You know not nearly enough people talk about how chronic illness is a cycle of ever-increasing grief. Like I'm losing things, parts of myself, futures I can never have to some unknown problem in my brain and in my joints and in my eyes. And I'm mourning them.
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‘It doesn’t hurt anymore,’ Frodo says, and he means only right now, but he doesn’t specify. Elrond’s gaze shifts from Frodo’s shoulder to his eyes. He looks almost guilty in the moment that their eyes meet, like he hadn’t meant to stare, or he hadn’t meant to be caught, but Frodo turns his head away to look at Bilbo: he is sleeping. The sea rocks the ship like it is the waves and not the wind that moves them so quickly forward.
Elrond is quiet. He’s always quiet now.
Elrond has cuts on the palm of his hands in curves like little moons where his nails have bitten him. He turns his hands palm down on his knees when he catches Frodo looking.
There should be something more to say. He should be happier. Bilbo’s hand is warm in Frodo’s broken hand.
Galadriel laughs with Gandalf at the bow of the ship. Her hair is wild in the sun. Frodo doesn’t know if he’s ever seen anyone so happy.
‘Her family is waiting,’ Elrond says.
Frodo nods once because he already knows.
Frodo’s family isn’t waiting. They’re either on this ship, going forward too fast to turn around, or they’re back on the shore, learning to move on. There is no one he knows waiting for him on that far shore. He almost says this, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t think about it again.
He thinksof Sam’s brown eyes, and how Samcried so hard that henearly changed his mind.
That isn’t true. He did change his mind, six times at least, but he changed it back because the pain was dragging through his body, and he knew he wasn’t going to live. He couldn’t. It was all too much, no matter how vague saying that is, it was true.
Frodo slumps a bit forward, shifting Bilbo’s head on his left shoulder.
‘It doesn’t hurt,’ he says again, even though it does. His eyes have flooded with tears so fast and so strong that the world is only unspecified shapes in bleeding colours. That is his last memory of Sam and Merry and Pippin—they bled into the world like they belonged there. That will always be his last memory of them. He doesn’t know if Elrond is looking at him, but his voice is choked enough that Elrond would know he was crying even if he didn’t look.
Elrond lays his hand on Frodo’s knee. It is gentle in the way that nothing but far off dream-stained memories are—gentle like a summer morning in the Shire when the world was green and filled with buttercups, and the sunlight shone in a wondrous stream that painted the tall grass golden were the fairy flies flew.
But that is only a memory, and it would always be only a memory whether he stayed or whether he went. Elves live in their memories, he’s heard. Maybe it’s true. Everything is so much simpler in memories.
Even the pain.
Sometimes he misses the pain, the violence, because it was something to fill him—something to concentrate on. It was burning, but it was something to fight. It gave him a reason. There were seconds even where it made him feel whole. It was there always. It was his only companion.
That is a lie.
‘Does Sam know I’m sorry?’ he says, sudden and wild, waking Bilbo. Sam was too young.
‘Yes,’ Elrond says.
Frodo wipes his eyes with the back of his unbroken hand. He smiles at Bilbo. Bilbo can never blame himself.
‘It’s getting cold,’ he says.
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Tandoori Nights Part 9 Episode 2 Tapestry of Murder
Naina did and then wondered why fae did. Why listen to an already dead woman? If they could do anything… and then they froze.
Jaya’s bruises had disappeared and she was standing straight, despite having a broken ankle. Her skin was dry and gray, indicating her decomposed nature, and it hung around her bones as if the glue that held the tendons together had dried.
One of her eye sockets held a sunflower, half whittled and shrunken. Her dried, skeletal lips were turned in a small smile and only a few slivers of solidified hair hung to her dirty scalp.
“You…” Naina’s words had dried up in their throat.
“I am already dead,” Jaya’s voice seemed to be separate from the decaying carcass she had formed into, “You cannot undo the past…”
Naina felt tears lining their eyes, the telltale itch taking hold. They had to undo it, if they didn’t they would follow Jaya’s fate and die. Their friends would die…
They shook their head, to make the thoughts scurry and looked up again, “She’s searching for you. She has been for centuries… she’s going to kill us.”
