Sunday, September 30, 2012

Things can go wrong in an instant

Here we are--the last weekend of September. The last weekend that Kelly-Anne was alive so many years ago.

Kell had just returned from Italy. I'm sure she was trying to get used to eastern time again. Packing. Doing laundry. Getting ready for a work week.

Kell was also in the process of figuring out how to disentangle herself from a relationship with Marty. She had decided that they just didn't work and it was time to break up. They had just moved in together just a few months before, however, so it was a lot more involved than a break up might otherwise be.

Kell was very self sufficient. Didn't really want people's help with a lot of things. She thought she could handle the situation she was in. As she told me on the phone that Saturday: "we're going to handle it like adults."

Very few people knew just how bad things had gotten. Kell had told a friend in Italy that she was being abused. But she didn't tell anyone in Montreal. She didn't tell anyone who could have taken immediate action and helped show her the danger she was in. Instead, she soldiered on and tried to be mature and grown up. Just because they were breaking up, didn't mean it had to be a disaster.

She couldn't have been more wrong.

Kelly-Anne's soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend was volatile and angry. He had a dangerous track record of violence--especially against women he was in relationships with.

So, that final Sunday of Kelly-Anne's life--October 3, 2004--she cooked dinner for herself and Marty. Pork chops and noodles. At some point the landlord knocked on the door asking for the rest of their rent money. Kelly-Anne had left the full amount for Marty when she went to Italy but he kept a few bucks--$20, $40? I can't remember--as spending money for himself.

I can't imagine how embarrassed she was when the landlord told her the rent hadn't been fully paid. She took her financial obligations very seriously. The landlord left and--by Marty's own testimony--they began to argue.

Kelly-Anne ended up on the floor in a pool of blood, stabbed in the back of the head and not breathing when paramedics arrived. Marty called them himself. No one knows how long he waited before he finally decided to call.

That was how her beautiful life came to an end. Her family and friends gathered around her bedside in intensive care the next day to say their goodbyes before she was removed from life support. It was heartbreaking for everyone involved.

It is too late for Kelly-Anne. But it isn't too late for the rest of us.

What do you need to learn from Kelly-Anne's story?

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