I don't think in linear paths I think in images, not words. I think through what I see what I hear what I feel
For instance, that night, I found my sisters body I saw her lifeless body hanging there I saw my mother fall to the ground, a strangled mix between a scream and a gasp escaping her lips I saw the red eyes of my father I had never seen them before and I've seen them too many times since I saw the strongest people I've ever known fall to their knees in the rubble of my family I saw my family fragment, break and stumble under the weight of our grief But I also saw my family stand up, rise, fight and pull the ripping seams together with our knuckles turning white
I heard my father's panic I heard my mother's cries I heard my own disconnected voice as my body and brain worked separately I heard the voice of the 911 operator in my ear I heard the sirens the ones that now echo in my ears I hear an unknown voice say "I'm sorry, we couldn't revive her. She's gone," as my mother crumpled into my father.
I felt my blood racing through my veins I felt my heart pounding in my chest I felt my muscles moving and tearing and ripping as I ran, fueled by adrenaline I felt the loss I felt the icy numbness blanketing my family
I saw a life end that night and dozens of others permanently altered
Her life ended that night and ours changed and came crashing to a halt but we got back up I got back up
I only hope that wherever she is, she's finally happy