Writing Catalog

Samantha Werbeck

Grade: 12

Hawken School

Instructor: Josh Cracraft

Beyond Our Imagination


Beyond Our Imagination

every author, every artist, every director and actor
has tried to convey what it feels like
from the painful, drawn out deaths
complete with screams and tears tracking down their face
and the frantic rush of their loved ones
trying to do anything,
anything at all
to the ones over in a…
the shock settling over everyone as the thought processes fully
the idea that whoever is in front of them
has traveled to somewhere they can never fully conceive
after all,
who's experienced death
and lived to tell the tale?

of course
there's exceptions
of ones who taste death
(don't we all?
isn't sleep merely a kinder version of death?)
and come back,
revived, miraculously
it'd be interesting to try that
to let go of life for just a moment
suspended in some sort of void
(see? even there,
i'm trying to describe it)
only to jolt back,
tumbling down to earth
with the knowledge only few have attained

for me
it'd be interesting
since i've barely paid attention to death
(there's so much now,
but it's not hard to tune it out,
especially in a safeguarded world)
only twice coming to the dark realizations
of grief
(though nothing can beat those late night texts,
of feeling so helpless,
nothing can beat hearing the day after what should've happened,
only able to hug them tight
and promise you'll never let it happen again)
fully experiencing it
in two ways

which broke the heart of millions
too young,
they muttered
too soon.
he was so kind.
sarcastic, a bit monotone and blunt,
but cared for those that were close
they said
my friend figured out which one
even though my only knowledge of it
was from the fault in our stars
and stories of survivors
(we always respected them, worshipped them,
and now i've seen the possibility of losing)
but he never faltered
always brought his dry humor
making everyone smile amidst their tears for him
I learned how his last words to the community
were ones to wish us all well
(his twin best friend spoke later,
of how it felt like the world should've stopped when he heard the news,
of how their friend - the ball of sunshine - had cried,
of how he counted on the community to never forget his twin best friend)
and even through the crushing grief
of losing someone you never knew
(even though it felt as though we did,
and we wondered why the worst things had to happen to the best people)
it was a miraculous gathering
of lifting up others
and saving them from

a death that was too complicated to explain in a single breath
from hours in the hospital
away from home
(always there,
I never realized how much time it took up)
hours of stress,
only relieved (or rebroken)
in those quiet hours in the morning,
disrupted by the rumbling of the garage door
(my room was right over it)
and so when awoken,
I stumbled blearily down the stairs
with a strong sense that something was wrong, wrong, wrong
because the glowing time on my alarm clock
and the quiet, somber voices of my parents -
their faces no less saddened -
was enough to tell me
even half asleep and barely feeling the staticky carpeted stairs or the wooden banister
that he had passed
even still, I mumbled, mouth still fuzzy and thick with sleep,
"what's wrong"
and in their calming voices, they only said they would tell me when I had to wake up for school
only to sleep until then
a few hours later,
I saw my dad cry for the first time in ages
yet I only felt numb
the news only confirming the gut feeling,
what I had to process at the witching hour

I went to school late that day, passing through in a sort of half aware daze

….I never went to the funeral
never really knew what to feel on the topic
on the fights and screaming that were at an all time high after
I just hid,
in my safeguarded world
so there's no true possibility of describing death
because no one's ever experienced it
but on some form,
some human level
(because some higher being decided there's no life without death)
we all understand grief
(and maybe that's why
the death scenes never get me
but the grief scenes,
wracked with tears and screams and nightmares
always do)