We let her die.
She had been an annoyance for so long. Whenever she wasn’t in bed she was mad about something. Usually it was that the house wasn’t clean enough. She would yell. She and Dad would fight and we fight her and fight each other.
Over the years, it came to seem that it was better she stay in bed.
I still remember how I felt before it happened. She had been in the hospital for several weeks – was it for depression or she had been abusing some new painkiller, I wasn’t sure. In that last year in particular when I was on the cusp of graduating, of finally being shot of her, something I can remember explicitly wishing for as far back as 8th grade, it seemed almost like she wasn’t even there even when she was. I don’t think she spent that much time in the hospital that year outside of that time, but it had felt that way. It was like she had packed up and taken all the stress she caused us with her.
We all really let her die. We didn’t care about her enough. It was all of us. We are all guilty, except for the youngest two. No one had even gone into her room until like 12:00.
It’s not your fault. You were the least to blame. You were the only one who went in there. I don’t know the reason, but none of the rest of us did, until it was too late.
She was so sick – why weren’t we checking on her until that late? Why didn’t we love her more? Why did we let her pain become nothing more than annoyance? It was more than just that we were young. We didn’t do what we should have. Me most of all, because I was the oldest.
I let her down and she died. I told her I loved her every night, but it was for the wrong reason, it was for myself, not for her. I was so selfish. She wasn’t perfect, she could be awful sometimes, but I was so selfish. We all were. But I was so stupid, because I thought I wasn't.
In my dreams she is usually still alive, but the other night, she was gone somehow. She will probably come back in time. But in my dream I was yelling at the rest of you, when I should have been yelling at myself.
I wasn’t a good enough person. If she has to be gone from my dreams, at least don’t let me kid myself there. She died because of me as much as anyone.
I'm so sorry.