What’s Worse

I’m not as sad about your dying.
I’m not as moved by your pain, your struggle
Your anoxic brain, your limp limbs, your artificial breaths
I’m not as sad about the soccer games you won’t play, the first kiss you won’t have
The heartbreak you may have been spared
I’m not as sad because you are no longer suffering.

But your dad

Your dad who sits by your lifeless side with his head in his hands
Your dad who is trying to remember how to breathe
Your dad who wishes you would just wake up, or that all of this is a terrible dream
Your dad who is worrying over what he did wrong, what more he could have done
Your dad who may be questioning his ability to go on, let alone support your Mom
Your dad who doesn’t know how he’ll survive tomorrow because you didn’t survive today.

Rubor Participation:
2019 Poem

Julie Kilpatrick is a student in the University of Utah School of Medicine class of 2020. Originally from Florida, she earned undergraduate degrees in Boston and Salt Lake City. Her interests beyond medicine include baking, petting all of the dogs, and adventuring in the great outdoors.