The first thing I thought of after putting down Thirteen Reasons Why was who would make it to my list. Not that I was suicidal. It wouldn’t even be a suicide note. And the ones who were on the list wouldn’t be the reason for my sadness or whatever you can say but my source of joy. My source of strength, the reason why I can’t be broken even if I want to be. The reason why I am strong.
Written by Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why, is a story of Hannah Baker, who commits suicide after going through betrayal, and bullying in her high school. Clay Jensen, who has crush on Hannah receives an audio tape diary, two weeks after Hannah’s suicide where she confesses thirteen reasons why she’d committed suicide.
To be honest, I wasn’t planning to read the book. When the series with the same name based on the book was released by Netflix, I debated on whether to watch it or not. My friends suggested that I should, but I knew that if I were to watch the series, I needed to read the book first. I still wasn’t sure about reading the book. Liking the books about death was one thing, but reading the book about suicide was something else. I mean, everyone knows how easily I become influenced by something I watch or read or hear.
But I changed my mind when a friend texted me, “Thank god, suicide is not contagious.”
Okay, I lied. After reading the book in one go, the first thing I thought of was whether I would ever make it to the list of anyone. Not the “you’re the reason why I killed myself” but rather “you’re the reason why I keep myself alive”. I know that I am not a superhero, but I also believe that I want to inspire people to continue to live, no matter what. I particularly thought of this one friend, wondering whether I would pass by his mind. Because I would feel the same thing Clay felt when he listens to the tape dedicated to him by Hannah. I also realized right then, that I needed to make my own list. Because I may never get a chance to say thank you to people I love.
After losing three of my family members in three consecutive years, two being shocking deaths, I realized we don’t always get to say goodbye. But you see, I am a huge fan of goodbye. As much as I would get awkward, I also love to know that I have a proper time for farewell. A tight hug. That’s why I thought I will write a goodbye email. I decided that I would send a not-goodbye email right now, and will send emails every once in a while to renew the “love, hugs, bye” in case I miss the chance to say the goodbye.
That’s how I penned, “This is not a good bye. Not yet” email.
I got various response from various people. My best friends, both A. and S., along with my favorite person, responded in the way I expected them too. They were cool and calm. A. and favorite person replied sending me inspirations to be better than now. S. called after realizing I also emailed his girlfriend, which freaked her out. Actually, since I was to go on a trip a month later, S. thought that the email indicated I might not be back. “I think you’ll meet some Orlando Bloom and stay there” he had said a few days before I left. Then there were people getting emails from me for the first time, including S’s girlfriend so they all freaked out. And then there were two assholes who didn’t even read the email (wow) because one thought he would read it later, and the other didn’t check his email at all.
Overall, the book made me realize that people deserve to know if they can save you. And you need to tell them if you need help. I believe that some people cannot be saved but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. And that everybody deserves a proper long hugs and goodbye.