Death, Melancholy and Chichikov

Last Friday, “…we headed to Beacon to visit Eric and Cath and Owen, which is always fun, but again, bittersweet. I felt like I was saying goodbye to two people, when only one was actually leaving in the near future.”

I felt like I was saying goodbye to two people because I was.  The next day I was asked how Eric was and told people he looked fine, considering the circumstances. A few hours after that, my dad told me he had passed away the day before. I was shocked, and spent a few hours under my blankets in shock. I was so out of it, I didn’t even realize when Haley came to visit me. I was starting school the next day, and Kara had already left for college, and everything was all wrong.

I still can’t say I’m okay, because nothing feels concrete to me. After initially hearing the news and being upset, I knew I had to go back into normal Brenna mode to deal with the oncoming stress truck I was about to be hit with by school and dance starting up. There’s going to be a memorial service, but there was no public funeral, no wake, no burial. And since it wasn’t put before my very eyes in that concrete way, I still cannot fully believe it.

I plowed through the next week, working too much and drowning myself in my schoolwork. These distractions were accidental, but useful ways not to think about death. I hate death. Hate it. Not only because I don’t want to see someone go, but because I hate seeing all those sad, pathetic humans the dead leave behind. We are the only creature on the planet that forsees our mortality, and yet after millions of years, we still haven’t found a way to better handle the crushing sadness it brings. So when I found myself wiping away tears one early morning at work in reaction to a PBS special about children without access to education, I knew it wasn’t completely in response to an young Iranian girl’s desire to learn. (Although it was really depressing to watch after a mind-blowing first week of classes.)

Let’s stop being depressing though. I have far more urgent matters to deal with such as the atrocious state of my hair, my imminent first day of dance (during which I will inevitably get upset over my lack of flexibility,) and keeping up with Chichikov and Manilov and all the other crazy Russian names in Dead Souls.

P.S.  I got super excited when I learned we were reading Dead Souls in Russian Lit, because as any Gilmore Girls aficianado will know, it is the novel Rory was reading before she goes to watch the Brady Bunch Variety Show with Lorelai the morning she got her Harvard Application in the 3rd season.

Number of pages of Russian Literature read this year: 69

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