A few days back, I went to another wake. It was this girl, grace from my old school. She was 3 years younger than me and she passed away from colon cancer. Her death did not affect me as much as the one I attended earlier in the year because I simply did not know her. However, meeting her closest friends whom I knew was just sad. These girls, barely 15 or 16 were mourning over a friend. All they could do was cry in each others arms and stare at the screen which held their best memories with her. I went up to hug them and try my best to find out about how they were doing. There were so young and so open about their feelings. I asked one of them, the one I knew best, if she went to school that day. She said yes, the school brought them over in buses and after school ended she came here again. She told me that tomorrow she would miss school to go for the cremation the next day. I told her if she had never seen a cremation, she should prepare herself because it’s very scary (especially if you had never seen one before). She looked at me with the most emotional and intense eyes and said, ‘I’m so scared for tomorrow.’ In that moment my heart went out to her, this young girl to have to go through so much. It astounded me how much she felt. She was both scared and brave at that moment to me. She was scared of the experience of watching her friend be cremated but she was so brave, in my eyes, to readily admit her fear. I always try to keep my face straight and to control my emotions (at times when I show weakness perhaps?). Sometimes I can’t but most of the times I can. She readily gave up her emotions and showed them to me. I found that brave. Keeping your emotions to yourself and controlling them seemed natural to me, to look strong or to look unaffected. Sometimes it brims to the surface my sadness like I feel like crying but I always hold it down. I don’t know why it has become my immediate reaction nowadays. Even at the wake, times I felt like crying but stopped myself. Is it because I’m afraid to look weak? to be embarassed? or did I want to look strong? or crying made me feel guilty for crying at a wake where I barely knew the girl? Why didn’t I cry? I don’t know why. Perhaps it was because we grow up and we become hardened, more ‘grown up’ or maybe she lost something that day and she couldn’t hold it in anymore. I don’t know. But I have true admiration for that girl who readily admitted she was scared.