I thought I would stay six forever, well that did not happen. I thought I could play with my toys and have fun with no challenges. Well, that did not happen either. I was six years old when my only uncle passed away, unexpectedly. I was young and didn't really understand why I saw my cool and funny uncle just laid in a long wooden box fast asleep. All I saw were tears flowing from my family and his close friends. I was upset but I didn't know why, because after all, my uncle was just sleep. Fast forward about nine years and my parents sat my sister and I down for a serious talk. They told us that our great grandmother passed away. At 15, I now knew that death was final. Death meant I would never be able to see my great grandmother again. I would never be able to sneak in her kitchen and steal fresh baked biscuits without anyone knowing. Again, I witnessed tears and heartache. Now fast forward another two years. My parents, once again, sat my sister and I down to tell us that our other great grandmother passed away. Life wasn't fair. I watched this great grandmother forget who I was and ask me ten times over what my name was. I watched someone I loved very much suffer from an awful disease that caused her to forget me, my sister, and well, just about everything she once knew very well.
Even though I was a teenager, I never really processed death, I just moved on from it. Today, at 18 years old, I realize that I never had the chance to grieve. I never asked questions. I never cried. I never had a chance to say good bye to the three people who I thought would live forever.
I attended a retreat at my high school where my peers discussed their struggles. Their troubles. Things that kept them up at night. I had no choice but to share my story. Some will never know why the tears flowed out of my body for 45 minutes straight. My peers just stared at me, feeling sorry for me and not realizing that death was something I never learned how to handle or how to manage. I spoke with a counselor about it and it wasn't until I attended my great aunt’s funeral, just a months ago, that I had to grow up. I had to realize that I am no longer that clueless six-year-old. I had to realize that death is inevitable, and everyone eventually dies. To this day, it's still a challenge for me but I’ve been forced to grow up and learn that death is something no one will ever be able to avoid.