Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Mirage Effect

Me and Lou Lou, Sitting in a Pram Basket
I haven't posted for a while, not because I have no words but because somewhere between exams and Christmas and more exams I somehow haven't had time to string sentences together!  I miss writing, and have so many ideas bubbling around in my head that I want so badly to share, if only so that I can catch hold of them before they slip back out of my grasp.

I set up The Pebble Garden to remember Louise's life and the beautiful view that she had of the world (...when she wasn't grumbling about how long it took to walk home from school! She used to hang off the lampposts crying 'I can't walk any further! My legs are going to drop off! Call a helicopter!'). Often, when I talk to people about Louise, they don't see the life that she had. To them she is a dead girl. In a sense, there is nothing wrong with that because it is true, Louise died and she is never coming back. But rather than being sad about it, The Pebble Garden shows that we can remember Louise by being happy and thinking about the beautiful life that she had. Yes, it was tragically short, but when people die young their brightness shines forever, we shouldn't lose sight of that.
Louise in Yellow

Something strange seems to happen when people remember someone who has died, and I have named it 'the mirage effect'. Death is a shimmering veil that beautifies everything and anyone that it touches, and to me it is not the grim reaper that truly steals someone's life away, it is their friends who refuse to remember them as human. Somehow, Louise was elevated when she died to the most popular girl in our school, everyone was suddenly her best friend. The truth is that whilst Louise had a handful of friends, she often felt lonely at break time and struggled to form strong friendships. She was also lazy, and yet people seem shocked when I tell them this. How dare I touch the perfection that enshrouds her now she is gone?

Memories of those we have lost are like beaches: covered in a myriad of seashells and pebbles which are not washed away by the tide of time but are somehow changed by its ebbing flow. Gradually, the landscape gets distorted and the sunlight dances more spectacularly across the sea with every sunset that passes. It is a breathtaking sight to behold, yet this isn't what beauty means to me.

Daddy with Louise
I feel sad when I speak to people with altered memories of my sister. Louise is a girl, not a piece of clay that can be molded into contorted postures to fit the image that society says applies to all children who die. It means a lot to me when others think of Louise, it touches me that they still care about her. Louise lives on in our hearts, but I hope that it is  a five year old with scruffy hair and a runny nose who we carry with us, not some kind of over-beautified angel-like figure. I wish I could make them see that I miss Louise's downfalls as much as her qualities, it is people's imperfections that make them perfect.

No comments:

Post a Comment