Memory of a 11-Year Old

There are some events that happen in life that have a profound impact and this is one such event. I remember even the minute details from that day. I remember that day much better than even some years in my life. For that was the day I saw what death was.

I had just returned home from school. My grandmother was preparing an evening snack in the kitchen. I and my brother were watching Tom and Jerry on cartoon network. It was one of my favorite cartoon shows as a kid. My dad’s eldest sister, my aunt, was also in our house. My grandfather was resting on his cot. He was 91 at that time. Most of my relatives had just left after visiting him. It was a busy day indeed for the 91 year old in his office and he was taking a well-deserved nap.

Suddenly I heard a high shrill voice of my aunt from the next room. Immediately I ran, my grandfather had some trouble breathing. He was able to acknowledge the presence of all of us with his eyes and gave us a smile. Probably he knew his time has come and he was ready to welcome death. Now he was literally fighting to breathe. It took all his energy to breath, my anxious grandmother was standing by his head and I was able to see a tear drop trickling down her cheek.

My aunt rushed to the phone and called my dad. All this time my younger brother was oblivious to what’s happening in the next room and continued to watch Tom and Jerry. I ran to the next room and asked him to come with me to be with our grandfather. My grandfather’s face became paler every minute. But his eyes still had this reassuring look that said everything is going to be all right. I was holding his hands and was able to feel his pulse rate slowly dropping.

Suddenly this realization struck me: my grandfather is about to die. This realization filled my body with trepidation. The frequency of his every breath slowly decreased. His eyes and mouth wide open, his face appeared pallid. He kicked his leg in a haphazard manner, he was no longer breathing and I was no longer able to feel his pulse.

My only memory of my grandfather was of this fragile old man who did everything in slow motion. I wish I could have spent more quality time with him.