Goodbye, Charlie Bradbury.
When you were first introduced to us as the Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo, we knew you were one of us. Your carefree—yet clandestine—dance to “Walking on Sunshine” had us fall head over heels for you. The way you referenced all the nerdy things you loved from Harry Potter to Star Wars to the Hobbit—reminded us so much of ourselves. You were the fangirl we all dreamed about being—the one that wasn’t ashamed of who she was or what she was. You were the fangirl we all knew was trapped inside ourselves waiting to burst upon the world. You made what we loved and how we loved it not only acceptable but cool—and made it easy for us to embrace that part of ourselves in ways we never expected. You didn’t just reference these things, you loved these things so deeply and purely that it made it easy to do the same. And none of us can ever thank you enough for how effortless you made it seem.
Your apprehension to join the Winchester fight—but doing it anyways—made us extremely proud. We wanted to believe that if we, too, were ever given the chance to help Sam and Dean that we would follow your example and find our courage to tackling saving the world. The way you threw yourself so totally into their world and causes, the way you gave them chances to have fun—who could ever forget the epic Battle for Moondoor—and the way you inspired them to see the brighter side of life is the pure sunshine you brought to their otherwise dark lives.
Charlie, your story was our story. Like you, some of us have had difficult pasts we’d like to forget. And yet, like you, we are all Celeste, too. When you finally had to say goodbye to your mother and re-experience some of the darker moments of your life, we felt deeply for you and understood. It made you real and human and someone we could only relate to all the more. And in that, you became even more beautiful. We could see how these things had shaped you, had made you into the strong woman we had come to know so well—and see in ourselves so well.
Yet, it was your steadfast love and loyalty to two brothers that we recognized the most in ourselves. Your devotion, your strength, and your sheer unwavering support for them was exactly how we saw ourselves standing with Sam and Dean. We, too, love Sam and Dean as if they were our brothers. We, too, feel their pain and want them to find a way to save each other again and again. We know that you didn’t go quietly. We know that you went down the way your brothers taught you to do—to go down swinging and without regrets. Your sheer courage in you final moments made your loss all the sharper. Even when you knew you were facing certain death, you made certain that they got what they needed. You did your part to help save Dean. Yet, this doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.
And yet we can’t help but remember Sam’s words— “Death isn’t always goodbye.” Somehow, someday, we hope that we’ll meet again—and like Gandalf the Grey becoming Gandalf the White, you, Charlie, will reemerge once more to stand by the Winchesters to face down the world’s evil—as the sister we always wanted to be.
Goodbye, Charlie Bradbury. May you always get to walk on sunshine.