Jaya sighed, wariness and tiredness lining her long-dead features, “She cannot see me. Her anger blinds her. And that prevents her from seeing me, even though I am next to her.”
“How can we make her see you?”
A small chuckle escaped Jaya, “The sun does not concern itself with the shadows it casts. All the people trapped in her orbit are mere shadows to her. She cannot see me because I, too, am a shadow.”
“That doesn’t help,” Naina ran their fingers through their hair in exasperation, “I need something concrete. I’m sorry but I really don’t want to die. Please…”
“She needs to calm down. She needs to not burn in her anger. Her anger has destroyed much,” Jaya cupped Naina’s cheek with skeletal fingers, “Remind her who she is… that she is not her anger. Perhaps then she will find peace.”
“She is drowning in sorrow,” Jaya stepped back and immediately the edges of her frame began to fray and disappear as Naina realised a great darkness was edging towards them both, “Remind her what it was like to be happy.”
Naina swore she saw a stray tear escape her hollow skull as the darkness ate the woman with the braid up.
Shreya felt a heavy weight dragging them down when they floated back into consciousness. They looked down to see brass armor covering their torso in an impenetrable shield, brass gauntlets nearly cutting off their circulation. A spear was clutched in their palm, though they sincerely doubted that they could throw it if required.
The drone of voices drew them out of their reverie and they looked towards their left, where the droning buzzed near their ears as if bees had gathered around it. There was a tall man wearing courtly clothing, a rich blue sherwani embroidered in silver thread, long silken dhoti, and his dark hair undone in artful waves around his shoulder. He kneeled before another man, this one much different looking. His age had gained him weight, and despite the grand fur shawls covering him, he shivered. His eyes drooped with age.
On his head rested a heavy crown made of burnished gold, rubies and garnets had been melded into its grooves. He sat upon a comfortable, low rise cushion nestled into a metal monstrosity that could only be the throne.
Manjulika’s father. That was her name right?
The younger man caught them staring and his mouth thinned in a straight line, “Is there something interesting you, soldier?”
Hadn’t Maraan and Anushka told them to do the unexpected?
They shrugged, “Yeah, what are you talking about?”
The two men blinked at Shreya’s audacity. They had a lot of it, apparently.
“Excuse us?” the minister (or at least who they hoped was the minister) narrowed his eyes, his voice chilling to ice.
Wow, they had no chill.
“Are you talking about killing Mandy’s girlfriend?”
They, also, had no chill.
The name Mandy didn’t register at first, and Shreya assumed they’d said it wrong, but then the king’s eyes widened with realisation. A gulp made his prominent adam’s apple bob.
“So like…” Shreya didn’t know how to explain that they were stuck in an infinite time loop of grief and anger.
The minister with no chill seemed to grow almost red with anger, and he gripped the King’s hand tightly, “Do not entertain this serf, sir. We will ensure they rot in the lowest dungeons, they must be a spy.”
Shreya frowned, “Dude, you’re like dead…”
Another bout of shocked silence followed before the minister roared, yes roared, at them, “YOU DARE BLASPHEME IN THE KING’S PRESENCE?!
Shreya yelled back, because that was what the vibe was now, apparently, “THAT’S NOT WHAT BLASPHEMING MEANS MAN, DO YOU NOT HAVE A DICTIONARY?”
“WHAT IN MAHADEV’S NAME IS A DICTIONARY?”
“HOW DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH IS THIS A PLOT HOLE OR SOMETHING?”
“WHAT HOLE ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?”
Shreya’s voice was hoarse from screaming but they fixated their tunnel vision onto the man who had used blaspheme in the wrong context. As a student of ICSE they could not let their english related trauma go unheard.
That's when they became aware that the king was still there, staring at both his minister and Shreya with wide eyes. He was shaking, but Shreya couldn’t tell if it was from their recently commenced shouting match or because of the inhuman cold floating through the room, coating it in frost.
“We know we are not alive,” the king’s eyes rolled into his head, baring empty sockets and his flesh slipped off his bones as if it wasn’t muscular tissue but actual tissue paper, “We are trapped in her rage.”
