“It was the sort of sparkly day that mocked funerals.” –Pandora, ch. 9
It’s been beautiful and sunny out these last few days, but that’s not why I’ve neglected my usual Friday update of Pandora’s Pick of the Week. I’m writing this blog post as a tribute to my grandma who died this week.
Death is a funny thing. Considering how I immerse myself in horror, I transitively immerse myself in death: I see it in movies, I read it in books, I write it in my own stories and poetry. Yet I still consider myself a stranger to death. When it plummets into your life unexpectedly, no amount of funeral scenes in stories you’ve written can really prepare you for the reality. There’s a funeral scene in my book, Pandora, which I quoted above. This line kept running through my head yesterday and today. The sun glinted blindingly off the cars of the funeral procession. Everything was bright. It was so strangely juxtaposed with the somber event.
My grandma wasn’t at all interested in horror, but she still supported me in everything I did. When I dyed my hair black, she was disappointed that I was no longer blonde like the rest of my family, but she loved me anyway. It’s cruel that nature snatched her away at 73. It’s unfair on her family, who were suddenly struck with this reminder of our mortality.
Those of us who watch and read a lot of horror may desensitize ourselves to gore, corpses, and death—but I hope that, in turning it into obnoxious teenagers getting their just desserts at the hand of a serial killer, we don’t learn to trivialize death.
Of course, life moves on. I find horror, in part, to be a preparation for death. We look into what we fear most so that eventually we may not be so scared of it. And in the meantime, we just have to continue living our lives.
We are reminded of what we’ll all have to face in the end, even though that itself remains a mystery. Death is hard to wrap our heads around. We can only hope that what comes before the period at the end of our lives is a great story.
My grandma’s was a great story.
Miss you, love you.