For My Sister Gone But Not Forgotten x
Born: 12th of May 1970
Taken from this earth: 10th of November 2016
Today would have been my sisters birthday, I wish you a heavenly 48th birthday xx.
I have sat and pondered for a very long time wondering if I should tell my story, should I let out with I have bottled up inside, 18 months of anxiety, stress and depression. Should I let the people outwith my family hear my story. I have to do this, I hope my family understand that this is my way of coping I feel I need this release to be able to gain a foothold in my life and carry on, even though I’m surrounded by my family I don’t want to be alone any more. No more hiding from what can’t be changed.
Here goes nothing, on the 10th of November 2016, my father phoned at 7.45pm to tell me that 2 Detectives were coming up to see me, my sister had been found dead. The dreaded chap at the door at 8.30pm, my life changed forever, they couldn’t tell me much except that Sharon may have lain dead for sometime. My heart sank and from that point on I had to be the head of the family and take care of my dad and all that came with Sharon’s death.
It became apparent that my younger sister and my niece had some sort of connection to what had happened to Sharon, all the information relayed by the police told us that Lynnette had become the carer for Sharon and all professional carers had been stopped in January of 2016. Sharon’s daughter Shayla had also become part of the package to care for her mother. Sadly this didn’t happen they didn’t care for Sharon instead they assaulted, compressed her neck causing fractures, broke her ribs 19 in total and bludgeoned her with objects or an object unknown. Lynnette and Shayla were taken into custody in December 2016 and questioned, Lynnette was charged with murder and released on bail, Shayla was released on bail pending further enquiries.
This is when I started to Blog about Books, Sweet Little Book Blog was born, a channel for my emotions, a way to hide in plain site. I continue to this day to get involved in Blog Tour/Blitz’s to immerse myself in a different reality where I don’t need to comprehend how my family dynamics have been shattered by the ones you would think to be incapable of such a heinous crime, against another person never mind your own family.
Fast forward 7 months and we finally get the call that we can finally lay my sister Sharon to rest, all the while I have worried, stressed, all about how my father is going to make it through to the court case never mind the funeral. I spend a lot of time trying to cope with my own emotions wondering if I will ever feel happy again, can I stay strong for my dad, I’m all he has left, the pressure and weight of responsibility is phenomenal and I just want to disappear, run away, pretend it never happened but it has and it did.
All through the year of 2017, my sister continued to plead not guilty to 8 charges, including the charge of Murder, finally we get the call to say Shayla, Sharon’s daughter, will also be standing trial for Murder along with her Aunt she has a count of 6 charges. The year 2017 became synonymous with 2016, both had pled Not Guilty to all charges, they never once thought about how it was affecting their father/papa, they believed that they would released of all charges.
Another Christmas goes by, nothing can improve my mood, I had no notion to be part of the festivities, I didn’t see the point it was another year where I had no answers, just a ton more questions.
Finally the trial date is announced for April 2018, 18 months after the Murder of my sister Sharon, still Lynnette and Shayla have continued to plead Not Guilty. My father and I are witnesses for the prosecution and are the first to be called. I’m proud of my dad he managed to hold himself together and get through the day, whereas the fragility of my emotional state came to the forefront while giving my statement. I’m sorry I didn’t stay strong for my dad but the emotion of everything I’ve carried for the last 18 months flooded out and I dissolved into a state that I still carry up to this very day.
Sharon I owe you an apology for not sitting through the whole trial, but I wanted to remember you for what you were, a quiet, mild mannered soul who would do anything for anyone, not the shell of a woman who once was my sister. I did attend closing statements, I listened to all parties, I wept for you once again Sharon.
I wept for what I should have done, I wept for what all the professional bodies should have done, I wept for everyone who knew you, most of all I wept for my dad he has lost everything, 2 daughters and a granddaughter, a family decimated by an act that could have been prevented. All they needed to do was lift the phone and say they couldn’t cope any more, I would have been there, Lynnette, Shayla you didn’t give me that chance, instead I wasn’t good enough, you drove me away all because I wouldn’t conform to what you wanted, I was and still am my own person you will never take that from me, but you took that from Sharon.
Two days and the verdict is past on the 4th of May 2018. Lynnette was found guilty of Murder and assault of Sharon and has been given a life sentence of 23 years to be served fully with no chance of parole before the 23 years, even then parole board may still deny. As for Shayla the jury returned a majority verdict of Not Proven 8 jurors to 7, I’m very disappointed but the evidence wasn’t enough, she may carry on with her life but she will always be in my eyes, the child that was party to the death of her mother. Shayla will never be involved in my families dynamics or be a grandchild to my father.
Maybe one day, the truth will come out and full justice will be served to both that were responsible for the death of my sister Sharon.
18 months have come and gone, but my emotions have not, my physical health has altered and my financial situation has taken a dramatic change, our future is dependant on my ability to go back to work and feel comfortable within myself, but at this moment in time being a home carer is the furthest thing from my mind, I don’t know if I can follow that path any more, only time will tell.
I’m taking the steps to reach out to any organisation who can help me come to terms with what has happened. I can no longer afford to be isolated, I need help to find my future and too make sense of what happened and most of all let go of the intense guilt I feel.
I thank the people that reached out to me because they knew my sister, but to the ones who think I’m worth nothing, who blame my father and I for not being there I have something to say to you, we are not all part of a ‘Perfect Family’, families aren’t always close but I hope and pray this never comes chapping at your door, because believe me it will show who your true friends and family are.
For now I will be off work until I can get my head in the right frame of mind, I will continue with my reading and blogging if my friends in the book community will have me and above all I will stay strong for my dad, he needs me and truth be told I need him.
For now all I ask from people who support me is to give me time, understand that I can’t always control my emotions and I will cry at what seems like nothing to them, let me cry, just be there to hold me.
The main thing is that I can get some rest, some peace all other things will have to wait.
THE FINAL PIECES
I have one final thing to say to my sister Sharon and that is I am still looking for answers, Sharon I’m going to look to find out those answers, someone is accountable, the situation within the household was well documented but someone never looked and accepted the reasons. I want an investigation, Sharon you are owed that much and if I can prevent something similar happening to another family it will be worth the boats that rock.
I will scatter your ashes soon Sharon, I need to find the perfect peaceful place with the brightness that was once you, and I will gather the family that has stood by dad and myself letting you fly free without fear.