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.