That morning will haunt me for as long as I live.

My worst nightmare had come true when I saw the officer standing at my door.

This is something I saw on movies.

The neighbors standing outside - as they already knew.

The ambulance parked, patiently waiting - for no reason I suppose.

'I'm sorry sweetie, she passed away in her sleep.'

He didn't even hesitate.

And now his words seemed so heartless and unsympathetic -

Since this probably wasn't the first time he had had to do this.

But what he said hadn't yet registered.

I turned to the only person I seemed to have left at that point and whispered 'she's dead'.

With tears streaming down my cheeks,

I nearly fell face first into the gravel.

I called every family member within distance to hurry to my side.

Although my brother's and sister's were little comfort.


The officer signaled that I could come in now.

They said my mom had went in peace,

But the haggard look on her face and forced positioning she was in -

Not to mention the body bag clearly visible around her -

Gave me heart wrenching aches.

I dropped by her side and grabbed her ice cold hands.

I apologized repeatedly for leaving the night before.

I had already been gone for days.

I wasn't home 5 hours before taking off again back to my boyfriend's house.


My mom adored Cody.

I remember sitting in the kitchen as she warned him she would haunt him if he would ever hurt me.

That was the first time I realized just how fond of him she was.

If she wasn't, she wouldn't have taken the time.

I dated another boy for nearly 3 years and she never would have even wasted her breath.

Cody hasn't left my side since that morning.

He surprised me with a promise ring shortly after losing my mom and said -

'I promised your mom I'd take care of you and I won't break that promise'.


I couldn't quite comprehend that my mom wouldn't wake up.

She just laid there in cold silence.

Her body had been gone several hours now -

The stench of the deceased crept up fast as time went on.

I could care less.

I paid no attention as I leaned over to kiss her again.

As we sat awaiting to take her body away,

I sat in her favorite chair staring at the floor where she laid wrapped in her body bag -

Debra K. Owens - printed in bold black sharpie on the front - covered by her favorite eagle blanket that she had fallen asleep with the night before on the living room floor.

As they took her body and placed her inside the back of a white mini van,

I couldn't stand to watch any longer.

I grabbed onto Cody with my life.


I immediately had no idea of what to do next.

I began to start a very long process of cleaning, packing, sorting, and trashing all of my mother's belongings.

It was the only thing that seemed to keep my mind at peace.


They didn't make it any easier on me, that's for sure.

'You have to call _____ and don't forget to _____ and do you think you could do _____'.


Everyone sat around to eat.

I sat in silence watching everyone in disgust.

How could anyone eat at a time like this?


They saw me as the bad guy.

Only worried about myself.

Finally, when they gave me enough time to myself, I packed… and packed… and packed.

You'll never realize how much shit you have until you have to pack it.


I was surrounded by great company.

Friends kept me at ease.

It was nearly midnight and not even a fourth of the house packed.

We would have been at it all night if it wasn't for a text I received at nearly 1 AM.

My oldest sister text me hysterical.

'Sasha you take everything back to that house NOW. You don't know what Mom wants anymore than I do. You just want everything to yourself but I'm the oldest and I will make the decisions. Are you happy now, mom is gone because of the stress you put on her. You have been treating her like shit for months. She told me so!!!'

I'm not sure if I'll ever truly forgive her for what she said.


So we left at that note.

But not before getting a few totes full of my mother's belongings.


The drive to Cody's was uneasy.

Scared shitless that my sister would have me arrested -

For taking belongings out of MY house.

Or come find me to take it all back.

I re-read her text basically blaming my mother's death on me.

My mind was racing.

My empty stomach upset.

I tapped Cody to stop the car.

I fell out onto the road dry heaving acid and what liquids I could keep down.

The next few sleepless nights were nothing but dry heaving, cold sweats, and shaking profusely.


The morning after her death we had to meet at the funeral home to make arrangements.

I arrived in the same clothes I had had on for 3 days now.

I sat quietly, trying my best to keep my mouth shut.

Until she pushed me too far.

I wouldn't be apart of ruining my mother's funeral.

I knew what she wanted.


They all said 'we're in this together, we can't be fighting'.



The day of her funeral -

I slowly but surely got ready to go.

I needed to look perfect.

I spent the car ride to the funeral home frantically writing down my last goodbyes.

There wasn't enough time or napkin left for what I had to say.

I clung to what few things I wanted to place beside her as I walked into her showing room.

And there she was -

A room filled with empty seats capitalized with a casket glowing at the far end.

My mother, dressed in purple cashmere, lay still with her hands folded.

I trembled walking towards her.

Still -

The fact that she was gone seemed nothing but a lie to me.

I hovered over her.

My tears staining her face.


My brother AJ, whom I had only met once before this, was here.

I recognized him immediately, but I didn't have the courage to say hello.

'My name is Sasha. I'm your baby sister'.

What an awkward time and place to have any conversation of the sort.

AJ is a completely different story I just won't get into.


The pastor we had speaking was an old family friend.

My mother lived by the bible.

She hadn't attended church often, besides the traditional Christmas Eve,

But she was a woman of praise.

She lifted her Lord above all else.


Before closing,

I stood up.

My last words were shaky.

The six napkins I filled up don't seem like much now.

There's so much more I needed to say,

But my strength wouldn't let me.

I collapsed back down in my seat as my mother's favorite song began to play.


"I will cherish that old ruggage cross, and exchange it someday for a crown".


That was it.

Friends and family said their goodbyes.

At last it was just me and her.

I couldn't tell her how sorry I was that I wasn't there to save her.

I couldn't tell her how much she meant to me.

I couldn't tell her how much I loved her.

I wasn't sure what I would do without her.

I couldn't leave her there.

I still won't forgive myself for walking out without her.

I stood at the threshold and whispered 'I love you mommy'.

And said goodbye to her for the last time.


It's been nearly three months since my mom passed.

It never gets any easier.

Nothing comes easy.

The world has lost most of its color.

Pure enjoyment is hard to find.

Life just isn't life without her.