Robin, my special and loving sister- it is so hard to say goodbye.

by Susan

My sweet sister, Robin, died on May 22, 2011 in the burn unit in North Carolina. After falling asleep with a cigarette, her body caught on fire. Neighbors heard Robin yelling for help and saying she could not breathe. She was taken to the nearest hospital and then air evacuated to a hospital with a top burn unit. Robin went through many medical emergencies with her body burned over 70 percent. Finally the doctors said there was nothing more they could do for her weak body. On May 22, 2011, we decided the kindness thing we could do for Robin was to take her off the life support. That was the hardest decision my mom and I have ever had to make with the total approval of the doctors. She passed gently with my two nieces, my mother and me touching her and talking to her about how much we love her.

Robin was full of life and suffered from bi-polar and manic depression since the age of 16 years old. She lived independently for 24 years. Robin lived in a world of fantasy to have companionship with her at all times. She often said that we, the family, all had eternal life because we were the chosen few.

As I write this, I see how the Mental Health Department had failed her miserably. As family members we could only have her put into the behavior ward for only a few days until the doctors would deem her "stable". Not able to cope with each day but stable enough to barely function. There was never follow up to see how my sister was doing. This if frustration I am having dealing with Robin's death. Why doesn't this country treat Mental Illness with the same passion that we do to fight and research cancer or diabetes cures?

I am home now in California having a very difficult time. I am having huge waves of deep sadness and uncontrollable bouts of crying and sobbing. I know this is normal grieving but my heart is broken. I know Robin is in a better place without pain and suffering. I miss her phone calls and her very special laugh. We would talk every day once in the morning and then again at night. I would always make sure she was taking her medications.

Robin made the most of her life. She created friends that were very real to her. People always loved her and especially loved her laughter. She loved my daughter and grandson with all her heart. Her fridge was covered with pictures of the two of them. Whenever there was medical emergency, Robin would always pray for them to get well.

Thanks for letting me express some of my feelings. I miss you, Robin and will never stop loving you. Love, your sister, Susan.

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