Friday, June 15, 2012

A Death in the Family

Before I get started on this entry I would like to say

 I've been reading the Warriors series for about 6 or 7 years. I've grown extremely wrapped up in the stories and characters presented in the pages of these books.
Now this has been the longest series I've ever read. There were 4 book arcs each including 6 books and not only did I read those, I read every super edition and Warriors universe book there was. (I haven't read any of the mangas though, which is so sad)

This is going to sound blasphemous in a way, but I loved this series more than I loved Harry Potter. I was obsessed with Harry Potter so obviously that's saying something.

Okay, I'm going to level with you, I read A LOT. I hunger for the written word and devour ink marked paper as though it's my only sustenance. I can't go to the library without taking out a bagfull of books. I own the entire first arc of Warriors and a handful of books from the other arcs. My town's library has been what's gotten me through being able to read my beloved series.

Many characters from the Warriors Universe have died and each time it is sad. Each time I take a moment while reading to think of the character and have a moment of silence on memoriam for them. Perhaps you think this sounds strange dear reader, but in a way it's not. I've "known" many of these cats since they were first kitted and to watch them die can be heartbreaking.

I'm not here to talk about their deaths though. Through all of the heartache and strife I've borne it out of the calming feeling that my favorite character would stay alive. I. and many other fans I'm sure, have sat in a bubble of peace knowing that the one character we counted on to lead his clan and prove his strength and goodness would stay safe.

But all of that peace ended last night when I finished the last book to find that Firestar, my most favorite character, had died.
 The worst part was that I could tell that it was coming. They mentioned Firestar being on his last life and I knew that if he died I would cry. Every mention of him fighting in battle gave me a twisted and sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. So when he finally laid down and relinquished his last life at the end of the most important battle in Warriors history, I cried.
I was not expecting to cry as much as I did though.

I'm no stranger to crying or laughing out loud while I read. I cry over powerful emotions, but usually the ones I cry about are realistic fiction novels. Even when Dumbledore died all I did was stare blankly at the pages of the book in disbelief. But I knew I would cry at least a little bit over Firestar if he passed on. When I realized he was gone, my face crumpled and immediately tears began to flow freely and hotly down my face. I couldn't even bear to read on but I foced myself to contine as the warriors of Starclan took Firestar (as well as Hollyleaf, Ferncloud, and Mousefur) away with them. Jayfeather, Firestar's grandson reviewed every life given to him by their ancestors and I felt fresh sobs welling up within me as Blustar explained the life given by Spottedleaf for love to Firestar.

I went downstairs to find a tissue and ran into my father. He rounded the corner with a smile once he saw me that quickly slid off his face as he saw my red eyes, still glistening with tears. I made sure to tell him quickly what was wrong so he wouldn't be worried and he held me close as I cried and let me explain the grief I was feeling.
It was hard to put into words right then though.
 How could I explain it? I had seen him go from Rusty the kittypet who recieved dreams from Starclan and was destined for greatness, to Firepaw the eager apprentice who had an unshakeable faith in Starclan and his adopted Thundeclan and was bursting to prove himself. I filled with pride as he was made into the warrior Fireheart as if I was a Queen and he was my own kit. I shared in his grief and his accomplishments as he forged his own path. I watched with pleasure as he fell in love with Sandstorm and sired his daughters Leafpool and Squirrelflight. When he became Firestar, leader of Thunderclan I beamed with happiness and excitement, celebrating the oncoming years. Even when the protagonists have shifted throughout the arcs I always waited for any introduction of Firestar. I craved it, I couldn't wait to hear what my favorite character was doing anymore, even if I wasn't seeing the story through his eyes anymore.
And even though I still grieve for him, I know his stories will live on. Firestar and his loved ones will never fade from the starry hunting grounds of Silver Pelt.

Thank you for your bravery and commitment to your clan Firestar. We honor your tireless pursuit to fairness and your endless love for your family and friends.

He hunts with Starclan now.

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