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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

I started this book yesterday by Alice Sebold and I'm more than half way through. I'm typically a fast reader, and could've read the book from cover to cover within a night, but I just couldn't. Perhaps it was all this time off school and the break from reading so much, but it was probably something else.

For those of you that don't know the story, it's written from the view-point of a young teenage girl (around my age) who was raped before being murdered by a neighbour. Once dead, she reaches heaven and looks down to Earth to watch the lives of her family, friends and murderer. There in heaven, she watches over them as their lives unfold and continue after her death.

The Lovely Bones book cover.
Whilst following this sad and tragic tale of the girl, my mind often drifts to the "what ifs" the story implies. Well, it doesn't imply this directly, but it does make you think. A lot.

My first thoughts whilst reading this was "What would happen if I died just now? Doesn't matter how or why, just dying or dead. Would people mourn me? What would they think of me? What would my family do? Would my kid brother understand the truth his big sister was dead and was never going to wake up?"

Then came all these kind of thoughts: "Wait. Where would I be? Does heaven exist? Does hell exist?! Or do I get reborn? Is any religion right? Or do I just die. What happens when you just die? What happens if you just watch from above and see all the people you left behind?..."

Questions went round and round my head for hours. You can become very selfish - as I did - when you think about your own death. Petty things like things you used to own you want to make sure go to the right kind of people and the arrangements of your own funeral. All the little things. Then you get over that and then move onto thinking about your family and friends - and how your death may affect them in both good ways, and bad for death is natural and everyone has to die eventually.

Even writing this blog is hard for me because every time I type anything, I ponder over what I had previously written. God forbid (though I am not sure of a God existing) that I or anyone I know, are taken before their time. Just a few weeks ago, a year 8 at my school had recently died of an unknown brain tumour that was found too late. Within days of finding out about it, she had left this Earth. I knew her enough. 

That story, combined with the tale of The Lovely Bones made my brain hurt with all the "what ifs" in this world. I'm not sure if I fear death in the way that I speak of. Yet. Only time will tell. Comment below and share with me your thoughts.

"Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other."  Francis Bacon

^Kind of appropriate considering The Lovely Bones is told from the view-point of the child. Some argue that the Dark is Death itself.

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