His voice was solemn, cracked with age and apology.
A wave of darkness surrounded them suddenly, the dark mists threatening to choke Shreya as they clutched at their throat. Breathing was becoming difficult again as they risked one last look towards the king.
“Tell her I love her… and that I am sorry.”
Vani loved purple, that was one of her personality traits and she made sure everyone knew it. So when she found herself swathed in purple and laying in the arms of the most gorgeous woman she had ever seen, she nearly passed out.
The lady with tourmaline eyes smiled down at her, burying her fingers gently in Vani’s hair. She smelled of ripe fruit and fresh carnelians, and Vani could sniff at her creepily forever. Luxurious mauve silk slipped across her skin and the coldness of pearls rested against her throat. She was dimly aware that only diyas lit the grand room she was in, laying on downy bedding.
Whoever said money couldn’t buy happiness was dead wrong.
Her decision to get a sugar mommy once she got out of this whole mess solidified.
And then she blinked. That blink suddenly lifted the sweet fragrant veil casted over her eyes and she shifted, squirming out of her lover’s tightening grasp. This mess…
When the hell did she get a lover?
The pearls against her bare skin grew too cold. The silk suddenly felt like tiny needles pressing into her skin, and the more she struggled, the tighter the grip of the princess grew.
“Don’t leave me,” she said, sang almost, a haunting tune that almost coaxed Vani back into her arms, “You will have everything here. You will have rivers to swim in, riches to dress in, food to indulge in… please…”
No, no, no.
As she struggled to release herself from the death hold of the dead princess, the physical embodiment of an overcrowded locker room bounced off of her head. She winced, crying out.
“Sorry!”Isha replied and Vani turned to see her arms full of persimmons… which were not ripe. That explained the smell, at least.
Isha lobbed another fruit and this time it hit its intended target. The dead princess didn't flinch but her grip on Vani loosened and Vani slipped out of her hold, running towards Isha.
Her companion was still zealously throwing unripe persimmons at the decaying carcass of the princess, her eyebrows knit in concentration when Vani grabbed her hand and the two headed for the door to the suite.
It melted off the walls, as if it had never existed just as the two reached it. Vani gasped and clawed at the now barren wall, a growl escaping her throat as she turned around to behold Madhira in all her deadly glory walking towards them.
Isha gulped as a gauzy white curtain behind the princess caught fire.
“Why do you run from me?” her voice was like a symphony, and not in a good way.
It was too much, all at once, like a wave that kept pushing someone beneath the ocean, stopping them from taking a breath.
Vani tried to shield Isha with her body but Isha shook her head, instead trying to do the same thing. Their arms interlocked as they hopelessly tried to defend each other.
“ANSWER ME,” the fire leaped at the ghost’s scream, making Vani’s heart best friends with not her ribs but her throat.
“It's not real,” Isha yelled back.
Madhira growled, “I did not ask you, peasant.”
Her arm shot out, the white bone gleaming in the moonlight, as she clutched her fist. A gasp escaped Isha as she grabbed for her throat.
Vani felt panic rising in her, blood rushing to her ears and her fingers going numb, “Let her go.”
“Let her go first, please…”
Madhira looked between Isha and Vani, narrowing her eyes which glowed like embers. Her dark hair billowed behind her as the flames of the ethereal fires leaped.
She loosened her grip and Isha melted to the floor, taking large gulps of air.
“Now…” the ghost rasped, “Before I change my mind.”
“Because it’s not real,” Vani repeated, “Yes I can swim, eat and dance here whenever I want but none of it’s real… I am not who you think I am.”
“You can be,” the ancient spectre seemed to be begging, “With time and patience…”
“I am not Jaya,” Vani said briskly, “You cannot make me Jaya.”
A laugh escaped Madhira, dark and brittle like it could break at the slightest touch, “I can steal the breath from her lungs, I can burn down an entire fort and trap every soul here for three hundred years. I can do anything I want to do.”
“Then why haven’t you found Jaya yet?”
“You said you burned down the fort out of anger. You trapped the spirits of everyone present that night and everyone who has visited out of anger and grief. You can change time and create illusions… then why can’t you find the person you’ve been hurting for?”
