FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, TGIF

The Grimmest of Grims, #HarryPotter #TGIF #FTSF

I love Harry Potter. I was late to the party though, on becoming one of the obsessed. I was twenty-four to be exact.

I often say,
like here on my About Me page,
that my three most visited topics throughout my mind and my writing are birth, death, and love. At the heart of most of what I write, those are the three subjects that are fueling it all.

The Harry Potter books are about the transformative effects of love, but it is also, in many ways, a book about death, if you look at the books critically. It’s about a villainous wizard who is so afraid of dying that he does whatever it takes to make himself immortal. I understand that, to a point.

It is easy for many young people, as I often hear, to believe that they are invincible and that death is so far off that it’s pretty well preventable. Maybe a cure to death will be found by then, they think. Maybe I can avoid all the darkness of the unknown of death, for myself or those I love.

But is that what we really want?

I had a discussion once, on a long drive home with a boyfriend, about death. There’s the science that’s working to put a stop to the inevitability of death. There’s the discussion about aging and suffering that often accompanies an aging human body. Then there was the added level of disability and medical conditions we both knew a little something about.

Did we want to live forever? We were several decades, ideally, from death. I don’t recall how this conversation came up.

Suicide is heard a lot more about these days, while stigma and misinformation still exist. A sudden or not so sudden end to a life, by choice is a frightening topic for most people. It’s a reality faced, by friends and families, for many of us.

Then there’s the fact that I never had my own brush with youthful carelessness or exuberance in the face of death, thought to be yet many many years down the road of life.

I lost dogs, several by our family’s admitted rotten luck. I’d lost a grandparent when I was ten. It didn’t get any easier with age to accept that I wouldn’t see certain people again.

While most kids are going through puberty I was also going through multiple surgeries. Then my little brother followed my medical path in a similar fashion. I then truly worried for someone else more than I cared and worried for myself. I wanted to take his pain away, add it to my own, still in progress.

As we got older, some of his medical issues became more serious and life-threatening and I feared death more than ever.

I can’t say I ever thought, right as I found myself on an operating table and about to do the paediatric anesthesiologist’s suggested countdown from one hundred, that I might never wake up. I just didn’t think it. I wasn’t worried, in some strange way. I can’t say now how I would feel. I have been lucky to avoid surgery for anything in many years, but I will likely face it again in the future, unless a cure for kidney disease is found in the meantime.

Now I am past losing grandparents. I just lost an aunt. I fear losing my parents. I fear the topic even being breached, as when my father brings it up in a nonchalant manner, as I know he is afraid too.

I live with a lot of fear about many things. I wish this weren’t just one more of those. It is inescapable and Voldemort is just a fictional character, but it’s his strangely relatable characteristics that I found most fascinating as I read, as fear of death is universal. It’s his deeds to avoid it, with how extreme and evil they are, that make him one of the greatest villains in literature, in my opinion.

I would like to write an essay of some kind, but it feels like such a huge undertaking. I feel like it would, by necessity, end up becoming a form of college term paper. I am not experienced with those.

If I did write it, it would be about the theme of death in the Harry Potter books.

Through the obvious, as I mentioned before, but also through J.K. Rowling’s use of other characters and symbols, such as ghosts and a black spectral dog, which when seen in the wizarding world, means death is near.

This isn’t my favourite of the Harry Potter films, by far, even if Emma Thompson is one excellent actress. I just include this clip to show you, if you’ve never read the books or watched the movies before. Though the third book, Prisoner of Azkaban, was one hell of a roller coaster ride when I first read it in 2008.

There’s some connection, a connective circle, as I mentioned dogs above, but I don’t know yet what it all is or what it all means.

I don’t know what that’s like when death looms ever closer, but I have come closer than many at my age and younger often do.

All these myths of black cats bringing bad luck and black dogs bringing news of demise. I will write about these things, as hard as they sometimes are to face, until the day I die.

This was
Finish The Sentence Friday
with host Kristi from Finding Ninee.

Read her feelings on the FTSF prompt for this subject if you can. They are lovely. As for myself, I have been away from this particular Friday prompt for a few weeks now, but I couldn’t resist coming back for this one.


4 thoughts on “The Grimmest of Grims, #HarryPotter #TGIF #FTSF

  1. I’m so glad you came back for this one. I read all of the Harry Potter books but it’s been years and I’ve been thinking about sharing them with my son because he’s learned who Harry is or that he “exists” somehow through friends but keep putting it off. I bawled my eyes out (no pun intended) when I read about D you know what-ing (don’t want spoilers here). The books are amazing and maybe so because the desire to stay alive is so human in all of us? So so glad you linked up once again and ugh to your surgeries. Our little neighbor friend had a surgery today (he’s six and we’re not sure what it’s for as his family isn’t saying but wow to the stuff you went through so early in life.). xoxo

    • Thanks Kristi. We all have something to say for the prompt you’ve chosen here. It can be scary to address, but I couldn’t stop myself once I started writing it. Yours inspired me to dive in.
      It’s hard when young children must go through something. At least I was old enough to understand, for the most part. Any child who can’t yet grasp why they are being poked and prodded is going to learn quick and grow faster than they should have to, but there will hopefully be at least a few adults to help them remain children whenever possible and forever how long.
      It does force you, at least it did me, to grow up faster. That is what I wanted to write about. Speeding up the process and I now feel closer to the realities of death and loss, but that’s life.
      YEs, so many emotional moments in HP. Hope Tucker will love Harry and the books when he reads them. They made me see that there is still magic to be found in the world.

  2. I think I shall have to revisit Harry Potter. I read the first few and then lost steam. Maybe I’ll experience them fully when my kids hit them. As for death in literature, I think I do vampire fiction for that – and no, I don’t think anyone really wants to live forever. But that doesn’t stop fear about the unknown of whatever is after this.

    • Ah, revisit Harry Potter. I absolutely recommend that you do, but I know not everyone likes to read the same thing.
      I read the Twilight books to see what all the fuss was all about, but didn’t find them particularly inspiring.
      Anne Rice is more the type of living forever/vampire story for me. I only read Interview with the Vampire, but she really does make a statement. I am actually rereading it but in a strange way. She is posting bits of the book, a little at a time, on her Facebook page and I am following along.
      The concept of immortality and living forever is a fascinating one for all human beings I believe. Rice does that proud.

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