I've discussed the stages of grief before, this isn't really what this post is about.
Anyway, I finished reading the book Allegiant by Veronica Roth last night (Spoilers if you haven't read it already!!)
I made a post on Facebook about how it didn't end the way I expected it to. How I *expected* it to end was that Tris and Tobias would lose a lot of friends, but still end up being together. Although part of me suspected that Tobias might die or have his memory accidentally wiped.
I didn't expect Tris to die.
And the read of the aftermath was very hard in the moment because his grief was so fresh and she was making his processing of his loss so real.
But I didn't hate the end. I actually do think that the series ended decently. Even hopefully.
But I had SO MANY of my friends comment on my post about how it was a terrible ending and that they hated it. And many of these same friends haven't minded other deaths in other things. So I had to stop about what made this particular death so much worse.
And I realized that it was the grief. It's the grief, more than the death, that people are having such a visceral reaction to. Why else would a series be able to continuously kill off main characters and still have people think it's great, but this one kills off one and it's terrible?
Don't get me wrong, I sobbed through all of the last chapters. I've been there. I've felt all that before; the numbness, the need to just forget everything, the clawing ache. I, more than most of the people I know, feel like I have a right to hate that ending.
But I don't. I'm actually glad to know that many of the things I feel are at least normal enough that an author can describe it and have it be the same range of emotions. But since I have felt it, and am surviving it, I am not afraid of it. I am comfortable in my grief. Not that it doesn't hurt as badly sometimes as the day the doctor told me Cora had died, but more that I have accepted it as a normal, regular experience. The same as being sad when a friend moves away, or disappointed when you don't get something you want badly, or being angry when someone says something mean. I don't fear anger, or disappointment; I don't fear grief.
I have accepted it.
"Saying her name still gives me a little twinge of pain, a pinch that lets me know her memory is still dear to me." ~Tobias, "Allegiant"