“Do not tempt me to include you in the souls trapped here…” the ghost hissed.
“I don’t have to tempt you,” Vani snarled, unsure where all this bravado was coming from, “You’ve already decided you will. You’ll sweeten the deal because you think I’m Jaya but you’re still going to trap me here.”
“Do not say her name.”
“Why? I’m not the one dishonoring her memory by…”
“ENOUGH! I had hope that you would see sense, but if not, I have a remedy for pests like you,” the princess raised her hands and threw her head back, as if summoning the fire to do her bidding.
And that it did.
The flames spread too quickly, making the two girls scream and step back.
They clung to each other as the awfully real fire licked at their heels like a disobedient, rabies infected dog. Vani yelped in pain as flame danced against the sole of her feet, burning her.
Madhira looked towards them, swathed in fire, and for a minute Vani thought that there was regret in her infernal gaze.
But there wasn’t much time as they were swallowed whole by a large ball of heart and pain.
tagging some mutuals: @cipher-dorito, @gopikanyari, @puran-poli, @zehenaseeb, @stars-triumphant, @holding-infinity-and-a-book
Part 4 Episode 1
Part 4 Episode 2
Part 7 Episode 1
Part 7 Episode 2
Part 8 Episode 1
Part 8 Episode 2
Part 9 Episode 1
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Anne Michaels, from "A Height of Years", The Weight of Oranges
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Light Over Darkness - Candles
December 25th 1981
Severus learnt how to make fire from magic when he was nine, but today he strikes a match.
It is quiet. Unnaturally so. He can hear the fwoosh, and the sizzle as he lights the wick. The winter gale is as calm and quiet as a gentle breeze here. Honestly, Severus thinks, it’s as though they want the muggles to be suspicious.
This is his first Christmas since she died – certainly not his first without her, but it’s different all the same. He lights a second candle and sits it opposite the first, next to a wilting bouquet of flowers in a jam jar. Severus isn’t certain if they are from Petunia or Lupin, but either way he will take them with him when he leaves. A graveyard never needs any more death than what’s already in the ground. On any other occasion he would simply banish them, but magic is being monitored here so plainly it’s laughable, and Severus has no desire to be noticed. The weeds look like they might have used to be tulips. The wolf, then; Petunia has more taste. He holds the wreath to his abdomen and kneels, ignoring the uncomfortable sensation of his shirt sticking to his skin.
People like to talk to the dead. Severus knows this, but he has never seen the point. Why talk to somebody who cannot hear you? How is it comforting to converse with somebody who will never respond? He tried once, years ago now, and it was agonising.
He sits by the grave in silence.
Lily would hate her headstone, that much is abundantly clear the second he lays eyes on it in the dim light. She has a middle name. She has a maiden name. ‘Lily’ is a shortened version of her legal name. None of this is reflected in the cold stone. She is more than Lily Potter, mother and wife. Was.
Severus is a Catholic. A good one, his father likes to think. He goes to church, reads the verses, eats the body, drinks the blood, and says Latin prayers in candle-lit rooms with high ceilings and no room for magic. He knows that Lily’s epitaph is from Corinthians 15:26. He also knows that she renounced her faith at the age of thirteen, and that she died following a new deity. He feels ill, seeing those words of his faith there, carved solid and unmovable, mocking his sister in her death.
A headstone is supposed to be the final mark of a person; who they were.
Whoever created this couldn’t even get Lily’s name right, never mind capture her character.
Severus doesn’t realise how hard his grip has become until he hears a small snap. His head whips down, and he assesses the wreath. Exhaling slowly, he faces heaven-wards with his eyes firmly shut; the damage is minimal. The wreath is woven from bracken, holly, bramble vines, and gorse, and strengthened by magic cast elsewhere. He sits it on the grave between the candles. He doesn’t bother to wipe his hands on his trousers.
It is quiet. Unnaturally so. Wick and wax don’t make much sound, even on a still night. The sky is dark now.
Severus picks up the candle on the left, it almost slips from his hand; he is not being as careful as he ought to. He does not care.
