Loved ones remembered: God lent us an angel
Life stories: Loved ones remembered
My big sister Kirsten was a angel lent to us by God.
Kirsten had Spina Bifida from birth which restricted her to a wheelchair, however that didn't stop her from living her life to the fullest. She taught me so many things in life. She taught me not to discriminate against people that are different from from you and me. People would always stare at her and occasionally laugh but not once did she let this get to her. She taught me patience, understanding and love.
Kirsten passed away March 16, 2006 in the care of the Laura Fergusson Trust facility. You can read about what happened in this tragic situation here.
Mum and Dad were on holiday on a cruise ship so we shipped Kirsten off to Laura Ferguson where you loved staying. With your friends there it was just like your own little holiday. That morning our brother contacted me and told Kirsten was in intensive care in hospital and that he was going in to see her. You were always in and out of hospital so we thought this was just another usual visit. Saying yes to come visit Kirsten in hospital that morning was the best decision I have ever made in my life.
I remember sitting in the whanau room in the emergency department at Christchurch Hospital when the doctor came in and told us Kirsten was not doing well and to prepare for the worst. Not long after, he come back and informed us Kirsten had passed away. My whole world just crashed when I heard those words: "I'm sorry but Kirsten has passed away".
I'm just incredibly thankful Kirsten knew my brother and I were in the next room before she went unconscious and never woke up. She didn't pass alone - me and Cam were right there with her with just a wall separating us.
The hardest thing was having to talk to Mum and Dad on the phone on the other side of the world and inform them that their oldest daughter has just died. It took them 48 hours to get home. It was most horrible journey they have ever had to make. My brother and I had to take control of everything while Mum and Dad were on their way back to New Zealand. We had to inform the family in Dunedin and organise the funeral - something very hard for a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old to do.
Kirsten's funeral was huge! I'm still in shock as to how many people came to celebrate her life. It showed me what a loving person she was and how she touched the hearts of hundreds of people.
I'm always going to miss Kirsten's cheeky grin and her "guess what!?" question every 10 minutes. She always had something interesting to share. I feel so privileged to have had a sister like Kirsten. She taught me many things in life that have made me a better person. I feel like God just lent Kirsten to us for 19 years and I can't thank him enough.
Kirsten is dearly missed every single day but I know she is still with us.
This poem reminds me of Kirsten:
I am the disabled child.
I am your teacher. If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life.
I will give you and teach you unconditional love.
I give to you my innocent trust, my dependency upon you.
I teach you of respect for others and their uniqueness.
I teach you about the sanctity of life.
I teach you about how very precious this life is and about not taking things for granted.
I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams.
I teach you giving.
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