On a Sunday afternoon, she expected to be able to sit and ruminate about the past week and plan a few activities for the coming week.
But when the phone rang and she heard her brother in tears begging for help every plan went out the window.
There was clearly a crisis, and as had happened so often in the past she was the one the family went to, the one who held everything together.
There was no time for reflection on the matter the brother had called for help there was no doubt he was in a desperate way, and she needed to get to him as quickly as possible.
So, dropping everything and quickly explaining to her husband, she was out the door, into her car and off to his assistance.
The drive took forty minutes, she wasn’t sure afterwards how many speed limits she broke as her focus was on getting to her brother and seeing he was ok.
She reflected on why it was her who was called upon at this time. She’d seen her fair share of grief and trauma in her life time. She was also of an age where the other members of her family sought out her counsel in times of hardship.
It was true she carried the burden of the family but that was how it was, and at times like this she didn’t mind so long as the outcome was a good one.
She arrived at the place where her brother was, and upon seeing her, he burst into tears telling her he had contemplated ending his life, had written letters and constructed a noose to carry out the deed but had also thought of the pain he would cause if he carried it out.
So, she took him in her arms and calmed him down. Comfort was what he needed, and she could do that.
She bundled him into her car and took him to the mental health unit at the nearby hospital. There she sat with him as he regained control of himself and began to talk about what had driven close to the point of no return.
Listening to him was all part of her role, she was holding him together, listening to him, offering him comfort, reminding him he had family and friends around him and that he would get through the current pain.
After some hours of waiting a doctor came to see him and suggested she go home and he would call her later to see what was to be done.
All this occurred in a state of emotional numbness, and she waited anxiously another few hours until she heard her brother was released and returning home.
She spoke to him, felt relieved he sounded like his old self, content for the moment that he would be ok. The weight on her shoulders was slightly lessened through her conversation with him, she felt there was now hope.