I will only have one topic today because I feel that it is important.
The Changing Seasons
It is that time of year again. This is the part of the year where everything seems to change. And I mean everything. This time usually comes around Halloween. It is when the cold comes and the leaves turn to brown sludge that makes a strange noise when you walk on it. Well, actually I can’t say that it is getting colds right now. It pretty much got cold last month, but that’s the Frankenstorm’s fault. It’s not my problem. Anyway, here is what is changing for me in my life right now.
No matter what happens, things always seem to change at this time. This is the time when the thing that all 8th grade ALP’s classes fear, National History Day, begins. National History Day is a huge Social Studies competition that is nationwide and “so important” that we must start the projects in October, even though the actual competition isn’t until the end of March. I know this is a bit drastic. I really think that this is drastic, but after last year, I had to use every single bit of that time to even get close to finishing. If you ask anyone in my class, they will tell you that NHD is evil. I completely agree.
And finally, this is the most important thing that I must write about. In Wicca, which is what religion I am, Halloween is the new year. This is the most important time of the year. It is the day when the people who have died over the past year leave the Earth and go to a new place. It is the last day to speak to them and thank them for the time that they had lived. It is called Samhain, pronounced “Sowen”, because it really annoys me when people pronounce it wrong. Usually this time isn’t that important to me. It is usually just about hanging around a bonfire and then eating lots of food and joking around with my friends. It wasn’t that important to me, until this year.
This was the year that my grandmother died of cancer.
She died a week before her 70th birthday.
When I heard that my grandmother had lung cancer, I knew that things would be bad. I became worried when she started to lose her hair, when she wouldn’t be so energetic. I was always worried about the end. I wondered how i would react. I wonder how much I would cry. I thought that maybe somehow she could be okay, but that didn’t happen. She died not long after I had seen her during Spring Break. By then she had already seemed dead to me. She didn’t go to dinner with us sometimes; she wouldn’t go to the beach; she wouldn’t go to the pool. She had the same smile, but it was a sad smile. Every moment I was with her I thought about how terrible the end would be, how much I would miss her.
Since then I have not cried a single tear.
I feel like there is something wrong with me, that I am wrong because I haven’t cried or that i am wrong because I haven’t been surprised that she was gone. I knew it was going to happen. But I still feel like I should have shown some emotion. my Mom has always told me that I am strong. I know I am, because I have a fifty-foot deep metal mask that hides every single piece of emotion. I have always hidden behind it, and I don’t even feel like taking it off. I mean, sometimes I have wondered what it would be like to show my feelings, but I like it better in hiding. I like it that you only know my as the girl with no name because it makes things easier that way. I could know you in real life, but I’m glad that you won’t see that it is me. I didn’t cry when she left. I didn’t cry when I got the phone call, not like my brother did. I didn’t cry when I was given the coach purses and the watch that smelled so much like her perfume. I was disappointed when the items lost her scent, but I didn’t show it. I do sort of understand why I don’t cry for her. I don’t cry because I had done it all before. when I went to see her in the winter, on that 22-hour car trip, I didn’t miss her yet because she was still happy and smiling. In March, it was different. I remember the day I said goodbye for the last time. I thought i would cry. I thought I would regret not saying more, but I didn’t because she was already gone. That woman that I saw in march was not my grandmother. My grandmother had died when i left in December. This was the skeleton of my grandmother, the frame with no feeling. I felt as if I had already missed my chance, i had already faced the fact that I wouldn’t see her again. I had already moved on before she had, and sometimes I think I regret that. I at least want to regret it. I don’t actually think I do. i don’t know why. That’s all I can say.
So Wednesday is the day we say goodbye to the dead. If you have lost someone over the year, then you should set a candle outside outside to help them find their way. I am asking everyone, even if you do not believe in the same things that I do, if you have lost someone you should do this to help them. Halloween is not just about getting candy. it is about letting go.
Click back next week for more topics from a real girl’s thoughts, where no name comes between what’s in your head and what’s out of it.