First time I encountered death was when my youngest sister died. At least at home in bed in sleep and without pain. I was about 6, and for the life of me today have no idea where from I might've gotten that then, but already was well aware in this world none of the above could be taken for granted at all.
She'd been one year old. Most of her life out of one hospital into the next one. Though before it happened ironically had looked better and nobody'd thought her finally returning home just to die.
Right, wasn't exactly fair not getting older than one, but as I felt still beat going on and on like she'd had to all the time. At least now she could rest in peace. No more hospitals. No more trouble. No more pain.
I remember cradling her lifeless little body in my arms at the treshold of the little ones' room, feeling vaguely guilty for not feeling like crying at all.
But realising, with all the fuss the grown-ups usually kicking up about dying (despite sooner or later everybody would anyway), this very moment probly been the last time in my life I'd be allowed embracing a dead person to say my farewells.
Thinking about it now, find this combination of no tears but thoughts kinda appalling. Still am not too sure whether I wasn't just a bloody cold b*stard then. Probably somehow still am. At least still feel kinda proud for having realised all this crystal clear so d*mn quickly. (However, little did I suspect how very much my suspicion about me not being allowed to say farewell properly would be proved right some 12 years later. Neither there'd even be such things as mortuaries worse than visiting rooms in high security prisons ...)
Or perhaps just numb inside already. Also about that time had started wanting to die myself desperately. And this same threshold pretty soon thereafter being the very place where I'd lost my breath for the first time. Kinda breaking down, only able to breathe very shallowly but really fast. Bit like a dog panting. Taking some eternities till I was able to draw breath more or less properly again.
So much about being a cold b*stard ...