One day in the seventh grade in english class my teacher asked a question that remains on my mind whenever I read a book. She asked if you could send a letter to any author who would it be? To the other twelve and thirteen year olds this question might’ve been perceived as unimportant and a question not to ponder on but not for me. When authors write any novel it is not for the purpose just to publish a book, it’s to bring entertainment upon an audience and attempt to teach them a lesson about life that they can carry on with them. After I finish reading a book I am always left with a new perspective on life, as if every book I read is a key that unlocks a new aspect within my mind. When the question became more prominent in my freshman year about what author I would write a letter to I chose you Gayle Forman.
I remember the first time seeing If I Stay advertised on my tv. The movie appeared to my interest and the way it played out in the trailer drew me in. Once it said that the movie was based off of the book I immediately knew I just had to purchase this novel and read it. When my mom allowed me to purchase this book I immediately started to read it. My eyes sped through the sentences as I was eager to obtain all the details of the story. It took me through many emotional rollercoasters and left me on the edge of my seat once I finished the novel. All I could think about how it was pure genius who wrote this book.
When reading the book all I could think about was my younger sister Jenna. She was unfortunately only in our lives for a short period of time and passed away two weeks before her birthday. She was born with multiple problems within her body and my mom one day decided that it was no longer worth it to put her through constant pain when she wasn’t showing any promise of getting better. When Mia got into that car crash and found out her entire family died from it I immediately felt a connection to Mia. Although my entire family is not dead I know what it’s like to feel the emotional distress and pain knowing that a piece of your heart is gone and never to return to you. As Mia contemplates her life after these events have taken place it reminded me of my thought process as a child and even now when my sister had passed.
You feel as if your entire life is crashing around you, that there is nothing left for you and that everything you see will just bring a reminder of how they are gone. Like Mia, I questioned why my sister had to go so soon. I questioned why it had to be my younger sister that had to die. What was the purpose and why did this have to happen to her? As Mia was trying to find away to stay into this world she would often ponder the thought on why they died and why is she the only one that is capable of coming back to life? What was so special about her, about me?
Those that were left in her life came to her side to try to have her hold on to whatever life that was in her because there was other family and friends that she had. At that moment when she was with her family and were begging her to stay and she was wondering if she should, I realized something. Everything that happens happens for a reason. The events that take place is uncontrollable and there is nothing we can do to prevent whatever happens to us even if we think we can. The concept of control is just a delusion and doesn’t exist. You can’t spend your life on the why this happened or why that happened and you can’t waste your life away focusing on the negativity. If Mia remained to focus on the terrible event that had happened that day she would’ve gave up on staying alive but she didn’t. She tried to hear out her family and friends and those who cared about her. In life you will go through hardships, that’s just life, but there are those that you can surround yourself with that will be there to help you and take care of you.
My sister Jenna did die. It’s unfortunate and there is nothing I can do to change that but if I spend my life dwelling on the sadness of her passing then I won’t be able to live my life. I will end up spiraling into a hole of despair and end up secluding myself away from the positives in life. If I can’t get over the issues I face in life along the way or try to manage them then I would die. Not physically but emotionally and mentally. I would leave reality with only focusing on the negative in life which is in a sense what is happening with Mia. If she continues to dwell on what has happened to her and continue to think about the constant pain she will receive from it then she ends up dieing. If she listens to those who love her and reminds herself that she has those that will be there in the end to tell her it’ll be okay then she will stay.
There will always be a part of me that will never get over my sister’s death. I feel like when you experience something traumatic as that you can never fully get over it but you learn to deal with it. With the help of those who love me and my mind remaining to focus on the positivity in life I can know that Jenna is fine. I can know that this event that did happen ended up helping me and her. Now she is in a place where she is no longer in pain. Her death shaped me into the person I am today. I thank you Gayle Forman for helping me realize to not dwell on the negativity in life. I thank you for reminding me that there are those who care for you and are willing to help you out in life. I also thank you for teaching me to not give up in life and if ever given the option to leave or stay, I would stay.