Better Than This

Lily Y

42

hands shaking, heart breaking


as i hang up the phone.


you deserved better than this.


 


breath shallow, feels like i’m heading to the gallows


as i drive to the hospital.


you deserved better than this.


 


waiting, every second i’m hating


as i listen to the doctor’s bad news.


you deserved better than this.


 


eyes weeping, anger creeping


as i watch you get lowered into the ground.


you deserved better than this.


 


long nights, fighting for what’s right


as the lawyer looks at me with pity.


you deserved better than this.


 


head spinning, patience thinning


as i watch him enter the courtroom.


you deserved better than this.


 


all sleep destroyed, i’m suddenly void


as i hear him admit to texting and driving.


you deserved better than this.


 


thinking about him makes me cold, but it’s your memory i hold


as i let my heartache grow into resentment and anger.


you deserved better than this.


 


a few years later, i have a new neighbor


it’s him. out of jail.


you deserved better than this.


 


weeks pass, i relapse


then i remember.


you deserved better than this.


 


inhale, about to bail


as i walk across the street.


because you deserved better than this.


 


ring the bell, this is hell


as he opens the door.


and i keep in mind: you deserved better than that.


 


step inside, put aside my pride


as he talks about how the guilt has been eating him alive.


because he knows that you deserved better than that.


 


“never again” he claims, i feel a little shame


as he is a good man and he regrets his actions.


we know you deserved better.


 


he wants to take a stand, against what he manned


as he doesn’t want it to happen to anyone else, ever again.


because everyone deserves better.


 


his name is jack, and i decide to go back


as we learn more about each other


i realize he deserved better than that.


 


i don’t want our conversations to end, he has become my friend


as i better understand his pain, i realize i’m ready to move on.


 


you deserved better than that. he deserved better than that.


so my new friend and i share a smile, the first real one in awhile.


because can you really live without learning to forgive?


Description

This is a fictional poem about someone getting killed in an accident because of a distracted driver. I have always heard and seen stories of people growing so angry and resentful after they lose a loved one, so I wanted to share a different perspective and challenge the norms a bit with this. I wanted people to realize how the survivors must feel after such an astounding loss. I believe forgiveness is such a beautiful and a very necessary process everyone has to go through at some point in time. Usually, people don’t have to forgive for something so tragic, but I wanted to share this perspective to show how freeing forgiveness can be and to help people who may have been at fault understand that they are not alone.