‘My sister is not a statistic’: High emotion on Liveline as woman recites poem for her deceased sister

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Dorothy Duffy spoke about the passing of her sister Rose on 4 April.

Rose in older years
Born in Belfast into a Mayo family, Rose spent most of her life in London.


Source: RTÉ

A WOMAN WHOSE sister died from Covid-19 has told RTÉ’s Liveline programme that she was moved to write a poem about her death and that “it just all poured out” when she started writing. 

Dorothy Duffy spoke about the passing of her sister Rose on 4 April and said that in the hours afterwards she kept hearing a drum beat in her head repeating the words “my sister is not a statistic”. 

Dorothy wrote the poem around that theme and told Joe Duffy that it was borne out of the “loss and frustration” of not being able to be around Rose’s children and grandchildren when she died. 

Dorothy said that the family is from Ballina but that Rose died in a nursing home Chiswick in London, where she had lived for the past 50-60 years.


Source: RTÉ Radio 1/SoundCloud

My sister is not a statistic 

Tomorrow, when the latest Deathometer of Covid is announced
in sonorous tones,
Whilst all the bodies still mount and curl towards the middle of the curve
Heaped one atop and alongside the other
My sister will be among those numbers, among the throwaway lines
Among the platitudes and lowered eyes,
an older person with underlying health conditions,
A pitiful way to lay rest the bare bones of a life.

My sister is not a statistic 

Her underlying conditions were
Love
Kindness
Belief in the essential goodness of mankind
Uproarious laughter
Forgiveness
Compassion
A storyteller
A survivor
A comforter
A force of nature
And so much more

My sister is not a statistic 

She died without the soft touch of a loved one’s hand
Without the feathered kiss upon her forehead
Without the muted murmur of familiar family voices gathered around her bed,
Without the gentle roar of laughter that comes with memories recalled
Evoked from a time that already seems distant, when we were connected by the simplicity
of touch, of voice, of presence.

My sister is not a statistic 

She was a woman who spanned the seven ages.
A mother
A grandmother
A great grandmother
A sister
A Friend
An aunt
A carer
A giver

My sister is not a statistic

And so, she joins the mounting thousands

They are not statistics on the Deathometer of Covid

They are the wives, mothers, children, fathers, sisters, brothers,
The layers of all our loved ones
If she could, believe me when I say, she would hold every last one of your loved ones, croon
to and comfort them and say – you were loved.
Whilst we who have been left behind mourn deep, keening the loss, the injustice, the rage.
One day we will smile and laugh again, we will remember with joy that, once, we shared a
life, we knew joy and survived sadness.

You are my sister…….. and I love you.

 

 

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