Is it True that She is Gone? - personal narrative by Saakshi M. (10-13-11)

Is It True that She is Gone? 
by Saakshi M. (Oct 13th, 2011) 

Have you ever lost something very precious to you; something that you did not want to let go? I have and I do not ever want to experience it again in my life.

     Hannah was introduced to me at the Indian Church, shortly after I moved to California. My sister, Namrata, Hannah and I visited each other’s house a couple of times, played together and watched movies. Mostly we got to know each other at church. During fellowship time, we talked, played, ate, and laughed a lot. There were few times we fought over silly things, and sometimes these fights became serious. At the age of five, Hannah was excited about having a baby sister, Abigail. She used to share funny stories about her sister’s stinky diapers, crying noises, and gas. We used to laugh so much at her stories. She was a comedian!

     Hannah’s mother had suggested a sleep over at their home and a popcorn party. We were so excited! We had been waiting for a long time for a sleep over with Hannah. Then one day at Church, we had a big argument over some silly thing. I was really mad at her. I wished that she would go away forever. Now, I wish I had not thought such mean things!

     On July 23rd, 2008, three days after our fight, we went to school for summer classes. When we returned, my aunt told us that our parents will be returning late. They had arranged a play date for us. We finished our homework, and had lot of fun swimming and playing. We had dinner with our aunt. As bed time approached, we asked our aunt if she could call our parents. She replied, “They will be back soon! Why don’t you get ready for bed?” We got into our bed, and after few minutes, we heard the door creak open.

    Namrata and I cried out, “Mama! Dada! Where did you go for so long?” My mom replied, “We went to Hannah’s house?” I was mad at them, and I said, “Why did you go there? She is so mean and bossy!” My mom with tears streaming down her cheeks, she said, “Baby, you should never say mean things about anyone.” Namrata and I sat up and were confused about her tears. She took a long pause and a deep breath and said, “Hannah and her mom got in a car accident. Hannah was seriously hurt and she did not make it through – she is dead.” As she finished, her eyes flooded with tears, and she hugged us both. We all were shocked beyond words!

     I stared at her, and thought she had to be joking! Hannah is dead? No way! How can that be? Why did it happen? All these questions flooded my mind. I did not have any answer, but was gripped in disbelief and shock. I was angry and wanted to bring her back.

     I ran to my bed and found myself sobbing. My parents and Namrata came and held me. I felt so much pain. I wish I had been kind to her. I wish I could have said sorry one last time. But all that I kept hearing in my head was that “she is dead”. I knew she was gone. The world felt dark and hopeless. My mom lay down between me and Namrata, and I was clinging to my mother tightly. As I lay there, silently crying I remembered our last fight. I was trying to make sense of her death – why? Why did it have to end like this? She was only 6 years old, innocent girl, and her life was swallowed up by the dark world.

     One of the saddest parts was that we could not attend her funeral, as my parents had made plans to visit Dallas on July 25th to celebrate my birthday with my cousins. I did not know how I was going to celebrate, but more than that how was I going to get over this pain and guilt that was in my heart.

     Every night I wished that the pain and fear would go away. I was afraid of my parents driving the car, or even being left alone. I was afraid of losing them in a car accident. I started to have stomach pains, and I was angry at my parents often. I had lot of questions: “Where is Hannah? If she is in heaven, what is she doing? Is she watching me? When I get to heaven I will be old and will she still be six years old or will she grow too?”

     My parents patiently talked to my sister and me. They tried to answer our questions, but then there were times that they said that they did not know the answer. Hannah’s mother gave us a band to wear on our wrist and a book about death for children. It was comforting to have her name band on our wrist, and I wore it till it broke. My mom tried to listen and be patient. She helped us to talk about our feelings. She even shared her own feelings of sadness and fear. At times, she would share about Hannah’s family’s sorrow and pain too. One day when I was sad, my mom said to me, “we can never bring back Hannah physically. We can celebrate her memories and know that she is with God where she is having a great time. You will always be friends, and her memories will always be with you. She is a friend who loves you a lot, but lives far away. Remember, you have her sister to have fun with and take care of her like an older sister – maybe that is what Hannah would like you to do.”

     Even though I usually do not like what my mom says but slowly I had to learn to trust my mom’s wisdom. So, one of the ways we celebrate Hannah’s life is by celebrating her birthday with her three siblings and parents. Yes, she has a sister and two brothers whom she hasn’t met on this earth. All of us children get to cut the cake and enjoy it, and remember Hannah. Her memories continue to live in our hearts, and we are reminded of her when we walk into her house – where her pictures and her favorite things are framed.

     I still feel sad and wonder why did she die at such a young age? I still have fears of losing my parents, and I cannot stand separation from them. I get angry when bad things happen because I am afraid that I will be hurt again. My mom reminds me that evil things are part of this world, and pain is part of life. She is right! There are days when I feel miserable and depressed because I am not sure if I will lose someone or something bad will happen to people I love.

     Even though I have lost a friend and I feel the pain, yet I have learned few things from this tragic experience. I have learned that whatever happens in your life, you cannot give up or stay depressed forever. You have to keep going everyday step by step and know that you cannot stop the pain in the world. I also have learned that life is too short, so we should love and respect our family and friends.