Sunday, February 17, 2008

She dies

About a year or so ago, a friend from Church Doug called me saying he had gotten himself into a situation.
A C0-Worker, female, was (details are elusive) needing a place to stay, he had offered his 2nd bedroom realized Before she moved in THAT was not a good idea, yet didn't want to just dump her....SO of course...he thinks of me. I use my influence to get her a hotel room for a couple days, then use other "chits" to have someone else cover her for 2 more days. (Salvation Army, etc...ran out of money for this type of thing).
I call her, or she called me the realities don't really matter. I spent several sessions with her (when I say 'sessions' it implies payment which did NOT occur), talking to her about life choices, bad choices, personal responsibility etc, AND...helped her get into a local shelter, with requisite clothing, kitchen stuff etc that I dug out of my garage.
(I could outfit several homes by the crap in our garage, but I'm working on decluttering).
She worked here and there, got beat up by a boyfriend, called sporadically after that. I got her a coat, and some clothes from the Women's Resource Center.
Basically, I helped her out of a pitch and got her at least somewhat settled. Hooked her up with Community Mental Health which of course she said she didn't need..blah blah....

I heard the other day, she died January 31st. She had gotten an apt., it didn't have heat, for some reason (drunk or otherwise), she was outside, scantily dressed, and "fell". Froze to death. Died. Exposure. Did she know God? Was that my job too? Rest in peace Catherine Knight. I hope you have peace. Really. You certainly didn't have much here on earth.

Should I have done more? Should I have stayed involved?

Sorry-I have my own life, my own complications, my own kids, my own responsibilities, and am somewhat overwhelmed most of the time. I didn't have room to keep it up. She was not my responsibility.

Why. do. I. Feel. So. Guilty. for living?.



hate to say it, but people like that can't be helped until they help themselves. you did what you could. that is just how it goes.

Suzanne said...

You can't be all things for all people. You did more for her than many others had-found shelter, tried to line up services.

However, two things stand out. First, she wanted a hand out, not a hand up. Second, you are the type of person who no matter how much you do to help, you feel you should do more.

Don't change who you are, you are an amazing person who does so much to help others. Unfortunately, when something like this happens, instead of seeing how much you did, you see what you didn't.

I wish I was there to give a hug and an ear, because I am sure there is more you have to say about the subject.

RIP, Catherine.

Marni said...

I agree with Suzanne... don't beat yourself up. You did what you could for her.


MP said...

Some people can not be helped..YOU know that. What a shame...I have a feeling that will happen to my cousin some day.

H said...

I know how you feel. A few years ago, I saw a guy I had been friends (and sometimes more) with from my school days. I looked bad (you know frumpy mom looking) so I avoided his gaze and didn't speak to him. He killed himself later that year. I prayed for the same thing, that he had peace. But secretly felt that I had missed some sore of opportunity. Rest assured that you did the work of Christ, you did unto the least of these, you gave her shelter, clothing, food. You ministered to her in the most real of ways.

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

you did all you could... which is a hell of a lot more than most people would do. people like catherine knight need to help themselves before people like us can help them.