The candle tilts. The wreath blazes; the sickening words are now fully illuminated again.
Severus Snape kneels, and listens to it burn.
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Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend: Stephen Colbert
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Extremely sad and odd question: How do you think Naegiri would handle each other's death from old age?
Of course it would be devastating for either of them when it happened. I can imagine Naegi would be much more open with his grief. He’d be unafraid to let it show publicly. Meanwhile, Kirigiri would try to keep it as private as she could, only openly crying when alone or with someone she considers very close (Hina perhaps). She'd lose her smile for a while.
And yet... living to be with someone until they pass of old age is a blessing. It’s truly lucky to be able to see someone through to their life’s conclusion without losing them to some disease or some accident or a million other things that could happen. And especially given the life-threatening dangers they both faced on multiple occasions, I think they’d realize that they were blessed to be together for so long and find solace in that.
I can picture either one of them looking out a window at night, a tear rolling down their cheek as they stand there, feeling alone... and yet, they smile. Because they’d understand that they were lucky to find their partner, lucky to share their lives into old age - and lucky to feel like that partner is waiting for them somewhere.
And of course, the survivor would find solace in the friends and family they still have. Any children they had, plus people like Komaru and Asahina would be there to support them. I imagine their kids would be especially ready to take care of the surviving parent who has to endure.
I bet Naegi would still talk to her sometimes, behaving as if she could definitely hear him. Kyoko would solemnly visit his grave when his birthday rolled around, but Makoto would do that same visit each October while attempting to smile. He’d want to celebrate her life as much as he could on those days.
Complicating matters further would be the fact that they’re celebrities now. Heroes to a plurality of people. Decades would’ve passed since the Tragedy, and maybe only the people who were alive at the time would really remember the School Killing Game so vividly, but nobody would be unaware that these people were the reason Junko Enoshima was ultimately defeated and killed. Kyoko would be a little indignant about the notion that “the world” was mourning Naegi; that’s her personal loss. These people talking about him on TV? They never really knew him. But I feel like Makoto would be more understanding that the world looked up to Kyoko, even if he would feel and experience the loss in a much more personal way.
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Grief (And the light at the end of the tunnel)
Sunmary: It is silent in its approach, but when it arrives it feels like it could crush your very soul. Aka I project my feelings of grief onto Peter Parker.
This story is one deeply personal and comes from the emotions I was feeling late last night. This is dedicated to my lights at the end of the tunnel: @doctornineandthreequarters @lost-lunar-wolf @superherotiger @zyruuu. You all made yesterday better and I'm not sure if you even realized it. Thanks for always being there for me when I have needed you, I love you all ao much. Without much more affection (que affection.png) lets get on to the fic!
Grief (And the light at the end of the tunnel)
Grief had been a part of his life for as long as he could remember. From losing his parents as a toddler to Ben as a teen. It was constant. But, it never made it easier when it hit. Sometimes, it snuck up on him and sometimes he spent hours stuck in its grip. Sometimes it was hard to see the light on the other side once the clouds passed.
Today was one of those days when he was aware of what date it was, but it didn't really hit him until later. Today was the 14 year anniversary. Today, his parents had been gone for 14 years. 14 years of his life he had now spent without them taking him to school or teaching him to drive. It had been 14 years since he had seen their faces in real life instead of photos and dreams.
He had tried to avoid the date- he could always feel it approaching, almost to the point of having a constant countdown going in his head. Once the day arrived he made sure he was distracted, from school, to decathalon practice, to patrol and homework there wasn't supposed to be time for him to think today. The idea was to get through it without having to focus on it, but alas his plans failed. Now, here he was trying to complete an assignment that was due tomorrow for class with tears clouding his eyes. Instead of being able to read about population growth all he can see are blurry shapes.
He had gone all day, done everything else, but it is finally now in the dark of night that the grief comes. The time where the apartment is quiet and he can hear May sleeping. The time where the city that never sleeps may not me soundless, but everything appears muffled. The time where he is alone with no one there. The time where it is able to grip on strongest because there is no light or distractions, there is only the dark and the grief.
