It’s Hard Watching Your Sibling Die

I hope she knows I wrote this with love

Rick Martinez
2 min readNov 1, 2021


I could feel her sadness, grief, and helplessness through my phone.

My mom, I mean.

You see, she’s watching her sister die.

We’ve known for about seven’ish days that my aunt was on her final days-hours-minutes-moments-breaths, and the truth of the matter is knowing that each second is numbered means you’re watching someone die.

Right before your very eyes.

But you know what makes it worse?

The fact that they have no desire to fight…
Which one might interpret as lack of drive to live…
And that turns into a swirl of immense confusion as we wonder why we want them to live more than they want to live.

And that’s the real rub, I think.

Nah. I’m pretty sure that that’s the rub, without a doubt.

My mom’s desire for her sister to live is stronger than her sister’s very own desire to live.

It’s the realization that we cannot want it more than the other person wants it.

And it angers us.
It confuses us.
It saddens us.

The pill is already too darn big to swallow, you know.

The pill being when the doc tells you to start making funeral arrangements. The pill being when the nurse tells you that the morphine will help her rest. The pill being that you’re so damn angry because you want her to fucking fight for another day.

Just one more day.


Just one more.

Maybe it’s a little guilt too? I ask myself and also you…you the reader. It’s perhaps a little guilt because I then ask myself why I didn’t show up last Christmas. I ask myself why I moved so far away three years ago. I ask myself all kinds of what-ifs, and then I wonder if perhaps I could have also given just one more day.

But how does someone just quit at life?

It’s not like a bad job with a shitty boss.
It’s not like a bad relationship with a lousy boyfriend.
It’s not like changing majors in your junior year because your passion shifted after Professor Morgan’s incredible class on art history.

This is not something you quit and then come back more robust and with a lesson learned, so you then don’t make the same mistakes again.

It’s life, for Christ’s sake!

It’s the end.

The fucking end.

And she’s given up.

On me.
On her.
On us.
On life.


I felt every ounce of my mom’s emotion over the phone.

It’s hard watching your sibling die.



Rick Martinez

My journey began on food stamps • I help CEOs & entrepreneurs write & publish books that give them authority & legacy • Former CEO turned ghostwriter