Letters to Death

Eliza Barry

Belmont High School

skeletonEveryday, I wake up. It’s on my mind. Like swirling masses of matter, it’s always there screaming loudly in my head, invading my thoughts. Who is cruel enough to put this question into being? Who is cruel enough to make the tears run rivulets slowly down my face? The pain and loss that fills up my heart until it hurts, the pain that makes me curl up in blankets and cry into the fabric. It’s lonely, the empty road ahead where fog makes it to hard to see where to go. I am stumbling through clouds of air, blinded and falling. My knees are bruised and blackened. I have nowhere to go. I hear the calls of pain echoing through the cloudy chasms, they are the screeches of a banshee. They only remind me of what there is to lose and what I have already lost. They fill my head with the ring of the gunshot and cloud my vision with millions of eyes going dull, sparks falling into blackness.

The question is, of course, death. Why does the shrivelled hand of lady death come and rip their hands out of mine. Why does she get to hold their hand if I can’t?  They show me death; force it into my mind, like watching a movie. All I am left with is more questions and less answers. Why does the mother have to hug her son tightly and tell him his daddy isn’t coming home tonight? Her tears leaving a stain on his thin knobbly shoulder and his hand patting her gently on the back, not quite understanding what is happening around him.

Why does the misunderstood youth feel no other way out of a nightmare that he has to live through every day? Doesn’t he realise that by taking death’s cold hand there is a hand out there that wanted to help? There is an eye out there that will cry. A heart that wanted to make it all better and help him through, so that he didn’t have to go it alone. Maybe he could have grown up and made something of himself. This hand of death, with its cool and persuasive words, convinced him to finish the story himself.

I don’t want him to write the last words, but I’m too late, they can’t hear me. They can’t understand my screams, my calls. For they are only movies in my head, I am too far away from the real thing. My hand goes empty; I am leaving them with no shoulder to cry on. I am left with a more hollow stomach and no strength left in my arms to pull myself up onto my legs, made of lead. So finally I pose this troubling question to you, death. I won’t wait, where is your answer?


Eliza Barry is currently in year 8. She loves writing, reading, dance, music, stars and summer, just to name a few. She would love to become a forensic scientist and an author when she leaves school, but for now she is happy writing and counting down to the holidays.

Image by Sarah Allen, Deakin University