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An Open Letter to Death, and One Simple Plea

A Letter to Death

Content Warning: Features and mentions of death, depression and suicide.

An open letter to death that I wrote, with just one simple plea – no more pain.

*Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes, and is based on my personal experiences as a patient. I am not a doctor, and nothing in this article should be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols. This post may also contain affiliate links. It will cost you nothing to click on them. I will get a small referral fee from purchases you make, which helps with the maintenance of this blog. Read our Privacy Policy page for more information. Thank you!

Dear Death,

After the numerous visits you have paid, I am no longer startled when you knock on my door. I don’t even have to ask ‘who is it?’, the way you knock is familiar to me. Sometimes louder, at times softer, but always persistent.

You like visiting at the the most inappropriate times, or when I’m in the middle of enjoying my life. Why can’t you come when the other guests have left, and I am ready to follow? Why do you like to crash and ruin all my parties?

I have seen your cowl and garments, simple and unadorned, the colour of the earth. I have heard your exhalation by my ear, waiting to inhale life. I have felt your fingers on my skin, a tender trace that brings no warmth, a contemplation of ‘when?’.

Dear death, I used to be afraid of you. You have no mercy, but I’d beg regardless. I would tell you that I was too young to die with tears in my eyes, but you do not discriminate. You’d bellow with laughter and say, “Nobody cares! In a hundred years, you will be a mere statistic of the past. One out of a billion who lived, and died. In fact in only ten, you will fade to a figment of imagination, tucked away in the minds of even those who loved you most.”

But you have become a familiar figure to me. I wouldn’t say familiar face, because you would never look me in the eye. I believe I have more soul than you do, and that is what you envy. On the day when we finally meet face to face, I believe that all I would see is emptiness, the unseen.

I am ready to go, right here, right now. Although I do have a list of dreams and bucket list tasks left unchecked, I think about how so many others do not even have that privilege, and realise that it doesn’t even matter when I cease to exist. What really matters are personal regrets, and I have cleared them all with the extra lives given to me.

If you are going to knock on my door again, all I ask is for you to be swift about it. Do not toy with me yet again, not with my body, nor with my mind. If you have to do what you must, all I have is one simple request – please, no more pain.

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Shruti Chopra
October 7, 2020 02:32

As sad as it was but I strangely felt quite calm reading this.

I grew up with mum telling me how it’s such a blessing to die off in your sleep – no pain. I’d always agree with her, but I think I didn’t truly understand what it meant until I didn’t get sick, until I didn’t go through days and nights of screaming in pain feeling like my body will give up.

I read this and I wish it happens how you want it to but as Claire said – not for an incredibly long time.

Sheryl Chan
October 12, 2020 11:08
Reply to  Shruti Chopra

Haha yes calm, me too. I actually don’t think it’s morbid or depressing, but I think the topic of mortality is one that the average person just shuns or don’t even want to think about.

October 6, 2020 03:14

Sheryl, you write so eloquently. You really should be a poet and a writer of great books. And I hope this letter doesn’t get answered for an incredibly long time x

Sheryl Chan
October 12, 2020 11:09
Reply to  Claire

Aww thanks Claire. I used to write a lot of poetry (whether they were good or not who knows :p ) but haven’t written one in ages. Thank you for your support! xxx

Lowen Puckey
July 19, 2018 06:49