I continued. "The keys I'm holding in this picture represent all the things I tried to save my sister. I tried watching her like a hawk to make sure she ate. I tried staying up to make sure she didn't exercise. I wrote out lists of reasons why she shouldn't give up on life. I told her she was beautiful all the time. But it didn't work. No matter what I tried, I couldn't save Idina."
I stopped there, unwilling to speak while crying. I just sat there. So did everybody else. Even the counselors were speechless for a long, long time.
Finally, the main counselor asked me a few questions. I replied with monosyllabic answers, not because I was trying to be difficult, but because I honestly was spent and couldn't answer with more than a couple words at a time. Eventually, the counselor asked, "What were you most afraid of during all this?"
I took a deep breath. "I was afraid Idina would die, and there would have been something I could have done to keep her alive."
You could have heard the drop of a pin in the silence that followed.