Maybe it was an accident.
Maybe she went to the bridge to think, to reflect – and while she was there, maybe she started to fall asleep, having been sleep deprived for a little too long, maybe she just nodded off; falling to the waters below – not intending to be there.
Or maybe there were other reasons, and one thing led to another, which led to her being in the frigid waters with her seven-month-old son. That led to her death, and his clinging to a life that has only just begun – his father keeping vigil while grieving her death.
The Coroner’s office is investigating.
The question that needs to be answered is: What needed to happen, that did not happen? What needed to happen, that would have led to some other reality? The reality in which a boy has his mother, a father has his wife, and they get through the now – the incredibly exhausting present of having a very small child. The different reality where a small child is not fighting for a life that has only just begun – a life that now will bear no resemblance to what could have and should have been.
What needed to happen, that did not happen?
Would a solid night's sleep and a shower have made a difference?
Would less judgement about whatever choices had been made, made a difference?
Would simply knowing who to call, and where to go have changed the outcome?
This is an unnecessary and tragic loss of life – and should renew the call for Canada to do better. Over a year ago, Kirsten Patrick, then deputy editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal pointed out that in other countries maternal deaths are analyzed on a case by case basis to identify contributing factors, and that such an approach does not happen in Canada.
Will this mother’s death serve the only purpose it can? Will it be looked at and analyzed – to determine what needed to happen that did not happen, to determine how we could possibly do better?
Will this baby, and this father – who now have suffered her loss be adequately supported going forward?
Are we doing enough right now? Really?
Moms matter. This mom mattered. Her loss is tragic, regardless of the underlying cause.