Kids only have certain things on their minds as kids:
Does that boy/girl like me?
Can I get through today without getting bullied?
How much homework can I get away with not doing?
Hopefully Mr/Mrs doesnt ask me any questions in class!
What am I doing after school?
What am I doing this weekend?
Death does not come into the life of a 13-14yr old, unless its your pet or a grandparent!
I asked alot from my friends all those years ago. Stuff that we really don't have the life skills to do yet, but somehow, my friends stepped up and took control.
L's Story (unedited, except for names)
It was Friday 17th of march, and I was turning 14 on Saturday the 18th. Having a large family my parents had said they couldn't let me have a party but my good friends Trudy and Michelle's mum had agreed to let me have a party at their house. (what a legend!) I was so excited to be turning teenager I'd invited everyone who was anyone to come along.. I hardly slept that Friday I was so excited.
So, Saturday morning and I was a teenager and had been given my Bauer turbo hockey roller boots exactly what I'd asked for and was lacing them up to put them on, go grab my friend B and head round to Trudy and Michelle's house to get ready for the party when the phone rang.
I answered the phone (house phone - no mobiles yet) it was Trudy and Michelle's mum, she asked could she please speak to my mum. So I passed mum the phone and listened while my mum said things like "oh no" "I'm so sorry".
All my 14 year old head was saying was "the party's off....
When my mum put the phone down, she turned to me and asked me to sit down, so I did. Then she said
"L, I'm so sorry. I don't know how to tell you so I'll tell you straight. That was Trudy and Michelle's mum (at this point I'm thinking... Yes... Just get on with it I wanna go out on my new skates) and I'm so so sorry but you need to call everyone and tell them there won't be a party. Michelle has died."
It was as if the ground fell away. I didn't say anything for a few seconds then I said "how"
And my mum said she didn't know, and I should get on the phone asap.
So I did.
I called everyone and explained the party was off and I didn't want to talk about why but they would find out at school.on Monday.
It was, and still is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking tasks I've ever endured - I was sobbing as I spoke, I just wanted to go out and skate and scream and skate and skate........
To this day, this sequence of events is clear as a bell in my mind. I still remember what my mum was wearing when she told me.
And I still remember B's face at her door when I got there and relayed the news to her.... We were so young. So so young.