Featured Writer: Ashley Bechtold

I’ve Been Thinking


I remember the moment I knew death was permanent. At around the age of seven, I asked my mother if my grandfather was ever coming back. After a few minutes of intense silence, a simple, honest “No, honey,” That’s the first time I remember feeling heartbreak. I remember that night staring up at the sky and imagining what it was like to die. I truly worried about it, perhaps obsessively. I could imagine him sitting on a silver moon looking down on the world and I wanted to know what it would be like to do the same.

This epiphany, and the feelings that came with it, swung the doors wide open for me to have some of the most maddening experiences. We are all broken, every single one of us. Some maybe just a little, but for others the damage is devastating. It shows in the way they treat others, but more importantly, it reflects in the way they treat themselves. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized how broken I’d become. Some of it by no fault of my own, but as anyone would probably say, I’ve never made things easy on myself. It’s not that I didn’t want to; I didn’t know any other way to be.  It has always made me wonder, if we are all going to die, then why are we even here? Why do we have to experience so much pain?

 The truth lies in the realization that we, as human beings, affect each other all the time. We have the power to make or break the soul of another human being. That single thought is monumental and terrifying. Obviously, I don’t want to break anyone, though, I am sure along the way I have.  As humans, we are all messed up in one way or another, and it impacts what we put out into the world.

There have been those that have come into my life and they truly either didn’t realize their impact on me, or didn’t care. But, as curious as I am, I wonder what made them the way they are because it does mean something. If everyone matters and everyone’s life is important, then the way they were treated in their lives matters as well. We are here to leave our fingerprints on the world, something to show we were alive.

I sincerely hope that when I die, I get to sit on that silver moon with my grandfather and know that I existed because I did something in my life that truly mattered.  Death is permanent, yes, but in many ways, so is life because the show must always go on…


© Ashley Bechtold

jkljlAbout the Author

I am 28 years old and have lived in southern Pennsylvania for two years, but I’m originally from Florida. I am a full-time Registered Nursing student, and in addition, have been writing since I was six. I always wrote to deal with my anxiety and continue to do so. I’ve always found a great deal of comfort in choosing words that adequately express how I’m feeling, or paint a portrait of something I’ve experienced. All of my writing is autobiographical.  I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I adore my animals, ChiChi and Millie   -Ashley Bechtold

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