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Even Though

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Author's note: As a 16-year-old journalist living in suburban Chicago, I’ve always sought to reach a wide...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: As a 16-year-old journalist living in suburban Chicago, I’ve always sought to reach a wide audience with my writing. I serve as co-executive entertainment editor for Buffalo Grove High School’s, “The Charger.” In addition, I have my own video blog on YouTube, which addresses myriad teenage topics, such as relationships, fashion trends and high school survival. I also write for the fashion section of the online publication “EmbraceYou” and I'm also interning at the Daily Herald. I’d love to be a part of your magazine as well.  « Hide author's note
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“Hey girl, you ready to get yo’ paint on,” exclaimed my eager best friend.

“Yeah let’s get started, whoa!”

“Are you okay; you seem a little off?”

Crap. Too much sparkle.

“Yeah, umm … I just found out my father died.”

“Oh my god, I am so sorry!”

Sorry for what? Did you give him cancer?

“It’s OK, don’t worry about it, happens to everyone,” I lied again.

It was a lot of fun painting the windows and hanging streamers. Decorating work was just what I needed to get my mind off of him.

“Mom, really I’m fine,” I said exasperatedly. This was the thirteenth time she asked me since I got home. At this point that horrible question did not bother me. I suppose this is because I have yet to learn its meaning, its implication.

“OK, but don’t forget to write a note to each teacher explaining why you will be missing their class on Tuesday.”

The next morning I walked up to each of my teachers and gave them that 37 word note that is supposed to explaineverythinging.

Hello (teachers name),
Please excuse Danealle from your (class period) class. Her father passed away and she will be at his funeral on Tuesday. Please give her whatever homework she will be missing.
Thank you,
Alla pol

Unfortunately, the full severity of the loss decided to hit me that same day; yet another reason to hate Mondays. With every note I gave out it became harder and harder to keep from breaking down. Especially when each teacher asked that same irritating question, “Are you OK?” As I answered their questions I could feel myself falling deeper. It felt like I was falling down a dark shaft with no way of stopping. I suppose this is how the Titans felt when Zeus trapped them in the pits of Tartarus.

“Oh my gosh!” “Are you OK?” “How did it happen?”

“It’s not a big deal,” I lied for the third time.
“Yes of course I am, I think?”

“Pancreatic cancer.”

I don’t know what’s worse, hearing the same questions or seeing their reactions. My male teachers all wore the same look of discomfort. They did the polite thing and said they’re sorry then went on teaching. The female teachers were more comforting. They offered to postpone an assignment or two and offered some words of advice.

I know they mean well, but it didn’t help in the way they thought it did. On the one hand, it felt wonderful to know I always had someone to talk to. On the other, it frightened me that they thought I needed to talk to someone.

“We’re almost there,” my mother said. “They will probably go out to lunch after this; do you want to go to?”

“Yeah, sure,” I lied for the fourth time.

My mother and I are sitting in the car on our way to the funeral. I’m wearing all black, though if I had it my way I would be in red. I had on black dress pants, ballet flats, and a thespian style turtle neck. I wore a beret atop my head in order to complete my “Jew meets Broadway” ensemble.

As the car drove at 40 miles per hour I looked out the window. The trees zoomed by in a blur of autumn colors. Colors that used to bring joyful memories of crunching leaves and warm laughter now bring painful reminders of what used to be. I got sick of looking and thinking, so I just stared.
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This book has 20 comments. Post your own!

sweetangel4life said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:53 am:
i really loves this. well written of course and im sorry for the pain you felt over the loss. stay strong and keep writing :)
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JessixMathers said...
Mar. 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm:
You are a great writer!!! I loved this memoir! Although I havent lost anyone recently I'm so glad that I read this story, had me hooked from beginning to end! :)
Danealle replied...
Mar. 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm :
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it!
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renthead96 said...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 10:47 am:
I really felt for you while I read this, and I have to say I can relate well to it. My aunt died of cancer only months ago, and I wish I had found this earlier, to help me deal with it. I find it interesting how everyone reacts differently and copes differently to loss. For me, it really didn't hit me until I was at the funeral, and then I lost it. I'm glad I found this story. Keep writing!
Danealle replied...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 11:24 am :
I'm glad you like/understand my thought and feelings behind this. I'm sorry for your loss! 
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Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 5:10 am:
This was so beautiful. I think I almost cried while I read it. I recently lost my great-aunt, and it didn't hit me until two days after I found out. I kind of just talked to my sisters--it helped a lot. This memoir kind of brought back thoughts of her--but they're good thoughts. This was very well written, and truly inspiring. :)
Danealle replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 8:05 am :
I'm glad you liked it! I'm sorry for your loss.
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Marieweibel said...
Jul. 16, 2011 at 12:44 am:
Hey thank you for reading my writting! Your memoir is very well done. You made the very painful truth about grief extremly understandable and relatable, which is not an easy thing to do. Your honesty is very refreshing! Thank you for sharing your story!
Danealle replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 8:04 am :
Your welcome and thank you for reading mine!
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ArgonElement said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 10:14 am:
This was a very artfully written memoir. I am amazed at how everyone copes differently. After my grandmother died I became an angry shell of a person. I am happy you wrote this memoir, it really inspires me to write one also.
Danealle replied...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 7:07 pm :
Thank you! 
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WritingSpasms said...
Jul. 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm:
I'm so sorry about what you went through. You wrote your memoir beautifully and brought out your emotions. I hope you continue on in your writing :)
Danealle replied...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 8:48 am :
Thank you so much! And I will keep writing! 
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CarrieAnn13 said...
Jul. 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm:

Great memoir!  You told the readers how you felt and they will draw their own conclusions at the end. 

I know how it doesn't help (someone who was pretty much a parent to me died), but you have my condolences.  And you were right about grief: the sadness never fully goes away.

Danealle replied...
Jul. 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm :
I'm glad you enjoyed it and i'm happy it's written in a way that people can relate to it
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Hooha said...
Jul. 9, 2011 at 10:58 pm:
This book sounds very intresting and filled with alot of emotions. I really enjoy books like that. I'll take some time to read this one it has definitely caught my attention. Nice job with your writing and keep doing what you love
Danealle replied...
Jul. 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm :
Thank you i appreciate that!
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katieann said...
Jul. 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm:
Strong emotions throughout, really demonstraited how passionate writting is to her and how it got her through such a tough time that not many people would be able to handle like she did. 
Summerchick98 replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm :
I love this story, I lost my father to Sarcoma Cancer. It happened when i was 9....I'm 13 now. I still miss him every day and night.
Danealle replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm :
I'm so sorry for your loss! I hope my story helped you. 
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