Living in darkness trying to learn to love the light

November 18, 2008
By Anonymous

Terry Pratchett once said, “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it’s wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” Darkness will swallow you whole if there’s no light shining through. There are no words ugly enough to describe death. Darkness devoured me the second it got the chance.
My Grandpa, better known as Baka, was my best friend. He was the only father figure in my life, the closest person to my heart. On June 6, 2004 the most catastrophic misfortune occurred in my life. Baka died. Though Holden is not specifically describing this feeling he succeeds in saying, “What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide,” (104). Death slammed my life to a crashing halt. Death can destroy you, people always say “It’ll get better over time.” I think that’s a bunch of bull. In 2004 I was pissed off and heartbroken, it’s 2008 and I’m not any better. There is no pill to get you over the loss, there’s no special doctor you can go to and make it all better. All you have is yourself. I’m the band aid to my heart, a weak generic brand at that. Every time I slowly start healing the band aid is ripped off. No amount of hanging with my friends, crying in my bed, or spending time at his grave does anything. I could sit by his gravestone crying for the rest of my life and yet there would be no cure for my pain.

From the start Holden describes things more successfully than any psychologist I’ve ever met. He says, “Sometimes I act a lot older than I am – I really do – but people never notice. People never notice anything.” (9). Holden doesn’t beat around the bush, he tells things as they are. I’m one of those kids who was cheated out of childhood. I was only eleven when my grandpa died, the day he died was the day I became an adult. It wasn’t a choice, it was a demand. People expect a lot out of me, why they picked me, I don’t know. I know more about life than most people my age do. Suicide and I have met many times, though we’ve never fully succeeded, we’ve met. I know it’s supposed to be bad, but I don’t really give a crap. The only thing keeping me tied to this earth are four people and the promises I made to them, once they’re gone I don’t need to keep those promises and I can go too. People are probably thinking, “if she’s talking like this how the hell is she mature?” I take care of my house, my mom is never home so I do everything. I know how to manage money; to take care of a family and house, I know feelings of sadness that some lucky ones will never have to experience, I know depression, eating disorders, disease, suicide, parting, not having a family to count on, I know all of these experiences well. As cliché as this is, it’s true, you can’t count on anyone but yourself. Not one person has helped me through anything, they may have lightened the pain slightly but I am living today because of me, I didn’t have the backbone of anyone. My mom taught me lessons sure, but I was thrown into life and I learned how to live it.

People think death isn’t that hard and doesn’t have an effect on you for that long, but once it hits you, you’re done. It’ll take a lot for me to recover this, nothing has ever come close, and I don’t think anything ever will. The after effects are what made me so disastrous. I’ve managed to keep myself living for a little over 4 years, so I think I’ve got this life thing down for now at least. I loved Holden’s line, “If you’re supposed to sock somebody in the jaw, and you sort of feel like doing it, you should do it.” (89). I totally agree, if you want to do something, do it. A person is never going to get anywhere if they don’t do anything. If I want to accomplish anything, I get my butt off my couch and do it. If someone’s going to be lazy and sit on their butt all day, don’t feel sorry for them! They should go out and get what they want not sit around and wait for it to come, because reality check, it never will. Take care of yourself and you’ll do fine. Don’t worry about Mr. Lazy couch bum, worry about the dream you want to achieve and the person you want to become and you’ll get through in life. I have learned so many things from death, though I feel dead inside every day, I still know how to live if I want to. If I wanted to be an immature no one who sits on their butt and does nothing, I’d do it. I chose to be a mature adult and get what needs to be done finished. Sometimes it interferes with my school, or my Girl Scouts, or my friends but I’m surviving.

The author's comments:
My piece comparing one of my personal experiences to one that Holden Caulfield in Catcher and The Rye has experienced.

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