You Can't Even Imagine

Hi Everyone, 
I was going through some of my old poems that I have written throughout the years today. I found a poem that I wrote this year for my creative writing class. The assignment was to write a poem about something that other people in the class would have no knowledge of. The teacher told us to write about something that other people may not be able to imagine themselves doing or going through. The topic I chose, was being terminally ill. Here is the poem: 

You Can't Even Imagine 

You can’t even begin to imagine
What it feels like
To know you are dying

You can’t even begin to imagine
What it feels like
To look at your parents
Knowing you may never see them again
Or how it feels to look around a room bursting with loneliness
And know that this place
This frightening place
Maybe the last thing you see before you die

You can’t even imagine
The horrifying embarrassment of having to ask your mom to help you to the bathroom
At age thirteen your strength is too fragile for you to even undo your own hospital gown
It feels as if you are back at age two
With your mom guiding you onto the freezing porcelain toilet then back down
Your dignity is stolen away from you because of your own body 

You can’t even imagine
Looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror
And seeing yourself for what might be the last time
The last time you see yourself and all you can see is your sunken eyes of sickness
The paper white complexion of a malicious infection eating its way through your body
Slowly swimming through your fragile veins and into your blood stream

You can’t even imagine
The sadness that consumes not only your mind
But every inch of your trembling body
When you see for the first time in weeks
Just how sick you truly are

You can’t even begin to imagine
The terror
Of having your life placed into the hands of someone else

You can’t even begin to imagine
The fear that overwhelms you when the mask is placed over your face
The plastic smell of medicine consumes your lungs
And you plead “please don’t let me die.”
You know that you are no longer in control of your life

You can’t even imagine
What it feels like
To know you may never wake up
From not only surgery
But also from this all too real nightmare 

In the class that I took we did peer editing. A boy who read my poem wrote me this: "I think you over used 'You Can't Even Imagine.' When I told my mom this she told me that his comments only proved my point even further of not being able to imagine what it was like to be chronically and terminally ill. Before you make a judgment on someone else, please try to picture what it would be like to be them. Maybe if we all walked a mile in each other's shoes, this world would be a much more understanding place. 



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My Life As A Chronically
Ill Young Adult
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