The autopsy couldn’t be performed until weeks of -20 temperature could be reversed. The police and coroner tiptoed around using the phrase ‘thaw out’. I’ve since envisioned and still envision the positions in which she was placed inside of the hockey bag, or the possible surfaces she had to ‘thaw’ upon. That shouldn’t enter one’s mind, especially when it comes to someone you love so deeply.
No one Loretta or I knew or had in our home before this time played hockey. Where could it have come from? Who owned it?
I wanted to fly home with her. I didn’t want her to be alone like she had been for the past few weeks. I should have been home to protect her. We were inseparable and now she’s fucking dead. For some reason, I wasn’t allowed to escort her home, so we both returned home alone.
The Fab Five trickled into Labrador one by one. I didn’t spend much time at home or with anyone other than these folks. It was too hard and I became extremely reclusive and selective in who I associated myself with. I’ve never been entirely close with the Saunders side of the family. While I consider Clayton my father and he has raised me as his own, it’s unbeknownst to me who my biological father is (Does it really matter?).
Our bunch is never invited to their gatherings and we’ve always felt awkward around them, but we hoped we could put such petty nonsense aside during this time. Even at the preliminary hearing, a select few had shown a sort of animosity towards my grieving family that led me to fully disregard them as human. What sort of human being could be so cruel? Definitely not one I’d consider family or associate myself with. This isn’t to degrade anyone, just shed light on the sort of obstacles my family has had to surmount subsequent to my sister’s murder.
I have nightmares about Blake and Victoria. They inhabit my apartment, plotting to kill me after my sister. They try to kill me or rape me. I have better dreams about finding my sister, reviving her, and succeeding. I have dreams of her telling me not to drink and lending me advice.
My first dream was close to her funeral. She spent the entire time trying to save my mother, father, brothers, sister, nieces and nephews from a toxic gas that filled a strange warehouse.
My parents have a 4 bedroom home and 8 children, plus the foster kids and others they would take in, so space was limited. At the funeral, I thought about how I used to crawl into her bed with her when I was a child, after having nightmares or being too cold in the basement. I then thought back on the times she said it was okay for me to sleep in her room in Halifax instead of the couch. I hated myself for choosing the couch. I wish I could have watched more documentaries, ate bullshit food and talked with her in bed again.
I walked up to her casket, howling, and sat with my legs stretched out. With a storm of thoughts and emotion, I laughed and I cried. I loathed what was happening.
After every milestone moment during the search, discovery and burial for Loretta, it snowed and I’m not the only one who noticed.
On the 7th, it snowed when we left the Pentecostal church and headed to her gravesite. I was freezing in a dress and read a poem. Everyone put a handful of dirt on her casket, hugged, cried and started to leave.
The people who were to bury her said no one was allowed to stay for the lowering of the casket or burial. Sabrina, Kyle, Jess and I parked across the road and I watched the pink and white metal box descend. I had to stay with her to the end.