"I think he is doing better than we think. Everyone is making it out to be a horrible thing, and I think they are exaggerating." I read the ironic words on my computer screen, sent through email from a dear friend that night on November 29, 2001. I clicked the 'Reply' button and began to type, "Abby, I think this is more serious than that." I went on to explain the rumors may or may not have been true, but to keep him in our prayers. Little did I know as I was typing, George Harrison was living his last hours.
On November 30, 2001 I woke up to another Friday morning. Nothing new to expect here. I left the house feeling proud; my out-fit was swingin' and my eye make-up was just right. We arrived at school round 7:15am where I waited for my friends so we could talk before class began. I spotted Chris coming my way, and I smiled happy to see him. He came in front of me and said only six words - that would change my life forever. In a solemn and grievous tone, he announced, "Sabrina, George Harrison died this morning." I remember the first feeling that struck me after the sentence rung in my ear: it felt like a cold hand was squeezing my heart. I got a raw, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, an inner-anguish I would never forget. "What?" I quietly said. "I saw it on the news! They said the cancer had gotten to his brain and it killed him. I'm so sorry." Stunned, shocked, mortified. We went to his locker to get his books, and I questioned everything. I knew it was going to happen eventually but it came as if there were no warning. Finally, the first bell alerted the students it was time to get to class. I said good-bye to Chris and walked to first period.
Before anything else, I pulled out three tissues and then sat at my desk, quietly. The room was silent, eerily silent. I began to weep, to myself. Lightly at first, I would just touch the tissue delicately to the corners of my dampened eyes. Geometry began and I found my tears coming more fluent, and more at a time. I began crying for the first time, but still quietly. The teacher noticed and mouthed to me, "Do you want to sit in the hall?" I nodded, and had to make the brave walk across the classroom of staring eyes.
The hall was seldom populated except for several wondering students and teachers. I sat against the wall, next to the girl's bathroom and let the pain inside me explode into harsh sobbing, and anguished moaning. I'd never cried so hard in my life. All the passer-byes wanted to know what had happened and why I was in so much pain. It was hard to explain in two sentences that the person who had touched your life and enriched your soul was dead. It came out as, "I'm a really big Beatles fan, and one of them died this morning." Not very compelling to the average stranger. They extended their detached sympathy and artificial "I-hope-you-feel-better"'s. I knew I needed to talk to someone, fast. These unconcerned strangers couldn't heal my wounds.
Then, I remembered: Abby! I needed to call her and tell her all of the feelings stored deep inside. I was granted my teacher's permission with a hall-pass and then, raced downstairs to the pay-phones in the front of the school. I looked at my watch. It was 7:55am meaning there was a good 25 minutes before the bell rang again. That gave me plenty of much-needed time. I dialed the very long digit code for AT&T since it was a long-distance call. Three rings, no answer. The message machine beeped, signaling me to leave a message. It must have been the most pathetic message I'd ever made! I was crying and sobbing, trying to utter words between sobs and sniffles. Something along the lines of, "Abby, wake-up! I need to talk to you, Abby please. This is important. I've just found out about George, I need to talk to you." I was about to give up when she grabbed the receiver, "Hello?!" I cried hysterically and said, "Oh my Gosh! You've heard about George?" She hadn't. It left me the heart-breaking job of telling my best-friend, the one who had gotten me into the Beatles to begin with, that George was dead.
We talked, and cried together in shock, in horror, in pain. She let me listen to the news by putting the phone next to the TV. It was so hard for both of us, but we went through it together. That is, until I saw a man approaching me. The man that happened to be my principle.
"What are you doing in here making a personal phone call during the middle of class?" He asked, sternly. "Just a second, Abby, the PRINCIPLE just walked up." I whispered in the phone. I looked at the man, who stood waiting for an answer. But theres a special code that never fails a girl, something we know that works every time. Tears. When a man is around a weeping girl he looses his head, doesn't have the heart to yell and frankly becomes uncomfortable. I cried sadly and said, "George...George Harrison is dead. I needed to talk to someone about it and I rung up my friend here." He was trapped. He snatched up the hall-pass sitting on the pay-phone roof. "You've been here for a half an hour!" he exclaimed. Uh-oh. I gulped and said the teacher gave me permission. He said, "Wouldn't you rather talk to a guidance counselor about this than your friend?"
'No!' I thought to myself though I heard myself blurt out, "Yes." I exchanged good-byes with Abby and went upstairs to get my books. I then went down to the counselors office, a place foreign to me. I'd never had any reason to see her, never needed advice or a helping hand. She was rather sweet though. We talked about myself, the Beatles and George's condition. I could tell she was trying to relate to me, and I respected her efforts. She then asked if I had siblings and I said I had a younger brother and an older sister. "Does your sister go to this school?" She asked me. I said yes and she asked if I would like to talk to her.
My sister arrived in the small, dainty office minutes later. She hadn't heard the news either. I told her, and I could see the hurt in her eyes - the hurt she would hold back until she was alone. We talked, I cried, and the counselor then spoke with both of us. She brought me some nice, cold water (which I ended up only getting a sip of. I had to sign out and I left my cup on the counter). As I left, I was told I could come back anytime. If it was too hard, I was welcomed back. It was a nice feeling.
I made it to third period, and sat in my desk. My eyes were dry and soar, blood-shot and swollen. That perfect eyeliner - gone. My nose was pink and cheeks were puffy. My next mate, Cher entered the classroom and went directly to me. She leaned over, and hugged me. I couldnt help it as the tears rushed back, and we excused ourselves outside the classroom. How did you find out? I asked Cher. I woke up to it! I have my radio clock set to the oldies and it turns on to wake me up. So the very first thing I hear as I awake is Were sorry to inform you, however former Beatle George Harrison died this morning. I didnt even want to get out of bed!
Throughout the day, there were moments I felt tears sting my eyes. There were moments when I could not accept it; it all seemed surreal like a bad dream. I would just stop and think to myself George Harrison is dead. There will never be a new song, never be a new picture, never be a new interview, statement, or reunion with the lads. Its over. Half of the Beatles are deceased. Paul and Ringo are the only ones leftfor good. I was purblind to the cold reality. When I got home, it felt worse. For every picture I had of the Beatles on my wall, made me think: That man is dead. You look at an adorable picture of George and you dont want to think hes dead.
I still cry. All the time, actually. But thats a part of life, an important part: Part of life is death. There are few things to take comfort in. Ive thought of a few. One of utmost importance is that Georges pain is over and he doesnt have to suffer any longer. Over the past couple years; the man has undergone throat cancer, lung cancer, being brutally attacked in his home, and now, brain cancer. George passed on, a loving and peaceful man. Another comfort is his legacy will live on. Not only through his music but Dhani Harrison will keep the Harrison name alive. As a religious person, I also take comfort in the idea that one day I may meet George in heaven. George saved me like no one else ever has he gave me happiness and thats the most important thing one can have in their life. I am so proud to know that he knows it, too. In 1996, I wrote him a letter that told him my gratitude for everything hes done and my strong love for him as a person. I received a letter back, with a poem and a Hindu Om pin. Some people say, Oh, his secretary sends those things to everyone who writesto him! But I like to believe that George did in fact, read my letter and he left this world with an understanding of how I feel about him. After all, maybe he did!
Ill miss him, theres no doubt there. However, life must go on even after George. I love you, George, wherever you are. Youll always be a part of me that will NEVER die.
Here are two pages already on the site that are relevant to our Georgie. The first was made just for George, and the second is about the friendship between John and George (ironically, the two heavenly Beatles):