anything conveying that it's okay to die. Sorry, but I felt that I needed to defend the piece.

Bingbangbong said...
on Feb. 21 2012 at 2:45 pm
Bingbangbong, Boston, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is absolutely amazing. So deep, thoughtful, and beautiful. It really makes me feel when I read it...

on Feb. 21 2012 at 1:57 pm
hectic.harmony BRONZE, Lemoore, California
2 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
A woman is not written in braille, you do not have to touch her to get to know her. - Unknown

this is so beautifully written. it brought tears to my eyes. i love that death reponds that was a nice twist, and the way he talka bout taking people how he had to catch the brother and how he helped grandpa from the bed it made it almost comforting. like, you didnt  have to be sad about it because they are and were taken care of.
please dont stop writting. you have a gift.

on Feb. 21 2012 at 12:08 pm
Supernova7 GOLD, Redford, Texas
16 articles 6 photos 394 comments

Favorite Quote:
Let me cry my tears let me live in sorrow as long as you promise to be with me tomorrow
By Me:)


on Feb. 21 2012 at 12:40 am
sunshine04 BRONZE, Vindhyanagar, Other
1 article 3 photos 253 comments
this is beautiful and magnificent beyond words

on Feb. 20 2012 at 8:46 pm
Anny_Grace SILVER, Centennial, Colorado
9 articles 0 photos 22 comments
This gave my crazy goosebumps. It really is amazing.

QN123 BRONZE said...
on Feb. 20 2012 at 1:56 pm
QN123 BRONZE, Birmingham, Other
1 article 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Its beautiful, I love how death responds to you in the end. Genius.

123Sesame said...
on Feb. 20 2012 at 12:48 pm
123Sesame, New York, New York
0 articles 0 photos 36 comments
Incredibly beautiful. What a unique piece of work this is! You've captured the feelings of those who know what it is like to the ones closest to them. I'm one of those people. Thank you so much.

on Feb. 20 2012 at 12:18 pm
devikaarora GOLD, New Delhi, Hawaii
17 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dont tell me sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon !

Wow ! This is so different, and yet so magnificent ! Absolutely love it !

on Feb. 20 2012 at 11:52 am
ToBeChristian BRONZE, Cleveland, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
I enjoyed your tale, I really did. But there are a few things I'd like to ... bring into to the light for your benefit. This story, it deals with a lot of dangerous material. Personally, I have to disagree with your method of personification, well more so the vessel you used to convey it. Death is not an entity worth evaluating, it does not acquire compassion, love, it does not judge, and it won't take requests. In actuality, she and her brother would still remain worlds away from their parents. It is potent messages like these that coax the mind into thinking that suicide is the begining of a happily ever after. But that's a paradoxy. Don't take this the wrong way, it's just constructive criticism, and I am telling the truth. The only aspect of your writting I found fault in was the message given. Everything else was set in a beautiful array of passion and grief. Just think twice before you give death positive connotation, is all I ask. Sorry for coming out so harsh, but the God in me just wouldn't allow bypassing it.

whiterose GOLD said...
on Feb. 18 2012 at 12:59 am
whiterose GOLD, Independence, Missouri
14 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
The future lies before you, like a field of fallen snow; be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.

Wow, this is really good. This really does remind me of the Book Thief. Keep writing, you are just so amazing.

on Feb. 17 2012 at 11:44 pm
Victor_Hagar SILVER, Dublin, Ohio
6 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's always important to give your arguments impact." Fallout 3, Strength Bobble-head.

*Sigh* We'll, I've read, re-read, and re-re-read it, and decided that I still don't like it. I'll be honest, most of the stuff that I look at on Ink doesn't evoke an emotional response within me, so don't feel bad when I say that this doesn't either. The narrator--Rose--tells the story via letters, much like a book I enjoyed recently called, The Color Purple. In the book, Celie, and later on, Nettie, do the same thing; the reader can hear the words as if they were spoken. In "Dear Death," Rose felt too much like---I don't know, Rose doesn't feel like ANYTHING, just a girl with a strangely poetic way of putting things. Just think, does anyone truly speak like this?: "You would have seen what I had seen: the affection glowing in her hazel gaze and the joy that flitted across her lips. That blissful moment before terror. " No, they don't, unless they're on acid. ----Sorry. It's UNLIKELY that someone speaks like this, unless they are an elf. The sentence is OVER-SATURATED with describers. See, this kind of stuff works well in poetry, but it just doesn't hold up in prose-fiction. The other problem I have is the development of Rosie: there is none. Rosie not only fails to keep her vow, but she fails in only three paragraphs. Seriously, go check. This could have been an excellent chance to build up Rosie's character, both for her benefit and the empathy of the reader; to draw them in. But you didn't. Finally the hole in the plot. Yeah, you all know, that one part where Rose decides to kill herself. When I read the first time, I'm like, wait....WHAT!? The second time was similar: "WHAT THE F***!!" Third time: "Oh, she killed herself because her brother died." FALSE. Fourth time, "God. What?" I'd say that I don't get it, but there's nothing to get. No moral. Just Rosie saying: "Welp! Now that my brother's just kicked the bucket, might as well off myself too!" Why? WHY! DIDN"T SHE JUST FORGIVE DEATH, SHE DIDN'T EVEN CRY? This, obviously, would have been the point of hating death and curling into the fetal position---or something!---for a normal human being, but not for Rose! Oh, no, she can just strut right up to that bucket and wait....wait....she's windin' up....BAM!! There goes that bucket! Right out of the PARK!!! ........You see what I mean?

on Feb. 17 2012 at 11:43 pm
Victor_Hagar SILVER, Dublin, Ohio
6 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's always important to give your arguments impact." Fallout 3, Strength Bobble-head.

Alright, get ready....

on Feb. 17 2012 at 11:42 pm
Victor_Hagar SILVER, Dublin, Ohio
6 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's always important to give your arguments impact." Fallout 3, Strength Bobble-head.

Testing...testing...making sure comments are working...

on Feb. 17 2012 at 2:40 pm
Sammy817 BRONZE, Fort Worth, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
You can't break what is already broken

wow! i love it

irishlass317 said...
on Feb. 17 2012 at 12:46 pm
irishlass317, Jefferson City, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 134 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I asked Jesus 'How much do you love me?' He answered 'This much.' And He streched out His arms and died."

This is sooooo beautiful!!! I absolutely love it! I cried when I read it.......

Vixen said...
on Feb. 17 2012 at 9:54 am
Vixen, Male&#39, Other
0 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
Whatever!! xp

Wow! Love it! So original and amazing! Loved reading it so much!!

on Feb. 16 2012 at 8:38 pm
HateKnuckle SILVER, Peru, New York
9 articles 0 photos 96 comments
Tears seems to be an appropriate reaction to this wonderful piece. Love is what I have for your writing and hate is what I have for death even though he was justified.