26 (Part 2)

My cell phone and FaceBook account were chock-full of messages from reporters, family, friends, and complete strangers for months following my sister’s disappearance.
From Tofino, I did a couple of Skype interviews with news stations in Halifax. When in Halifax, held a few news conferences at the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre. Close to the end of our search, my Aunt Barb, Jess, Kyle, Sabrina and I met with CTV to discuss a fundraising event we were planning to raise money to put up a reward. We felt great about it and headed back to the Loyola Building at Saint Mary’s.

I remember sitting in the passenger side of Kyle’s car as we passed the SMU Library entrance on Inglis. We were talking, laughing, discussing possibilities for the fundraiser when I received a text message from Det. Andy Pattison that read something like this:
“Hi Delilah, I have Yalcin here and we’d like to meet with you at Loyola”

My stomach dropped.
We turned onto Tower Road and approached Gorsebrook when I got a text message from CBC Toronto who said something along the lines of : “We’re very sorry to hear this has turned into a homicide investigation. We were wondering if you could speak to us this evening.”
They couldn’t know before us. It’s bullshit.

Later that evening the conclusion was that they had a film crew on site as they removed my sister from the snow. My intuition that she was too cold had proven to be true.

I feel weak and my stomach is turning over and over. I recognize the car with the deep colour of red in front of Rice residence and get Kyle to stop. I jump out and I run as fast as I can. I don’t want to hear what they have to say but no one had to say anything. Yalcin is limp and crying on the sidewalk. I hug and comfort him.

Seconds later I feel an animosity wash over me, an angry feeling that I’ve only felt twice before. At this particular instance, and when I first laid eyes on Blake in court. I became an animal. I was ready to tear flesh apart with my bare hands and crooked teeth. I was mad at this entirely unbelievable situation just playing out before my eyes, so I battled it.. hard.
I screamed, I growled and I could feel the pure hate and anger coursing in my blood as I sped down the corridor. I flexed my fists and yelled. When I got to our room,  I went to the bathroom and cried.

I cried so hard. I spent a while in there screaming, crying, vomiting, defecating, and vomiting because I was defecating. When I could bring myself to leave the bathroom, I paced like a wild cat who was waiting to be fed. I asked Andy questions. They weren’t memorable. I couldn’t reiterate them if I wanted to, but the answers made me angrier and I punched a concrete wall. Punching the wall was stupid. I hurt my hand and I laughed and it brought a smile to a few faces.
I don’t remember much after this and I view that as a positive thing right now.
I thought I would cower and just cry if I was given this news. I surprised myself throughout all of this but it wasn’t so surprising to others who had already viewed me as a strong woman. I didn’t know my strength or what traits I had been handed.

I still feel Loretta’s strength and heart within my own. I feel connected.

In my next post, I’ll share the preparation for the journey home & Loretta’s funeral.

Until then I ask you, how do you think you’d react? Or how did you react?
Share your story, feedback or suggestions with me.
delilah@homicidesurvivor.ca 

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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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One Response to 26 (Part 2)

  1. I finally got a chance to come on and read your posts. So well written, so real, I know I’ve told you a million times but your strength is so inspiring. I’m so proud of you for taking this nightmare of a situation and using it to grow and inspire others just as Loretta would have wanted you to, as she probably would have done herself. Lots of love and light

    Like

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