All those many years ago it was a day just like today. Gray, pouring down, hard rain. Your tiny little box was lowered into the small hole in the ground. I had a single rose with 'sister' banded in gold and white that wrapped around it. I held it over the hole and let it drop on the box. I stood there whispering, "I'm sorry, I am so sorry." I stood there a while longer watching the huge rain drops pattering down onto the box and the rose. I watched as the rain soaked the white corrugated cardboard box and turn it brown. It wasn't even water proof. To my left about 200 yards away sat a backhoe, it's motor softly purring while two men sat inside it and watched me. They were waiting for me to leave so they could fill in the hole and get in out of the down pour of rain. "Go to hell." I thought to myself at those two men. "I will leave when I am damned good and ready." I continued to stand while my two friends stood back behind me, silently allowing me this moment. We were already as wet as one could get so it made no difference. At least we were alive to feel the cold and wet and that was a good thing. I wanted to rescue you Cindy but, it was too late.
A fight ensued after your death. A fight to find out why, on that fateful morning why you were not packing up to leave the hospital to come home as planned but had been laying dead in your hospital bed for over 6 hours.
Turns out Cindy that you hadn't done anything wrong. The hospital did. It was an unrequested dose of insulin given to you by the staff that took your life. Matter of fact, there had been a specific note that you were to not have insulin before bed. They gave it to you anyways and hypoglycemia kicked in then seizures then coma then death. Your roommate said the curtain between her bed and yours had been pulled so she didn't know what the rustling sound was about when you were seizing. There were no call bells in the room.
That morning at home around 5:30am the phone rang. It was suppose to be you calling Mom and Dad to say you were ready for discharge and for them to come pick you up. But the voice on the other end of the phone was not you. It was a nurse saying that you passed away during the night.
Mother was given a see through plastic bag with your bed clothes in it. There was condensation on the inside of the bag. Mother opened the bag, already knowing what she would find. All your clothes were wet with perspiration. The bag held that certain scent that comes along with hypoglycemia. Mother knew right then in that very moment that you had been given insulin before bed.
For the next six months your picture was on the front page of the news papers. How you would of hated that. You never did like people looking at you, let alone the whole province. The family had demanded answers. How could this happen? She was fine and even called the night before to say she was to be released and could she be picked up. It was after that phone call that was the beginning of the end for you. What is sad were your last words to Mom and Dad - that things were going to change. That you met other patients in there with a lot more problems than you and you could see that very clearly and how lucky you were. Haunting last words.
After fighting with the hospital administration for answers and not getting anywhere an autopsy was performed on you. A Corners Inquest was performed. The cause of death - Hypoglycemia. An overdose of insulin. Mother was right.
Because they are a hospital and not an single entity laying charges would be a waste of time. A lawyer said, "You virtually cannot sue a hospital."
In the end Mother let it all go and went on with her life.
Sadly, your life ended at 31 years of age. You never had the chance to marry nor have children - a family of your own. I know how it bothered you to see me grow up and leave and then your younger sisters as well left to start a whole new life for themselves. Everyone was moving forward but you. I got that. It wasn't fair at all. You had so many issues, most not your own fault. For anything else I forgave you.
The hospital walked away scott free. I kept hoping something somewhere that something good would come of it all. Well, because of the difficulties in dealing with releases of information on your medical records a Patient Advocate was born. That office is still in existence today. I hope they have been a help for others faced with the same roadblocks that our family was.
I have so many memories of you Cindy. Do you remember how most people would say they couldn't tell you or I apart until they got up close, face to face so they could see the colours of our eyes? We were almost twins except by the color of our eyes. Oh and you were a tad shorter than me. Remember how you hated the fact that I could grow my hair down to my waist almost overnight and you couldn't even get past shoulder length after trying to for years? Do you remember how much you loved music? Do you remember how you loved to dance and man could you move! Do you remember how we shared a bedroom? Our bunks side by side and how we'd giggle as we lay there in the dark about the craziest things? I remember you were such a beautiful baby that grew to be a very beautiful young woman. I remember all these things and more. I can remember everything for the both of us.You had so many issues, none of which you asked for. For those that didn't know you well they had no idea what hell your life was. But I knew. Oh yes I knew.
Yes Cindy this day today, sooo many years later it is the anniversary of the day you left us. I cannot get over the weather - it is exactly the same as it was back then. I wonder if somewhere on this planet if there isn't someone else standing over a grave of their loved ones watching the rain patter on a corrugated cardboard box - watching it turn from white to brown. Does a rose barricade the tears of rain as they fall from heaven? Are they feeling a deep ache of regret of what could of been, what should of been?
The rain was not the only thing wetting your final resting place that day. My tears fell on it too. My last way of touching you, of hugging you of showing that I loved you dear sister. My dear baby sister.
How I hope that you are getting peace in your place of rest.
I am you and you are me and we will all be together, again.
With all my love, your big sister,
To you dearest reader, we all know or will know at some point in our path through life that we will deal with the loss of a loved one. Sometimes that loss is untimely. When something like this happens it is a kind of thing that never comes to rest, not really. Somehow we have to find a way to deal with that one little detail that is so huge and weighs heavy on our conscience. On this day, for me, that is what this writing is all about. A way to say I've not forgotten the injustice of it all. It will never rest with me but will forever hover in the back ground of my life, floating there with a life force of it's own. I continue to deal with the loss of a sister who was called home far too soon. I continue to live with the fact that I never had nieces and nephews by way of my sister. I continue to deal with the fact that on this planet that she left little legacy behind the way the rest of us do. But she did live. She did exist. She loved music. She loved to dance and my god she could dance!! I hope in the childlike impression of my heart that she is dancing on the stairs of heaven. Please let there be a heaven.
You can always catch me at the next high tide ...