Sometimes I start wondering what we’d be like as a family if Juliette hadn’t died.
Elodie is sixteen now, and just seven when Juliette left us. Celeste is that age now, and the baby of the family. We all treat her like the baby, but when Elodie was seven she came to the room where the sister she adored had died so she could kiss her goodbye. My heart shrinks at the thought of Celeste having to do the same, but Elodie seemed so grown up – the mature, oldest of four. Poor little girl.
That random thought made me cry during supper tonight and I told her I was sorry. She snorted, as teenagers do and asked me why. “For not protecting you from Juliette dying,” I said. “But what could you have done?” she asked me. “That’s what life’s like. I’m the person I am because Juliette died.” I’m so proud of her wisdom, her depth of compassion and empathy, but why did she have to lose her siser to gain this? What would she be like if Juliette was nearly fourteen, and still here?