A Short Story of a Grim Reaper

September 29, 2017

Death is a taboo topic that most people don't like to talk about and trust me, I understand.  It's emotionally difficult and mentally unfathomable.  It should be discussed though.  It's around us everyday whether we notice it or not.


Last year I read a book titled The Book Thief; and last month I read a play called Goblin.  These two pieces of writing made me want to take a stab at it.  So below is a potential beginning of a story. Let me know what you think.  Sorry for the mood killer in advanced!



It's hard you know, to be the Grim Reaper.  My existence is a mere fairy tale to humans because they can't physically see me. Well you can, but to you I'm just another stranger walking down the street. But, I see you. I can hear the intimate thoughts that bounce around in your head.  All of us Reaper's can.


Time doesn't exist for us which is why we're there for all of life's moments, even death. It's how we're capable of traveling from one passing to the next without hesitation.  For me, this position was bestowed as an honor by the universe.  She said to me, "It's a gift," before she kissed my forehead granting me all the knowledge of the past, present and future.  But it never felt like a gift.


Although there are many different ways to physically die, the process for souls is uniform.  When it's time, I suck the life from your bones by a tough on the forehead. This releases the glowing light from inside you out into the air.  Your entire life is evaluated in a brief second before I help you on your way.  It makes me chuckle that humans believe how you die determines where you end up. Can you imagine if your final act decided your final destination?  How horrible of a thought.


However, this isn't about the process of death. This is about the process of living.  This is about humans and their inability to be kind to death.  Everyday you curse me, threaten me, call me a monster, or spit in my face.  I don't hate you for it. Instead, I love you for the pain you feel.  I'm permanently taking away someone from you.  When they meet me they cease to exist and you have to go on without them. Humans can't handle the amount of grief that I feel everyday and you shouldn't.  No one should.  I'm willing to accept the burden and responsibility put on me by the universe to do this heavy job.  There was a time I was honored to have this ability. But, then everything changed.


Very few of you stop me on the street to talk, even fewer get to know me.  Yes, you can talk to me and interact with me safely.  I'm not here to take every life I encounter. There is a purpose for each death and I can't betray that.  I live life forever alongside of you humans changing as the years go by.  That was until I fell in love with a man. 


This man, my soul mate, the love of my life, he was one of the few who did get to know me.  He was the first human to not judge me for being what I am, death.  Instead, he listened to me as I talked about the emotional pain that I succumbed to every time I took a life.  He held me as I cried over the little babies that wouldn't make if through the night.  He hugged me as I broke down after helping a suicide teen move on.  He kissed me as I told the story of an elderly woman who had a great life but left behind a family.  It's not easy being a Grim Reaper and his support made doing my job easier. His love gave my life a deeper meaning and a better understanding of you.


But that vanished when the universe asked me to take his life.


He was on his way home to me when a deer ran out in front of him causing his car to swerve. A car crash. Simple. Common.  It wasn't even dark out yet.  I knew a crash was scheduled for me later that night but I never would have guessed it was him. It wasn't until my body zipped to the scene that I could feel the life draining from him as he lay bleeding and conscious half way out his wind shield.


Cars annoyed with the traffic delay honked viciously at the police officers who tried to keep their line moving forward.  Strangers stuck their phones out their windows to take pictures as if this was a movie scene to brag about.  The repetitive flashing of red, blue and white blurred as heavy tears fell from my face. 


I was aware of what was needed of me. But my feet stood still.  The ragged breaths that came from his mouth echoed in my head.  He needed me even though the end of his pain would be the beginning of mine.  I knew what would happen. The ambulance would be here in any second to scoop him up and whisk him away with no avail.  With shaking legs, I made it the short distance from where I stood to where he lied.  


A lot of you humans see Grim Reapers as evil creatures that don't have any emotions. Well, we do.  After every life I take I put a photo of the person smiling into a scrap book.  It's simple really, it has their name and a picture, that's it. No biography, no obituary explaining the details of their life, nothing.  It allows me some sort of peace to see each life I take face smiling back at me as if saying, "It's okay. thank you."


But I didn't feel that as I glued a picture of his face into the book.  I don't know what happened between me taking his life and giving his death.  My mind blocked it out. We Reapers have the ability to go back and see any death.  But I can't bring myself to go. 


My chest feel so heavy like it's been filled with lead and I was dropped to the bottom of the ocean.  No Reaper has ever fell in love with a human before so no one knows how to proceed.  To me there is only one answer and it's the only one I know how to give.

Okay, I know this was a big bummer. But, the story was good still right?  Right.  Think of the movie "City of Angels." Extremely sad but beautiful at the same time.  Thank you for letting me be creative even if it's not always rainbows and butterflies.  And for the record since a few of you make assumptions, to be a writer means to write about everything, good or bad.  So if I'm writing about death it doesn't mean that I'm not okay.  Read the story for what it is, not how you think I'm feeling because there is always a difference.





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K. J. Rocazella

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