How does a family cope with the loss of a loved one, especially one so young? The story is written from Sarah's POV and it follows her and her family as they deal with the death of her baby sister, Rose.
Death is a fact of life. It's the one thing in the universe that no one can escape. No matter how hard we try, no matter how advanced our medicine becomes, nobody can live forever. Before, I had excepted this fact. I had believed that every one had their time and when it was up, their soul went to where ever it was supposed to go in the afterlife. I saw no use in going on about people being taken by death before it was their time. If they weren't supposed to die, they would still be alive. Now it's different. Now, I hate death for what it has done and who it has taken from me.
My sister Rose was born on the 23rd of May 2008. She died of leukemia on the 14th of May 2010. Nine days before her second birthday. She was looking forward to it as well. Not that she knew what the day really meant, other than getting presents and eating cake. But now Rose lay in the hospital bed, motionless and drained of all the life she was so full of. Her pale skin looked grey and no longer had the rosiness that had earned her name.
“Sarah? Sweetie, are you in here?” My Aunt Angela called from behind me. I didn't look at her, I just kept staring at my baby sister.
“Sweetie, we have to go now, You're parents are waiting.” I felt her pull gently at me, but I didn't move. I couldn't leave her, not just yet. Aunt Angie sighed and left, probably to get a doctor or some one. A minute later a strong hand pulled me up from the chair I had been sitting in for the past eight hours and pulled me into a tight embrace. There, in my dad's arms, I broke down into tears that had been fighting for their way to the surface. Dad gently rocked me, whispering things into my hair as I cried. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. Rosie wasn't supposed to be the first to die. Not so young. Not yet.
My step mum sat in the back with me on the ride home. She was in a worse state than I was. Rose was her only biological child, and while right from the beginning she always had introduced me as her eldest daughter, that was something I could never be for her. Rose was her baby and nothing could change that. We silently held onto each other as dad drove. Nobody spoke a word. Aunt Angela tried to fill the silence by turning on the radio, but dad shook his head and turned it off again. Rose loved the radio. She used to have a competition with it and tried to drown out what ever song was on with a nursery rhyme that she had just learnt or just simply yelling a different tune. Te radio was not a good option. So the trip was carried out in silence. When we got home, Aunt Angela tried to cook for us, but she was worse than my dad, so I took over. Dad came up behind me and stopped me.
“ We're getting take out, none of us should be around anything sharp or hot at the moment,” He said. I nodded as tears ran down my face. He pulled me into his embrace again and this time, mum came and joined us. Aunt Angela called the Thai place then left us alone, knowing there wasn't much more she could do.
After we had finished eating, I took a long hot shower as my parents shared a bottle of wine. I used my scented shampoo an conditioner that Rose had loved so much. She had always loved it when I washed her hair with it.
'I smell like you Sar,' I heard her say in my head. 'Me smell like a big girl now.' A laugh escaped my lips as I remembered the look she used to pull when she said this, puffing herself up. I missed her so much already. I got changed and crawled into my bed. After a while, I felt some one crawl in next to me. In my sleepy daze, I had half hoped it would be Rose climbing in because she had a nightmare, but when I turned around I saw mum and I couldn't stop the disappointment or tears from running down my face. She held me close, also crying.
“ I know baby, I'm so sorry,” She whispered in my ear.
“ S'not your your fault,” I croaked. “ I just miss her so much.
“ Me too.” She pulled me in closer. We stayed like that, even when dad came and joined us, for the entire night. For the first time since I was a little girl, I fell asleep in my parents arms.