I miss them, he thinks as he sits alone in his room. What he misses he isn't even sure. It's almost like he misses the idea of them. He can't really miss them when he never knew them can he? How could he? He was 3 years old, he doesn't remember them. He just has photos and the stories people tell him. Stories of making homemade pizza to arguing over whose side of the family they were seeing for each holiday. The small things. The things he doesn't know nor remember. The important things.
All he knows are the things people like to tell him, like that his mother drank her coffee black and his father drank iced tea. But, no one ever tells him the story of how his parents met or what their childhoods were like. No one ever tells him if they had big dreams for him or if they talked about being at his graduation. No one talks about them anymore. May doesn't talk about them anymore. Its like they are ghosts who were just passing through, barely a thought on anyones minds. Sometimes he feels like a ghost, like he was the one just passing through life.
Suddenly, a ringing stirs him from his thoughts. Looking down at his desk, he shoves papers away trying to answer the call before it wakes up May.
Incoming call from "Mr. Stark" flashes on the screen. Peter smiles. He may have a cloud of grief washing over him, but at least he always knows the sun is going to rise. That he is going to make it to the end of the storm.
Grief is a funny thing, it is silent in its approach, but when it finally arrives it can weigh you down and crush you. But, then the light arrives. And it shines bright and unforgiving and makes you want to smile too. And it reminds you that you aren't alone. That you aren't a ghost passing through life- you are real and human. And there is nothing more human than feeling deep emotions like sadness or grief, but remember to look for the happiness too. From the four leaf clovers to snowflakes falling into your hair- find the happiness and hold it tight, embrace it, for who knows what the future will hold.
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Good at Goodbyes
G in the Alphabet Challenge
Title by creativepromptsforwriting
Warnings: referenced character death
Word Count: 947
Summary: Hiccup burns Stoick's throne as a last goodbye to him.
Chief Hiccup Haddock III of Berk watched the woodworkers work on his throne. He watched from a distance so that they wouldn't know he was there. He didn't want them to feel nervous about the work they were doing because their chief was overseeing it. He'd chosen the best woodworkers on the island, and he trusted them, but he wanted to watch.
His father used to do woodworking, as a hobby, when he didn't have too many things to do and was relaxing after a long day. He'd liked making toys for the children on the island. Sometimes, Hiccup had helped with that by painting them. He'd made the chair that sat in Hiccup's house, the one he'd sat in every day. Hiccup couldn't bring himself to get rid of that chair or give it to someone else. That was Stoick's chair that he'd made by hand. How could he get rid of it?
"It's going to be magnificent."
Hiccup jumped at the sound of his mother's voice, turned around to see her approaching with Cloudjumper. She could move very quietly, stealthily, like a dragon.
"Hey, mom." Hiccup rubbed at the back of his neck, looked over his shoulder at the woodworking shop. He'd been observing from a hill. "Yeah, I think it will be."
"The ravens are a nice touch," she said. "Well, I expect they're going to be ravens."
"Yeah, I wanted them," Hiccup said. He pet Toothless, who stood beside him. "So it'll be like Odin's keeping an eye on me."
"You mean your father?"
Hiccup swallowed hard, looked down. "Yeah, that too."
Talk of his father hurt him terribly. He'd been killed so suddenly, in battle, by his best friend that had been under the control of another dragon. They'd used a broken long ship to send him off. He had gotten no treasure mound to take with him to Valhalla. Nothing but his helmet. Hiccup hadn't gotten to say goodbye. It wasn't fair.
Valka came close, brushed a tear from Hiccup's face. "Hiccup, he'll always be with us," she said. She pressed a hand to his chest. She was very touchy, also like some dragons. "In here."
Hiccup just nodded. He didn't know what to say. It didn't feel like he had him with him or watching over him. It felt like he was just gone, like there was this vast emptiness where he'd used to be.
"I never got to say goodbye to him," Hiccup said. "Not properly." He'd been killed on impact with the blast from Toothless. Hiccup supposed he was glad he hadn't suffered, but he'd just wished he could tell him that he loved him, one last time. "He never got a treasure mound."
Valka gave a wistful smile. "It wasn't like him to keep things like that though."
