Journal Entry #06

Hello again. I'm back, and this time with a more sombre tale to tell. At first I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want to do anything much. Eating seemed a bit pointless, writing even more so. I couldn't cry, I couldn't let out my pain in the way that I wanted to. I felt awful.

My grandfather had died.

In desperation, feeling selfish and horrible for not crying and feeling lonely because my prayers had not been answered, or rather the answer had been 'no', I turned to Spook. "Pray for me," I begged, and she did.

She was moved by this experience. Ask her and she'll tell you. Afterwards, when I'd already felt the effect by my hunger returning, she wrote a poem, called 'Learning to Pray'.

I could cry. By the time I reached the last line I was in tears and it helped. It realised a great flood of emotion inside me until I couldn't hold it in and I didn't feel selfish any more. I was crying.

Then my mother returned home and we cried together. I was choking, unable to speak. "I wrote him a letter," I told her. She didn't understand and I tried to explain. "You don't get it, Mum. I knew he wouldn't read it. I wrote it for that reason." She got it then.

"Sometimes it's best to write things down, even if you know the person will never read it," she told me. I already knew that. That's why I did it.

It wasn't until Monday that I realised. When somebody dies, they're not going to want you to hang around, crying and grieving. They'll be touched if you're sad: that much is true. But they wouldn't want you to dwell on the 'might have beens' and the 'could have beens' and the 'should have beens'. They'll want you to celebrate the life they've already had and everything that has been.

That's what funerals are for. Not just to mourn the passing but to celebrate the life.

When I realised that, I no longer felt guilty about smiling, or laughing. I no longer felt that I was betraying his memory by enjoying my life because I knew that was what he would want.

I could smile again, and my words came back.

The End

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