Heroin addiction is a destroyer of the human spirit, completely obliterating not only the heart of the addict, but the hearts of those who love them as well. The harsh reality of this cyclic battle is that some souls simply cannot be saved no matter how hard you try to help them, or how much love you offer them. We can’t walk the path for anyone but ourselves, and there is no way to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. – Dena M. Daigle
This is a piece dedicated to my sister. I tried with everything in me to make this a spoken word piece, but I could barely get out 5 lines before I broke down in tears. Wherever you are sister, just know that you are loved and I hope you can find yourself one day.
An Open Letter to My Sister
I reached out to you with three simple words,
“How could you?”
And your response was “I need help”
But how many times are we supposed to save you when you won’t even save yourself.
You said “Fuck help. Fuck life. I give up”
Never giving another thought to the children who need you;
nor the mother and sister who would succeed you.
You told me that I would never see you again;
and I’m not even sure how I’m supposed to feel about that.
Is it a ploy for attention, or a cry for help?
I don’t know,
because most don’t give a warning before they kill themselves.
And you have lied so much to anyone who would listen.
They obliviously cater to your bullshit while you feed your addiction.
You leave devastation in your wake;
a winding trail of shattered hearts as long as the river Nile,
robbing piggy banks and leaving bones scattered on the shores of denial.
But you tell me “Just remember that I love you.”
As if those words could ever ease the pain of losing my sister;
my own flesh and blood
the girl I would give my own life to save.
Then you block my messages and calls and vanish without a trace.
How dare you lay down your sword at my feet as if I’m supposed to end this battle for you.
How dare you lay your burdens on my fragile heart as if I haven’t suffered too.
I will not clean up the entrails you recklessly leave behind.
I will not hide your rotting corpse from the wolves that come to dine.
I will not place you gently into the river trying to save your soul.
And I will not write your fucking obituary before your body turns cold.
But if you reach out to me, I will answer your call.
I will sit with you in the gutter and we will write graffiti on the walls.
I will write you into poetry of painted skies and butterflies
and you will laugh at me.
You will think I have gone completely mad
unless the only hue on the palette I’ve chosen is black.
But I would do it anyway because I just want to see you crawl out of your cocoon.
I want to shed my light on your darkness and guide you to brighter days.
I want to see your babies smile and seek solace in your embrace.
I will stay at your bedside and watch over you as you sleep,
and I will help you slay your demons on the days you are too weak.
I will roll up my sleeves and grab a broom and we will clean this mess together;
but I will not let you sweep it under the rug again
nor let you decide which storms we have to weather.
I will not watch you destroy yourself any longer and tear our family apart;
and if that means you hate me,
I will just have to keep you safe in my heart.
But I will not write your obituary.
I will just love you from afar.
-Dena M. Daigle ©️ 2018