"Yeah, you're right." Hiccup and his father had always lived simply, like everyone else in the tribe. They'd seen no reason to raise themselves above others. A treasure mound would probably suit him ill.
Hiccup looked back at his throne being worked on. "I don't know what to do with-with his throne," he admitted.
"We keep it," Valka said.
"Would the Mead Hall seem overbearing to you if it stayed in there?" she asked him. It was a good question. Sometimes, Hiccup had felt like his father was overbearing. He'd been so good, so selfless, so strong. He'd been a good chief, and Hiccup felt like he would never live up to that.
"A little," he answered, looking back to her, not explaining just how much it would feel that way. "Maybe... maybe we shouldn't keep it. Maybe that can be his treasure: his legacy as a chief."
Valka nodded thoughtfully. "So we burn it?"
Hiccup suddenly felt good about this, like it was the right thing to do. His father deserved a throne beside Odin's, his very own. "Yes."
The entire tribe had gathered for the burning of Stoick's throne. It sat atop a pyre, placed there by Toothless. Hiccup would use a torch to start the blaze. He had to do it himself instead of having his dragon do it. It would feel wrong that way.
"Are you sure about this?" Astrid asked, putting a hand on Hiccup's shoulder. She held a lit torch, the one she would give to Hiccup.
"Yes," he said, more sure of himself than ever. He needed to do this. He needed to give his father a proper goodbye.
"Alright." She kissed him on the cheek, then handed him the torch. It felt heavy in his hand: the weight of responsibility.
Hiccup strode up to the pyre. He wanted to tell his father that he was sorry that he couldn't be like him, sorry that he'd caused all the problems with Drago, sorry about everything. But he wouldn't do that in front of his tribe, not when he was giving him a true goodbye.
Hiccup stuck the torch into the wood of the pyre, watched the flame begin to flicker and spread. He stepped back, still holding the torch, and watched the pyre steadily go up in flame.
The throne caught last. It sent flame and embers dancing up into the sky, into Valhalla. This was what Stoick deserved.
There was no clapping or cheering. It was silent and somber. The tribe hadn't been able to say goodbye to their chief either. It was right for Hiccup to be doing this, for them, for himself.
He tilted his head back to watch the smoke disappear into the starry sky.
"Goodbye, dad." He said it so quietly it was almost nonexistent. But that was alright. That goodbye was just for him.
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andrew garfield saying, “i hope this grief stays with me because it’s all the unexpressed love that i didn’t get to tell her” about his mothers passing is so gut wrenchingly beautiful because we rarely talk about the love we want to express but can’t, not because you’re not brave enough to say it out loud but because they’re not here to listen to it anymore. calling grief the love you never had the chance to share makes it less of a burden and more of something you want to keep and not something terrible you want to move on from. i love love how everything about grief always comes down to “what is grief if not love persevering?”
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Anna Akhmatova, tr. by Lenore Mayhew and William Mcnaughton, from Poem Without A Hero and Selected Poems; “In a dream”
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Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
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Grief Lessons, Anne Carson
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All my grief says the same thing— this isn't how it's supposed to be. And the world laughs, holds my hope by my throat, says: but this is how it is.
Fortesa Latifi, The Truth About Grief
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war of the foxes, richard siken / the good place (2016) / twin size mattress, the front bottoms / fleabag (2016) / jamie anderson / wandavision (2021) / in the realm of grief, noor unnahar / twin peaks (1990) / on earth we're briefly gorgeous, ocean vuong
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Malyen Oretsev in Ruin and Rising (Leigh Bardugo)
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Something I’ve learned recently is that you can’t be grieving all the time.
That may sound obvious, but I feel like if you asked me, “How do you tell someone just lost someone close to them?” the answers are like Acts very sad, not taking care of themselves, not smiling or laughing, etc.
And that’s just… not true. It’s impossible to be wracked with grief 24/7. It really just does come in waves. And in between those waves, you often just act like your normal self.
Which can be odd to see, let alone go through. It’s tempting to ask yourself, “Why am I not sad?” but you are. You just can’t be outwardly expressing it all the time without exhausting yourself.
Grief is a marathon, not a sprint.
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