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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
Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 3 4 5

Break Down

“You then add three to both sides and set it equal to zero.”
“¡Hola clase!”

“The count on that is: 1 and 2 and 3.”

Finally, it’s 4th period. All I want to do is go to the computer lab and focus on my articles, but I can’t. Nothing is coming to mind and whatever I can manage to get onto the page is editorialized and cynical. After going at it for about forty minutes, I gave up and went to talk to my journalism teacher. I planned on talking about how to improve my article; instead Greg was all I could say.
I was sitting in her class room and I couldn’t make myself stop talking. The talking soon turned into crying and the crying into sobbing. I couldn’t stop myself; it was coming out like vomit. I felt ashamed and angry. My father always said “if you are going to cry, you go into your room, close the door, and cry. You must never let anyone see you.” Now here I was laying everything out on the table in front of someone I’ve known for three semesters. At the same time I felt relived, this was the first time I really cried. With every tear that rolled down my cheeks, I felt the dark cavern become lighter.

I didn't know who I felt sorrier for; me for acting like such a moron or for her because she had to listen to my insanity. After a while of me screaming “it isn't fair” and her calming me down, I felt a lot better. At this point it was half way through 5th period.

She allowed me to stay till the end of the hour and watch “The Office,” at which point she wrote me a pass to chemistry, gave me a hug and said the same thing they all say, “It’ll be OK.”
After bringing back the memories school, a place I once saw as a second home, turned into my own personal hell. I hated being at home because it reminded me of him. I hated coming to school because I couldn’t sit in a single class without some sort of painful reminder. But, I dare not admit this to anyone. Instead, I made my eyes sparkle with mascara every morning and lied.
My counselor begged me to join a grief therapy group at school. At first I said there is no way in hell. I do not enjoy being psychoanalyzed nor do I enjoy partaking in a circle of sobbing teenagers all feeling sorry for themselves. However, following my little break down I decided it wouldn’t kill me to go to one meeting.

I have to say it was nothing like I thought it would be. There were a couple people in the room who I knew, which made things a little easier. The counselor and school psychologist who ran the group were quirky and fun. The group met once a week, with each meeting I felt better.
I started to do a little at home therapy too. I started to write my father letters. The first was a letter of closure. The ones that followed had a less severe tone. If something good happened I would write to him. If I missed him I would write to him and feel less alone. Life was becoming easier, almost bearable. As time passed I felt less guilty, I did not think of him as often as I did. For the most part life was perfect, I was happy.
“The person who died in my life is my father, Greg. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. I found out about the death when I was going to work. After death, I believe my loved one is in heaven. My first feeling was numbness because I guess I didn’t get it. Now I feel relived because I don’t feel empty or guilty. I know he is always there, though he may not be seen. What makes me most angry is when people take what they have for granted. I worry about who is going to walk me down the aisle. The hardest thing about school is listening to all the stories about kids hanging out with their fathers because it makes me feel angry and jealous. The adults in my life tell me not to worry about my future. What helps me most is reading and writing. What helps me least is driving by familiar places,” I read during our last group therapy session.

I have learned a lot over the eight month he’s been gone. The memories no longer hurt me the way they used to. I learned new ways to answer the unavoidable question that would come every now and again.

“It happens to everyone, the important thing is to learn from it,” I lied. “It’s just a way of preparing me for something bigger.”
This was the answer that caused the least squirming, but I could tell not everyone completely believed what I was saying. We parental grievers try our hardest to ignore the reaction of these people and attempt to be more convincing.

Although this story sounds morbid, it isn’t all bad. Yes, we grievers sit together at our circular tables, pretending we understand each other, but amid the conversations of our losses we also talk about our weekends and complain about classes. All the while hoping to one day be able to believe the answers we give.

For you see, there is one big lesson everyone who joins the circle must learn; grief is like a drug addiction. The sadness never fully goes away, but with time it becomes easier to control and eventually dissipates into nothing more than a twinge. Even though sometimes it seems easier to fall to the addiction or sadness, it is important to remember that with each passing day and each “even though” uttered the dark cavern becomes just a little bit lighter. I use journalism, friends, and family as my life-vest; how about you?
Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 3 4 5

Join the Discussion

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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