Quotes from Before I Die

Jenny Downham ·  336 pages

Rating: (47.9K votes)


“I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out and he'd look at me the way boys do in films, as if I'm beautiful.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I love you. I love you. I send this message through my fingers and into his, up his arm and into his heart. Hear me. I love you. And I'm sorry to leave you.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I love you. It hurts more than anything ever has, but I do. So don't you dare tell me I don't. Don't you ever say it again!”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Bye, Tess. haunt me if you like. I don't mind.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Adam strokes my head, my face, he kisses my tears.

We are blessed.


Let them all go.


The sound of a bird flying low across the garden. Then nothing. Nothing. A cloud passes. Nothing again. Light falls through the window, falls onto me, into me.

Moments.

All gathering towards this one.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die



“Keep breathing. Just keep doing it. It's easy. In and out.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Every few years we disappear, Zoey. All our cells are replaced by others. Not a single bit of me is the same as when I was last in this room.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“We said we'd be friends.'

He looks confused. 'Yeah.'

I don't want to be.'

There's space between us, and in that space there's darkness. I take another step, so close that we share a breath. The same one. In and out.

Tess,' he says. I know it's a warning, but I don't care.

What's the worst thing that can happen?'

It'll hurt,' he says.

It already hurts.'

He nods very slowly. And it's like there's a hole in time, as if everything stops and in this one minute, where we look at each other so close, is spread out between us. As he leans towards me, I feel a strange warmth filtering through me. I forget that my brain is full of every sad face at every window I've ever passed.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Moments.

All gathering towards this one.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I made a fatal error thinking he could save me.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die



“Hold my hand. Don't let go.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Then she says, ‘I love you.’ Like three drops of blood falling onto snow.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“We make patterns, we share moments. Sometimes, I think I'm the only one to see it.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I've always wanted to be a cat. Warm and domesticated when you want to be, wild when you don't.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I want to die in my own way. It's my illness, my death, my choice. This is what saying yes means.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die



“Instructions for Adam

Look after no one except yourself. Go to university and make lots of friends and get drunk. Forget your door keyes. Laugh. Eat pot-noodles for breakfast. Miss lectures. Be irresponsible.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“when I was four I almost fell down the shaft of a tin mine and when I was five the car rolled over on the motorway and when I was seven we went on holiday and the gas ring blew out in the caravan and nobody noticed


I've been dying all my life”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Cal says that humans are made from the nuclear ash of dead stars. He says that when I die, I'll return to dust, glitter,rain. If thats true, I want to be buried right here under this tree. Its roots will reach into the soft mess of my body and suck me dry. I'll be re-formed as apple blossom. I'll drift down in the spring like confetti and cling to my family's shoes. They'll carry me in their pockets to help them sleep. What dreams will they have then?”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Every seven years our bodies change, every cell. Every seven years, we disappear.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I'm me and you're you, and all of them out there are them. And we're all so different and equally unimportant.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die



“We make patterns, we share moments.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“All I know is that I have two choices – stay wrapped in blankets and get on with dying, or get the list back together and get on with living.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“She'll understand what I already know - that death surrounds us all. And it tastes like metal between your teeth.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got $260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it--lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding--sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money.

And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream.

Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die



“It's utterly beautiful not to know my own edges.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


“I said I wouldn't leave her.”
― Jenny Downham, quote from Before I Die


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About the author

Jenny Downham
Born place: London, The United Kingdom
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