The Family

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is the short story about a family who deals with the loss of their light, their dear and loving father who passed from cancer.


This family was so different than mine. They held a pain in their hearts. This pain was one that my family would not likely come to imagine any time soon. I had seen them at every festive holiday and at every family event. They were strong and wonderful people, so much so that all others dimmed in comparison. They held a strong family history, a rich heritage and a golden reputation. In all my years to know them I never quite admired another family as much as I did them.

I can never truly define what a family is or what they must go through to stay one. What can I say that will make what they are going through any less painful or any less wretched than it already is?

The process of pain is excruciating, so much so that it burns from the very fingertips of its victim and clenches the soul, the mind and the body tightly. Will it let go? The real question I should be asking is what will happen when it does? What will be left behind? Can we survive the effects of the apocalyptic event that would burn our very worlds down to the ground?

I took the time to perceive my surroundings. A father dying of his cancer, a mother struggling to keep him alive. The eldest son who struggles to come to terms with his father’s inevitable situation, the middle son who would break down at the very thought of his father’s demise, the three daughters who struggled to keep up with their daily lives just to spend one more hour with their father and the youngest who had to keep it all together to prevent his mother from falling apart.

The image they all once possessed was one of kindness and love, of happiness and bliss. I believed that not a soul could enter that household without somehow leaving happier. They were a family of graduates, of scholars, of leaders and of survivors.

The second I stepped through those doors, the once happy and welcoming feeling I had once experienced had been flushed away by a sadness which consumed the household. The smiles which once greeted me had turned to emotionless faces, attempting to keep their composure, attempting to keep appearances. I felt the world I once knew crumble away at my fingertips. Was this the world my father so desperately attempted to keep concealed from me? Had he feared that had I been faced with the reality of the inevitable that I would truly immerse myself in the pain and not the privileges of life? Was he afraid that I would see the cold and bitter reality of the end?

I could see it on her face as she spoke of her husband, of all of the pain and the hardships. Had I been in her situation, I would have not stopped myself from falling apart all together. She would occasionally fall into tears unable to hold herself back and then ready back into her quiet nature, continuing to speak of how he was doing. In all my life I never believed I needed to hold back what I wanted to say and I never believed I needed to conceal how I felt, but in that moment with all the words I truly wished to say –I said none.

Can a person truly understand what a loss can do? Is it something we think about within the week and continue on with the rest of our lives? Can we truly look a person in the eyes and tell them “it will get better” when the world could only shine as bright as it did in the presence of that loved one? Does the world ever return to the state in which we once perceived it?

I am not an optimist; however, it will become something else. It will not shine in the same way but other things will make this new world seem better. As I said, I am not an optimist, and I do not believe what I have just said, but all in all, that, I truly wish to believe that is called hope.

 

- Lady Hollow.


Submitted: February 01, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Lady Hollow. All rights reserved.

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