This is one of those books that actually gets its own post from me. I was planning to write about this in June but the trailer was released yesterday and it gave me the feels. They aren’t as strong as they were when I read the book back in November, but I want to think I’ve healed a bit more since then.
See, TFiOS is always going to have a special place in my life. It’s one of three books that have taken a part of my life and put it on the page. I can recommend it to anyone who wants to understand me better. I can say “right after this part, this character is me” and it can tell my story and where I’m coming from. Books have the ability to mimic human experience but it’s hard to find books that speak to your soul personally like that.
Like Hazel, I lost the boy I loved. Tom didn’t have cancer and I didn’t have months of watching him die. We didn’t have a practice funeral and we didn’t have some grand overseas adventure. But we had quiet nights on the couch, watching movies and holding each other. We should have had more. More time, more memories, and at least one picture of us together. I loved him and loving him pulled me out of a dark place I’d been in for years. It’s not that he made me feel better, either. It’s that I wanted to be better for him. I let go of things I’d been holding onto for years. Things were getting serious, certain important conversations were being had. There was mention of orange babies.
And it ended way too soon.
There wasn’t a stretch of time knowing things were about to end. It was a facebook message at 3am that I refused to believe till his mother called me on his cellphone. But after that, there’s so many similarities. It’s like all the before in the book was just giving you the feelings and attachment you’d need to understand.
I resented other couples a little for having what was robbed from us. I was grateful for having the time I did with him, but it wasn’t enough. I tried to find something left of him, like Augustus’s letter.
But there wasn’t anything. And that hurt.
I cried when I first read The Fault in Our Stars. Then, I threw the book in a corner (it knows what it did) and gave myself a break. I stopped crying. I thought I was okay. But then I cried some more and knew I WAS NOT OKAY. And I’ve cried a few more times since November.
My family thinks I shouldn’t go see the movie. They wouldn’t like that I’ve watched the trailer four times.
But each time has hurt less and the crying has been a little less desperate.
I think maybe grief is like a broken bone. You’ll never be quite the same as before, but if you shy away every time it hurts, you’ll never be able to walk again. Books are amazing tools for healing. They make you feel like you’ve lived another life without any real damage to yours. They stretch your emotional muscles and let you know it’s okay to hurt.
TFiOS is like PT for my heart. It leaves me raw and aching but I know it’s making me stronger.