I am a big Gayle Forman fan! I've read all of her YA novels, and just absolutely love all of them! They are all so powerful and beautiful, and impossible to put down!
I Was Here, her latest release, was one of those books that I actually wanted to pick up every chance I got to read a bit. I would have finished it sooner, but I went on vacation to San Diego for a days this past weekend, and I couldn't make my boyfriend sit there, as I read for hours, especially since we had a lot of exciting things to do!
But anyway, this one really stuck with me...and for some tough reasons.
Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.
I lost someone very dear to me through suicide, four years ago, very unexpectedly. None of us knew, she had been depressed. No one knew that she was sad and lonely. We talked every single Sunday on the phone, and then one Sunday she didn't call. We called and called, but no answer. There was no way to check on her ourselves, because she lived all the way on the other side of the world. It wasn't until that Tuesday that we found out...through an envelope we found in our mailbox. Inside were two letters...one for my mom and one for me.
It was toughest time of my life. There were so many emotions running through me...but most of all only one stuck with me, for quite some time...Anger.
I was angry because I couldn't believe how selfish she had been to do this. I was angry because she left behind so many people that loved her. But most of all I was angry that she had left me.
I remember everyone coming up to me and my mom and just going, "I'm so sorry for your loss." And honestly, it made me even more angry.
I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want it brought up...all I wanted was for life to go back to the way it had been.
We have a family friend who is very religious. My family is not, however, we are very respectful of all religions, and expect the same courtesy back. One Sunday, about a week after we had found out, this woman had us come to her church. She had wanted us to hear her new song, that she would be performing on the piano. We went, me more grudgingly, because at the time I just wanted to hole up in bed, lie there and think of anything but everything around me.
I had told my mom and that woman that I didn't want to talk about it, that I didn't even want it brought up. My mom completely understood.
However, the woman had other ideas.
After the sermon, she introduced us to the pastor, who then brought me and my mom to his office, where he proceeded to question us about our loss.
I was livid.
I didn't want to talk to this stranger about losing one of the most important people in my life. Especially to something, that this man, along with everyone at this church, considered a sin, and would land in a place less fortunate.
It was a bad time for me and my family. It took a long time for me to come to terms with her death. My grandmother had always been there for me, and from one day to the next, she was gone. I will never be able to speak to her again, I will never be able to hear her voice again. And we will never be able to laugh again.
I think that's what I miss the most...the laughing together.
I recently had a dream where I was in a room, and suddenly my grandmother was there. It was just me and her, and she reached out to me. I ran into her arms, crying, realizing at that moment just how much I missed her. I told her I missed her and that I loved her. I woke up crying, silent tears. I curled up and hugged my pillow, and wanted nothing more to go back to that dream and see her for a longer time...perhaps even visit anytime I wanted to.
While I understand that the people who commit suicide have an illness, 90% of the time, I will always have some part of me that believes it is a selfish act. I know, I know...I might get some serious criticism for my opinion, but it's just not something I can overcome.
I understand now why my grandmother did it. She was hurting, both physically and emotionally. She was lonely. Loneliness is a terrible thing, that some people can just not overcome.
Gayle Forman's I Was Here, brought on so much heartbreak and so many of those memories four years ago, but not even in a bad way.
People commit suicide every single day, leaving behind so many loved ones, with heartbreak.
Cody reminded a lot of myself. While I cried after my loved one's death, she was also mad like I was. She didn't understand how her best friend could leave her like that. So unexpectedly, with no further explanation except a group email telling her loved ones, about the decision she had made, but how it was too late, by the time they received the email.
The most shocking thing I had the biggest problem finding out was that Suicide Support Groups actually exist...Groups that support the decision to end your own life.
I mean, honestly, sadly it doesn't surprise me...if there are groups online that support Anorexia (Pro-Ana groups) then of course there would be sickos out there in this messed up world that would support suicide!
Why more people aren't trying to shut these groups down, is a mystery to me; but hopefully one day they won't.
This book was powerful, and really spoke to me. I haven't been reading very much in the last few months, and have been averaging about a book a month, maybe. I started this one last week and finished it last night. I would have finished it sooner, but like I said above, my vacation with my boyfriend didn't need to ruined by me crying over this beautiful heartfelt story.
The suicide prevention hotline is available at ALL TIMES!!! Call them if you are having problems!
There number is: 1-800-273-8255
They are there to help you!!! You are not alone, and people love you, just never forget that. <3
The Romance Bookie