Families logo

Only The Good Die Young

by MissyMarie 8 months ago in grief
Report Story

The moment that changed everything

Only The Good Die Young

By H. M. Zike

The moment that changed everything

I had always struggled to get my siblings attention. I was more than ten years younger than each of them. They had more important things to do than play with their baby sister. They had jobs, spouses, and children to take care of and look after. Don’t get me wrong they came to our family dinners, attended every Christmas and Birthday. Even when they were there in the same room with me, it was like they were a million miles away.

Each of them grew up together, as the red headed half-sister; I was raised alone after our father died. They knew each other intimately; they knew all the stories about one another, they knew all the good habits, bad habits, the embarrassing parts, and the triumphs each had faced in life. I’ve spent twenty years trying to play catch up. Shouting from the top of my lungs trying to get their attention. Once I finally got my oldest sister’s attention, I’d have given anything to go back to the way everything was before.

It was August 2012 when I had gotten the phone call from my mother that would eviscerate my entire world turning it to ash. I knew that something was wrong the moment I picked up the phone. The first words out of her mouth were, “Is someone there with you?” Those words changed my life irrevocable. Followed by the news that my oldest sister “Hat” was just diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. “The doctors say that there going to do all that they can; but she won’t live more than a few years.”

In the three seconds that it took my mother to form those words I had lost everything I always wanted, A sister. It took dying for Hat to realize that she wanted a better relationship with me. I flunked out of community college and turned all my attention to taking care of her. I did everything to changing her bandages to buying and wrapping Christmas presents for my nieces and nephew. Every second I wasn’t at work I was with her. Running the errands that she no longer could, corralling her kids, sneaking in food she wasn’t supposed to have. We spent hours together painting our nails, coloring, doodling, singing; just being together. I spent more nights at the hospital than I did in my own bed. We laughed, we cried, and we planned fundraisers. Christmases, birthdays, and Holidays all came and went for three years. We laughed together, and we cried together. We were partners in crime and best friends. She taught me things I didn’t know about the world.

We were no strangers to death. She had been with our father when he died of a heart attack. We had gone through our grief together. She told me stories; my mother never liked to; it was too painful for her. We had survived our grief together. I told her my secrets and fears and she told me her hopes and dreams.

My sister was a shining star. Most people think that of their loved ones, but Hat was above and beyond. She was kind, to the level of her own detriment sometime. She was compassionate and nonjudgmental. She was a woman that was truly one of a kind. She was creative and bright. Bubbly and eternally optimistic even through cancer, chemotherapy, even when her body changed, and she no longer looked like herself; her biggest priority was making sure she seemed bright and happy. She was a woman of eternal empathy and kindness.

I still remember the day that she died. It was the end of January in Iowa which meant that it was cold and wet outside filled with snow and ice. I walked into the hospital a hot pit of anger and intense fear in the bottom of my stomach. I stood in the lobby waiting for the elevator. I watched as it moved from floor to floor the numbers slowly going down. Focusing on anything to keep myself together. The elevator doors ding and open. I watch as a happy couple get off with a newborn in their arms. The husband frantically runs to the door off to get the car as I step into the elevator and watch the doors close, I feel myself slipping away into a state of disassociation. I numbly press the number eight and watch as it lights up. I pass the first few floors quickly. On the fifth floor, A group of people joins me and gets off on the sixth floor. Once I get to the eighth floor, I’m starting to have an anxiety attack. The family room of the oncology floor was full of familiar faces. A family member holds me tight; I was so disassociated I don’t remember who anymore. Once I was allowed into her room to say goodbye was not only the longest ten minutes of my life, but it will also be seared into my brain until the day that I die.

She no longer looked anything like herself. The cancer had eaten her identity away. She was in a coma no longer aware of what was going on around her. Her breath was shallow and raspy. I hugged her laying my head on her chest. I told her that I loved her and needed her still. I promised her that I would look after her children and try my best to protect them. I grabbed her hand and sat with her sobbing and desperate. In that moment I would have given everything I had to be able to switch places with her in a heartbeat. It wasn’t fair She was the light of the family, and I was the family screw up. She had three small children and I had no one to miss me. She was good and kind and I was an angry child that hated the world around me. I asked her to hug and kiss our father for me when she saw him. In her coma she smiled a little. I was walked from the room so that her husband and children could say goodbye unable to move on my own.

It was only about ten minutes until my entire world collapsed. I fell to the floor sobbing and loosing every reason for living in a single second.

She was here and then she was gone. This brilliant bright woman who had brought nothing but love and kindness to the world had died, slowly, painfully. Billy Joel was right only the good die young.

Nothing in my life has been the same since.


About the author


I'm just a young woman struggling to find her voice and place in this world. How about we explore it together.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.