The thing we're worried about is the end.
I'm going to get quite personal here. Are you ready?
So, I found out about The Hunger Games later than a lot of people. I can't have the pride of calling myself one of the original fans and I hadn't even read the books before the first film came out! Tragic, I know!
I did, however, remain in the dark about this series until November 2012, when a friend of a friend lent me the books. At this stage, I had never heard of this series. I still can't believe I had managed to live all the way through the huge hype without hearing something of it - it's a mystery to this day! I hadn't heard of or seen the film and I went into this book without knowing a thing about it. I came out a changed person.
I know what you're thinking. How on Earth can three fairly small books cause somebody's life to change? I don't actually have an answer to this. I have no idea what occurred in my brain during the week that I read these books back then, except, of course, the tension and drama of the incredible story. All I know is that, once I had finished, I felt that I had been opened up to a completely new world, and this was where my life as a reader truly took off. I had always been quite a big reader, but up until this point I pretty much read the Harry Potter series on repeat (hence the reason I have each book 24 times so far!). It was at this point that a whole world of other books opened up for me. Of course, for a little while, I did what I did best at that time, and I spent a while reading The Hunger Games trilogy on repeat, but soon after, I discovered Divergent, Twilight, The Mortal Instruments, John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman and a whole new spectrum of incredible stories.
Anyway, we're getting off topic.
In just a few days, this series, the thing that has meant the world to me for the last 3 years will draw to a close and that is a scary thing for many people - especially me!
It hasn't really dawned on me until now that there will never be another anxious 4 hour wait at my laptop for a new trailer to be released, or another 1000 day countdown to the final film, wishing the years away, or even that next November, there won't be another film in this series for me to look forward to.
So, how can we handle this?
Is there even away to deal with the grief of losing your favourite series?
I don't think so. But we can have a go!
My amazing friend Sophie, from The Life of a Teenage Fangirl, put together a 'Book Hangover Kit' for me a little while ago, and while it is intended for books, I think it can probably be applied to this situation too.
Step 1 - Cry all the feels away!
I know it's not the best method for some people but I'm definitely one for face-planting the bed and drowning it with my tears! As long as you don't cry too loudly in the cinema (as I discovered the hard way...) you'll be fine! But sometimes it's good to have a good cry when something like this happens. I'm sure I will!
Step 2 - Chocolate Gorge!
This probably isn't the best advice, but I have always been one for gorging on chocolate after I finish a particularly painful ending, so while the doctors probably wouldn't prescribe this for post-ending-sadness, I will! Trust me, it helps!
Step 3 - Distractions
A stand-alone novel is generally recommended when you come out of a long and heart-breaking trilogy, which I know helps me! In the case of Mockingjay though, I will be distracting myself from the pain by having a weekend of rom-coms, and I'm also planning on starting Winter, the last of the Lunar Chronicles, which is really exciting!!
Step 4 - Reminisce
For me, this is probably the most important step. It's overlooked a lot, but I think the only way you're ever going to accept that something has come to an end, is to go back to the start and remember all the amazing times you have had with this series. After the initial pain has gone, thinking about why you love the books and the character and the world can often help you realise that your journey through this wasn't for nothing. Remember how much this has benefited your life and how much you have learnt from it, because I don't care who you are or what you read or see, everything will change and shape you as a person. Even the very worst book can help you learn something.
I guess that leads me on to my next point.
We book lovers love books for many reasons, but probably the most important reason as to why I love them so much is that they're dependable. I guess that's why I love rereading books so much. You know exactly what you're going to get and you know that the characters and stories will ALWAYS be there for you. No matter what. The thing I have realised while writing this, is that even when Mockingjay Part 2 ends, and the revolution is over, and Katniss puts down her bow, and the credits roll onto the screen, Katniss will still be there. Her story may have ended but that doesn't mean it's gone forever. We will only have to reach up onto the shelf to bring her and her adventures back and we can relive all this as many times as we want. Yes, of course we're going to miss sitting and waiting for the trailers to drop, for the tickets to be released, for the news on the premieres and the stills and the soundtracks (which we're still waiting for!). I guess that's something that has finished forever now. We're just going to have to accept that. But it doesn't mean that we have to be any less excited about these books and films and what they mean to us. I feel like Neville Longbottom really captures what I'm trying to say in his speech to Lord Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2.
"Yeah, we lost spoiler tonight, but he's still with us, in here - points to heart"
Josh Hutcherson, our stunningly gorgeous leading lad from The Hunger Games films also adds to my point. In a recent interview in response to the question "How do you say goodbye (to the series)?" he answered, "You don't; you hang onto it forever." I think that's a beautiful thought. Even when we're old and looking back on our lives, we'll still have this moment and it will still be just as important to us.
So, while this may seem like the end, it's not really. Of course it's going to be a horrible time for us tributes, but it should also be a happy one - we can celebrate that our favourite books have been turned into magnificent films for us to enjoy again and again. This doesn't happen to many books so we should be grateful for us being able to relive Katniss' world in a completely new and amazing way.
It'll be terribly sad to see our favourite characters die before our eyes instead of just imagining their deaths in our heads, but we only need to go back to the earlier books / films, and there they'll be, alive and smiling at us through the page or screen.
And in terms of our survival. Come on, guys! Katniss survived 2 lots of the Hunger Games and a whole entire war. Peeta survived being tortured to insanity. Gale survived his home being burned to the ground. Survival is what tributes do best!
We can survive this! Together, we can conquer anything we want, and isn't that the moral of the story?
This is not the end.
This is only the beginning.