What It’s Like To Watch Someone Die Right Before Your Eyes


I don’t know if one will ever fully master vulnerability until they willingly sit with someone in their pain, knowing they are soon to leave this earth.

This isn’t the kind of vulnerability you convey when you say “I love you” first, this kind of vulnerability requires one to intentionally and knowingly commit to self-annihilation for the sole purpose of being present.

This vulnerability is brutal because you have to witness and access all parts of your empathy, you have to see pain, regret, hope, the lack of hope, and you are completely and utterly out of control.

This kind of experience teaches you everything you need to know about being mindful. It forces you into a fortitude where you are required to be in the moment because you know if you aren’t, the moment will forever be gone. This kind of experience teaches you how to be empathetic; it puts you into perspective and reminds you of everything that is important and everything that will never even matter.

Watching someone or something disintegrate before your eyes is like flowing in a current downstream with absolutely nothing to grab on to. You have no choice but to accept your lack of control and welcome fluidity as a new form of being.

Knowing death or departure is around the corner instills a different kind of gratitude in your bones, an unusually absurd amount of appreciation in your mind, and almost a type of shock in your soul that eventually leads you to liberation and a new founded understanding that will forever be part of the essential pieces that make up your best self.

Choosing to be present in the midst of detachment is the most daring thing a person could ever do because it tastefully introduces you into every single type of way to both overcome fear, and demand a path of hope.

This kind of experience is brutal, it’s deteriorating, it makes you question universal existence, and it makes you wonder how or why breathing is possible and even essential.

At first, this kind of experience picks apart every single soft and hard shell you have created, manifested and denied. It tears apart your sole identity, it rips apart all that you know and makes you doubt everything you have yet to.

The days of this time period are dark. They are pitch black. They are reflective, and nostalgic, but very rarely do the days end in joy.

Do not undermine your own experience for this is the experience that allows you to practice humanity in a way that some will not ever simply get the chance to live in. This is the experience will be the birthplace of the creation in which you paint your most authentic and real self. This is where resilience is formed, and emotion is embraced.

This vulnerable experience wrecks you, but it has a weird way of making you question your ability to survive, all while subtly enforcing the notion that you know exactly how to already. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Featured writer since 2014 | Mama | Lover of life, health & growth.

Keep up with Leena on Instagram

More From Thought Catalog