The beginning of the end.. (Part 1)

It’s been 303 days since I’ve seen my sister, Loretta Saunders, alive. 224 since she was murdered. 31 days since her 27th birthday. And 11 since I’ve given up booze.

The last time I saw my sister was on November 26th of last year. It was a cold morning and frost had coated Halifax the night before. I had a train to catch and was bound for British Columbia. My sister and her boyfriend, Rob, didn’t want me to leave but I felt I had to experience true independence. She hugged and kissed me goodbye while still asking me to stay. It was different than any of my other departures but I didn’t think that would be the last time I saw her.

224 days ago my sister had gone missing. It was unknown to me because the two accused had her cellphone and sent me a text simply saying “hey”, which was highly unusual. After my family and others realized no one had heard from her in a couple of days, besides suspect messages that were nothing if not misleading, we contacted the Halifax Regional police.

At this point, I was in Tofino, BC and despite the police asking family to stay put I jumped on a plane and rushed to Halifax. I vowed to bring her home. I needed to find my sister and give her an earful for terrifying me. I would never leave her again. I would always keep her safe, as she did for me since I was a kid. I would cook her dinner like I used to every night as she studied endlessly.  I would get a job, pay rent, go to school and make her proud of my new found sense of responsibility.
I just wanted to hug her and know she was okay. I wanted to hear her call me a weirdo for freaking out and hopping on a plane when she had just been busy studying and her phone was cut off due to late bills.

These thoughts and many others flurried through my mind, amongst memories and trying to process what I was facing. She was -and still is- a defining character in my life’s story so that couldn’t just end.. could it?

I cried most of my way across the country. While purchasing plane tickets, in lineups for coffee, seated next to strangers on the plane, while smoking cigarettes and listening to our favourite songs on repeat.
I arrived in Halifax at 11 A.M. on the 18th of February not knowing what was ahead. I had honestly believed I would find her at home but found police guarding our door on the 10th floor of our apartment building instead..

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About Homicide Survivor

The issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women has encompassed my life after the murder of my sister, Loretta Saunders, in February 2014. Loretta was studying the issue of #MMIWG for her thesis topic at the time of her death. To take a proactive approach to my own healing, I have since taken on the titles of author, advocate, and activist to carry my sister’s legacy forward and raise awareness. I can be reached VIA e-mail at delilah.saunders@hotmail.com
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3 Responses to The beginning of the end.. (Part 1)

  1. This is very heart wrenching with what has happened to your sister her baby and you and all of your family. I am deeply saddened by the fact her life was taken and her baby as well, It was a senseless and horrific act. I have been thinking of all of your family sense because of what has happened was so tragic. I have known your parents since I am about their age. I feel so bad that they lost their child and grandchild your sister. She has left an amazing legacy for others are living to carry out her dream which was to help the missing and murdered Aboriginal Women. They were inspired because of the vision Loretta had and was pursuing to accomplish.

    I had seen Loretta’s picture with her Most Adorable Angelic Smile. I cried and cried for two weeks everyday when I first heard of her life was taken. I was very angry and frustrated and confused because she was so sweet innocent and was living a life that would change the lives of so many Aboriginal Women, and also would of had a spin off of many other lives because of her believes and cause. The change Loretta would of brought would of been for the good and the world we live in then would of been a better place.

    her fight for the people who needed this was long overdue. Now because of her tragedy others carry her dream to become a reality and in turn lives again will be helped and things will get better. Loretta’s dream has a ripple effect that will impact the world in a tremendous way for the lives who need this help.

    As for your sharing of your experience Delilah Saunders this is so in depth of how you are dealing with the loss of your sibling who was very close to you. Loretta and you have shared a rare and special bond. And how you are expressing yourself will help many many lives as well. God Bless You Delilah Saunders for your Kind selfless heart for thinking of others. I pray God Will Give You Strength One Day At A Time through your walk of recovery of losing your Angelic Sister and her Baby and also to help you in other areas of Recovery.

    HUGS

    Ralph Webber

    Like

  2. Sherry Hearn says:

    What an incredible and beautiful writer…God bless you and your family, each and every day….

    Like

  3. Monika Seiller says:

    Dear Delilah,
    I think it is great that you educate the people about the suffering you and your family as well as many others had to go through. As a German based support group we have been protesting against the violence against Indigenous women for many years. So I just wanted to show our solidarity. If you like, you can see some of our work on our facebook account.
    Monika Seiller, Akionsgruppe Indianer & Menschenrechte
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Indianer-Netzwerk/250652304992222

    Like

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