Redefining ‘me’

“Hey Dee,

Just want you to know that I am insanely proud of you and how much you’ve matured over the past couple of years. I see nothing but success and greatness in your future. I may sometimes be hard to get along with but I appreciate having you here with me and I’m grateful that you’re here to help me get through the difficult times, offering advice, and listening to my desperate attempts to make logical sense out of all of the chaos that occurs in my life. I can’t wait to see the joy and happiness you receive from excelling in school. It’s your year to flourish and be the best that you possibly can. The sky is the limit ❤

Love always, Loretta!!”

I’m reduced to tears whenever I read this. The pain is excruciating but along with it comes a clear picture of her writing and the sound of her voice speaking these words. Being able to imagine her so clearly is a bittersweet experience. She believed in me and loved me so much. She would always lend uplifting and loving words when I needed them most or least expected them.

I thought the pain would consume me, and I almost let it. I didn’t see anything but pain and heartbreak in my future. I’ve always struggled with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I spent months in bed, tuning out the reality of my situation with fleeting moments of productivity. I would take on every project anyone threw in my direction and ultimately let them and myself down. I realized my drinking, self-pity, guilt and hazy mind were hindering my abilities. I had to do something about it, and it hasn’t been easy.

In light of this earth shattering experience, I’ve found light and love. I’ve been able to absorb and really take Loretta’s words to heart. I’ve been able to see what she’s always seen. I wish she could see me now. I want her to know and feel how much I love her.

I’ve started the journey of discovering who I am after a major installation in my life’s story has ended. Deciding which parts to keep and which to leave behind is definitely a struggle but so far, has been very rewarding. I was defined by the role I played in the longest friendship I’ve ever had. I wanted to be just like my big sister and I’ve always considered her my biggest role model. I’m sure many of my readers with siblings can testify to the deep and complex relationship that results from having someone with whom you’ve experienced life in tandem. It’s a beautiful thing to be treasured and respected.

I hope you’ll take the time to tell and show your loved ones how much they mean to you as often as you can. Unexpected expressions of love are precious.

Until next time!
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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