Archive for July 4th, 2011
75 days later

Today, the Medical Examiner’s report arrived in the mail. It had been delayed three weeks due to the Canada Post shutdown. The report did not tell me anything I did not already know, of course. Ailish had no alcohol or drugs in her system. She suffered ‘multiple blunt injuries’ as a result of being ‘struck by a bus’. She suffered broken bones, hemothorax, and hemoperitoneum.

The police investigation was initially expected to be wrapped up by the end of June, but now is expected to conclude around the end of July. The delay has nothing to do with the case, and I’ve come to expect everything will take longer than one may expect.

I could say that I’m trying to piece my life back together. But that’s just not true. At the moment, I’m just trying to survive each day. When I’m not woken up in the middle of the night by a page, I get a good night of sleep about two nights in three. When I get a good night of sleep, the days are tolerable. When I don’t, they aren’t. I get overwhelmed easily, and am very probably often inadvertently rude when dealing with people.

I go to bed around 8 PM, because there’s no reason to stay up any later. Besides, I’m exhausted, even on those nights that I did sleep well the night before. I tried calling someone to come and fix the leaking toilet downstairs, but when two telephone calls didn’t result in any progress, appear to have given up. I suppose I should probably call someone else.

On the other hand, I’m actually doing a better job of maintaining my lawn than my neighbours are. I was much more productive at work in June than I was in May. Training for the half marathon is progressing and I ran 16 Km on Sunday. I’m still losing weight, but at this point it’s probably because running consumes somewhere close to 3000 calories a week. And I’m hoping to go backpacking sometime soon, if it ever stops raining.

Every so often, I go down to the cemetery. This past weekend, I left roses on Ailish’s grave site. Roses always made Ailish smile. I tried to nap on Sunday, but I failed. Ailish, I’m sorry.

Bench Dedication

On Wednesday, June 29th, the City of Edmonton dedicated a bench to Ailish’s memory. The bench is in Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton, right across the street from Chancery Hall where Ailish worked.

The plaque reads as follows:

1983 – 2011
In memory of Ailish O’Connor
A rising star
dedicated to the City of Edmonton
Genuine friend and passionate about family
Enjoy the view from here as she often did

The service was lead by John Dowds, the City Chaplain. The bench dedication and the service was organised by Lorna Rosen, Ailish’s boss.

I find it impossible to predict whether events like this will give me comfort, or just generally be hard and emotionally draining. Luckily, this was one of the former. It was wonderful to see so many of Ailish’s coworkers at the service, even though I got to talk to less than a tenth of them. Ailish loved working for the City of Edmonton. She felt that she could make a meaningful contribution to Edmonton itself, and she was challenged and inspired by her co-workers. Ailish and I often discussed the various projects she was working on, and the people she was working with. I wish I could have thanked everyone individually.

Afterwards, the family (Ailish’s parents and brother, and my father) went out for lunch and some conversation. It was a good day, and a touching way to celebrate a hugely important part of Ailish’s life.