Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies

8 May
Today at school was kind of hard.

I feel like an attention-whore or something when I’m sad about it. You know what I mean, how when someone dies all of a sudden *everyone* acts like they were super close? Well just to clarify that’s not what I’m trying to do at all.

It’s just so sad and strange.

To see her friends crying in the hall, or when they get up to leave class because they are crying so hard.

Just to hear everyone talking about it, all the different rumors going around and it’s hard to know what’s true.

And then how some people just found out today. This girl Allie ran out of first period because she hadn’t known yet and she was just shocked. They went on the Costa Rica tri ptogether.

And other people who just found out today were so nonchalant about it, like, “Oh yeah the sophomore girl who killed herself? I heard she was on drugs.” then go back to everyday conversation. So casual and they don’t even seem to realize how big of a deal it is.

Every time I drive by her house or the bridge (and I’ve had to drive by both multiple times since I found out) I just get chills.

Every time it came up, actually, I got chills.

In APLA we were reading this poem.

Childhood Is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.

Nobody that matters, that is. Distant relatives of course
Die, whom one never has seen or has seen for an hour,
And they gave one candy in a pink-and-green stripéd bag,
or a jack-knife,
And went away, and cannot really be said to have lived at all.

And cats die. They lie on the floor and lash their tails,
And their reticent fur is suddenly all in motion
With fleas that one never knew were there,
Polished and brown, knowing all there is to know,
Trekking off into the living world.
You fetch a shoe-box, but it’s much too small, because she won’t
curl up now:
So you find a bigger box, and bury her in the yard, and weep.
But you do not wake up a month from then, two months
A year from then, two years, in the middle of the night
And weep, with your knuckles in your mouth, and say Oh, God! Oh, God!
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies that matters,

—mothers and fathers don’t die.

And if you have said, “For heaven’s sake, must you always
be kissing a person?”
Or, “I do wish to gracious you’d stop tapping on the window
with your thimble!”
Tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow if you’re busy having fun,
Is plenty of time to say, “I’m sorry, mother.”

To be grown up is to sit at the table with people who have died,
who neither listen nor speak;
Who do not drink their tea, though they always said
Tea was such a comfort.

Run down into the cellar and bring up the last jar of raspberries;
they are not tempted.
Flatter them, ask them what was it they said exactly
That time, to the bishop, or to the overseer, or to Mrs. Mason;
They are not taken in.
Shout at them, get red in the face, rise,
Drag them up out of their chairs by their stiff shoulders and
shake them and yell at them;
They are not startled, they are not even embarrassed; they slide
back into their chairs.

Your tea is cold now.
You drink it standing up,
And leave the house.

— Edna St.Vincent Millay

And reading it today was a lot to take. I just kept thinking of Maren even though it’s not even talking about suicide, but it just made everything seem more real. The italics is kind of how I feel. I’ve never had someone die who I knew. My grandma died but I never saw her. Even though I never hung out with Maren or anything, I saw her every single day. I’ve had other people die, like in March when a guy from my school killed himself and I heard about it but I didn’t know him and I was just like, oh, that’s really sad. It kind of affected me like a sad movie: you’re sad while you hear about it but then you pretty much forget and the only reason you’re sad is for the people who were affected more directly. But this is more than a sad movie.

It’s weird to think that this girl I saw in the halls every day I’ll never see again. That someone who was so alive three days ago is dead now.

I am a T.A. in the career center 6th period, but today when I went in there, there was a whole table set up with pictures, flowers, cards and things for Maren. Then another table had markers and stuff on it so you could write her something if you wanted, and counselors were in there to talk and some girls were in there who were her friends.

I looked at the table for a few minutes. God, I just still can’t believe it. Like I said, she was so … alive … for lack of a better word. And now she’s not. I’ve seen those types of arrangements before: the table remembering someone with pictures and flowers and you can just tell from looking at it that the person died. But I don’t feel like she has. It’s just weird to see a table like that of someone I know.

Nothing else interesting happened today.


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