On January 1, 2012 my sister, Doreen would have been 69 years old. Instead Doreen died in February of 1953 at age eleven years.
Doreen was a very healthy active child. She became ill and it was thought that she had a cold. She did not get over the cold but was up one day and down the next. She didn't seem to be able to beat what ever bug she had. The family Doctor decided to admit her to the hospital. Her condition became worse and she was sent to a city hospital. She continued to go up and down. My Mom stayed in the city and my Dad spent as much time as he could with her at the hospital. Antibiotics didn't seem to be doing any good. At the end of two weeks Doreen suddenly passed away.
This death was devastating to my parents, her brothers and the community. The loss of their daughter was something that stayed with both my parents until their passing.
My Dad died in 2008. With that the keeping of the memory of Doreen passes to her brothers. Most of the people my parents age are gone. Very few people now would have met Doreen. My youngest brother was born after Doreen's death so he never met her.
In the 1950's it was considered that kids didn't mourn and that deaths would soon be forgotten. No one talked to us about Doreen's death. People talked to Mom and Dad and expressed their sympathy and support. My brothers and I just continued on with our lives. My brothers and I did not talk to each other of Doreen's death until we were in our fifties. We know now that this is not the way to handle losses with kids.
However, we survived the loss of our sister. Now we are some of the few left who will keep her memory . People will visit the cemetery and be able to place her in the family. Soon there will be no one living who will have actually known her.