Saturday, 27 October 2012

Daydreams and Believing

When someone close to a child dies, a decision has to be made about whether or not the child should see the body of their loved one. After the accident, it was agreed that me and my brother Dan wouldn't see Daddy and Louise because it would be to difficult an experience for us to cope with. I am glad that I didn't see them at the time, because Little Sophie was too lost to properly understand that 'dead' meant 'forever and ever'; seeing them looking like they were asleep would only have resulted in anger at the doctors, my family and myself for not being able to wake them up. Without a doubt, it was the best decision at the time.

However, now, as a sixteen year old, I want to see their bodies. I know that they are dead, I understand that they are never coming back. That is one of the crazy things about bereavement: it makes you release how uncertain the world is; yet also gives you an absolute certainty as well. I cannot know what will happen tomorrow, but I know that no matter how long I live and how far I travel, I will never see my sister or my daddy again. Despite all of that, though, tiny strands of backhanded hope still cling to me like cobwebs. I didn't see them, so how do I know that they are dead?

One of the things the things I dislike most about myself is my intense inability to trust other people, in particular the people who I should trust the most. I know that Louise and Daddy are gone, but somehow I can't let go of irrational, desperate daydreams. Maybe they didn't really die. Maybe they escaped, slipped away in the dead of night. There is a part of me which desperately wishes that they are out there, happy somewhere.

We still have their ashes at home. My sister sits on the bookshelf, waiting to be released but I don't know how to set her free. There is no trace of Louise, her ashes are nothing but a pile of dust in a jar. Sometimes I get frightened that she is still out on the motorway, that I left her out there in the cold. Maybe if I went back I would find her sitting there patiently waiting, maybe I could find a way to bring her home.

I live in a world woven from the fabric of daydreams. I cannot give up, even though the hope I have is a trap that I know ensnares me. I still look for her in crowds of unfamiliar faces, and dream about her finding her way back day. I would give anything just to see her one more time again.

Children gaze at the clouds on summer days, spotting the faces of people they know. I still look up and search for her, in the hope that I will see her smiling back at me. I need to know that she is in the place where the lost things go, and that she is okay there. A tiny part of me is frightened that out there, she is waiting for me to let her go home.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Learning to Live

I'm sorry that I haven't posted anything for so long, it feels like forever since I last wrote! I have started my A Level courses (biology, chemistry, maths and Spanish), and am struggling to juggle my time effectively. For those of you who don't know, A Levels are full on from day one! In between homework, revision and not sleeping, I somehow never seem to be able to find the energy to construct a post, but here goes!

Starting at a new school has made me think about how I feel about education. When people say learning, the things that spring to mind are excitement, enrichment and a journey towards understanding more of the world. For me, learning is about gaining skills that allow me to extend the horizons of the world in which I live. It is the future, and something I would happily wrap myself up in. Learning is safe.

Education is a different story. Education is exams and stress and pure terror. It is endless, sleepless nights and constant judgment. We are trapped in a system that does nothing but convert us into numbers, and I always feel as though I fall short of the mark. It doesn't matter what percentage I equate to. Even 100% is never enough.

Louise's death is the main factor behind why, no matter what grades I get, I never feel good enough. It is funny because one of the most comforting things to me is that I carry Louise in my heart: she isn't gone because we have not forgotten. However, it is also one of the most draining. I feel a huge and irrational responsibility as Louise's identical twin to live a life that is good enough for both of us. Anything that I achieve is divided by two, I won't allow anything to count as a stand alone figure. I never do anything just for me. In a sense, I feel as though I have to prove my existence is worthwhile. I must contribute to the world in some way, everything must be productive. I guess it all stems back to the unanswerable question: 'Why not me?'

I am not angry with anyone over Louise's death. The Accident was nobody's fault and nobody meant for it to happen. That is why I call it The Accident, and not The On Purpose. Somebody had to go that day, and for reasons that no one will ever be able to explain, it wasn't me. Survivor's guilt is an endless cycle of answer less questions that all somehow lead you back to the meaning of life. If I had been sitting on the other side of the car, I would be dead. And Louise would be alive. And that would be life. But as it happens, you are reading a blog post written by me, so needless to say I am certainly not dead. The ridiculous thing is, I spend so long trying to live for Louise, to live for both of us, that I forget what it means to actually be alive.

I do not know the meaning of life. I do not know why the sun gets up in the morning, only that it gets up regardless of who will be there to see its light. Somewhere on a motorway ten years ago, a little girl died. She is in the place that the lost things go, and lost things never come back. The sun goes on rising regardless, and the light it brings is no less beautiful. Living is learning to allow myself to see its beauty, to dance in it. Sunshine is the magic of being alive.