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"She's gone."

Aside from those two words, everyone was quiet. I might have heard a sigh, but that was it. I was supposed to be sleeping, but couldn't. I sat up in bed and listened to the silence. No one had to tell me, the silence said it all.

I sat there, lost and unsure. The days had been long and tiring, even for a six year old. Too many people asked too many questions: "Do you know what's going on? Do you want to talk to her?"

I always answered - my mother told me it was rude not to - but never put much thought into my replies. Of course I knew what was going on and there was no one else I'd rather talk to. Mammy was dying.

When we'd have our time, she wouldn't say a word about it, but she didn't have to. The tubes, monitors and her constant cough uttered all the words she wouldn't. I missed her, even when she was right there.

"Abbey...?" My mother's voice wasn't her own.

I looked to her, my own tears falling. "I know."

Story by:

Jheri Brown

19 December 2013