“We think that we are invincible because we are.” Of all the words I heard around the time of my grandmother’s passing six years ago, these were the only ones that eased my pain. At 15 years old the loss of someone I loved so dearly was unbearable; innocent, immature and above all unprepared I was too young to understand the weight I would bare for having not taken the chance to say goodbye. As I’ve grown and matured, learning to live with my grief I have often searched for words that inspire and comfort not only myself, but also my family and my mum whose pain of losing her mother is beyond unimaginable to me.
Grandma and me <3
My sister Sophie with our Grandma
Having never been a religious person it’s hard to think about death and what may come afterwards. I found no comfort in the hymns we sang or the prayers we said at her funeral, I felt so disconnected and so blind to what was actually happening. Where was she going? Would I see her again? All of my questions could never be answered, but in the words of John Green I found the answers I was desperately seeking – it was in the final chapter of Looking For Alaska that my young mind was blown open to the possibility of being ‘invincible’ in the sense that we are all energy and energy cannot be destroyed and it cannot be created, it can only be transferred. So whether that’s in the form of spirits or reincarnation I can’t tell you…I haven’t figured that one out for myself yet. But I CAN tell you that after my initial scorn for a world I believed to be cruel and after some time I realised the world was still beautiful and that she was still here, in one form or another.
Looking for Alaska
Remembering those we have loved and lost is important, not only does it remind us that the time we have with the people we care about is short it also reminds us of our own mortality and pushes us to live harder. And as the years pass our weak days may take us by surprise but that’s okay, relish in the things that remind you of them. Never underestimate the power of words and find the ones that give you the strength to continue to live without the people you have lost, they would be so proud.
In loving memory of Ann Bowman – my first best friend
By Talia Maguire