Monday, September 12, 2016

Harry Potter and The Girl from Rhode Island

Man. I've been reading this book series {for the first time ever} and it is wrecking my heart like crazy.

I've just finished book 5 (Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix) & I can't even right now. *

I didn't particularly love this book. It's darker than the others so far and reminds me a lot of the 3rd book in the Hunger Games Series (Mockingjay). I didn't love that one either. But as my friend reminded me, this is always a battle of Good & Evil. So I suppose my dislike rests heavily on the fact that I hate Evil. But I powered through and read it because this friend of mine says it's his favorite one. Plus, there ain't no stopping now.

Well, this book has wrecked me. I must warn you, if you have not read the books and plan to, do not read further if you don't want any spoilers.

I have been crying on and off since I've finished this 5th book. Literally, grieving, over the death of Sirius.

For those of you who don't know - Harry Potter grows up in a home with his horrible aunt, uncle and cousin after his parents are killed when he's a baby. They treat him poorly. They make him sleep in a cupboard & pretty much stow him away 90% of the time. They constantly punish him for things that are not his fault and pretty much do whatever they can to show that they hate Harry. It's awful.

Then one day, Harry finds out he has a Godfather, Sirius. A man who was his dads best friend.

Harry gets to know him. Dreams of living with him. Finally has someone who is protective over him. He cares about Harry more than he cares about anyone and it's just so beautiful. He is the knight in shining armor as far as HP's family goes.

Then something terrible happens and HP thinks that his Godfather, Sirius is in danger. HP runs to rescue him only to discover he's been horribly tricked into a very bad situation. Long story short, is that rather suddenly, Sirius dies in this magical duel he's in while essentially him and his friends are trying to fight to save HP and his friends.

HP then enters a few stages of grief.

Prominent are the Denial and Anger. He rages and shatters anything around him. He's so angry he wants to run forever and never stop and never look back. He tries to find ways to still talk to him, thinking maybe he could turn into one of the ghosts that hangs around Hogwarts.

Oh my heart breaks for him. In those moments, I was there. I was Harry. I could feel his anger, his disbelief, his desperation to change things.

For days I've cried whenever I think about it. But why? Why am I so heartbroken over a fictional characters death?

So I prayed about this. Asked God, why does it bother me so much?

I think in some ways, HP and I have a lot in common. I know that desperation to have a loving family of your own. The desperate plea to hope against hope that something will change, maybe things will get better. I know what it's like to feel like you finally have that. Support. Encouragement. Protection. Only to have it stripped away.

But God showed me something else. I have a hope. I have something I can believe and trust in even when everything I love gets stripped away. HP doesn't have that. HP doesn't have faith in a God higher than he. Then it hit me that perhaps that is why my heart aches. I remember the days when I didn't have that anchor. That hope.

I had experienced something really unusual on the 11 year anniversary of my dad's death a week ago. Normally facing the day with a strong determination to not be sad, not miss him and not romanticize our relationship for more than it was - I actually felt grief. I cried hard tears wondering why he couldn't get his ish together. How could he continually look at us and still bring himself to drink or do drugs, knowing it turned him into an evil person. He sacrificed keeping us safe in his desire to just have fun. It was selfish and reckless. We suffered deeply because of his sin. So I cried. Tears of looking back at that little girl who was scared and just wanted to protect herself, her sister and her mother. The deep remorse I feel now that it all fell apart and my desperate attempt to hold it together failed. My mother turned to drinking to console her deep depression. Eventually losing her life to a heart attack. One I consider to have come from her failing health and her depression, both I'm sure amplified by the nightly drinking. My sister now full of hurt that spills out into hate. I see how her hurt has caused broken relationships in her life, which also places a burden on me because some of those relationships are with people I also love and care for. I see her in a position desperate to know she's loved but also not wanting to leave the position of victim because she's afraid if she's not a victim, how can you be sure people will care about you and protect you? I can say this, because I recognized this very destructive pattern in my own heart a few years ago.

The absolute most heartbreaking part of the loss of Sirius though, was when Harry finds a gift Sirius had given him but he forgot he had. This gift gave him direct access to his Godfather, and if he had remembered he had this gift, well - he would have never made the mistake of ending up where he shouldn't be, and his Godfather most likely would still be here. Heart Wrenching.

I cried for Harry because I cried for me. Because it's all too familiar. HP and I may live very [obviously] different lives, but emotions are emotions and these emotions are the same that I've faced and tried to forget for so long.

I'm crossing my fingers that JK Rowling finds some way to bring joy back into my life. To redeem what she has taken from me and Harry. But even if she doesn't, I remember that my hope is secure in God. He does bring joy and redemption into our lives, of that I am certain. That is a fact I can put all of my trust in.

*EDIT: I've finished the entire series. Possible future post coming on the remaining pieces of my broken heart.

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