The most important thing to me about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is that, at it’s core, it is about friendship and being there when someone needs help. The inclusion of “found family” and destroying the concept of “blood is thicker than water” is just so, so important and after recent events, I felt that it was an important time to talk about it.
If you follow me on Twitter or even Instagram, you’ll know that ten days ago, I received a devastating phone call. A phone call that informed me that my 12-year-old cousin ended her life. This was a little girl who always wanted to know what I thought about Harry Potter, who our favourite characters were, what houses we were in. This was a little girl who texted me in the early hours of the morning to ask me if it was okay that she was a Ravenclaw. This was one of the few of my relatives who, for once, I could actually have a bond with despite all the age gaps.
My family has never been particularly close. There are huge age gaps between everyone and that created a divide early on and that has only been made worse by becoming spread out around the province. Because of that, I tended to hide away in books and envied characters with strong family relationships or tight-knit friend groups. This especially was true when it came to Harry Potter. Never having had the kind of connections that Harry had with his friends, their families, and even his adopted father figures were so important to me as a kid, and still even now.
It is so important for kids to know that things may be rough, but the people who matter the most are the ones we choose to share and spend our lives with and I think that is the most important lesson in these books I very seriously grew up with. I miss my cousin and have no idea on how to go about processing the fact that she’s gone let alone moving through it. But what I am thankful for is that Harry also went through losses. He lost both of his father figures – Remus and Sirius – on top of his mentor, Albus Dumbledore. His strength when it seems like his world is entirely crumbling around him, and even Harry knew he was never truly on his own.
It takes strength to move on through tragedies, and it can be hard to ask for help when things just feel so utterly terrible. But even when you don’t know how to ask, keep people close and tell them you love them. And always remember:
“The ones that love us never truly leave us.” – Sirius Black