An Irish woman penned a moving poem to her sister who died from COVID-19, stating that she "is not a statistic." 

Dorothy Duffy appeared on Liveline with Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio One earlier this week to pay homage to her deceased sister, Rose, who died at the age of 81 in a nursing home in England on April 4 after contracting the coronavirus.

Dorothy Duffy, from Ballina in County Mayo, said that emotions "poured out of her" when she was writing the tribute to her sister. 

The poem deals with the daily release of COVID-19 statistics in countries around the world when health departments around the world announce new cases and new deaths purely in terms of numbers. 

The poem condemns how health departments announce deaths "with underlying health conditions" and Duffy says that it is a "pitiful" way to remember someone who just died. 

Rose Duffy had several underlying health conditions. She was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago and cracked a vertebra in her back earlier this year. Dorothy Duffy said that her sister had become very frail and she was moved to a nursing home in Chiswick in London, where she lived for almost 60 years. 

Dorothy Duffy said that she wrote the poem out of frustration of not being able to be with her sister's children and grandchildren when she died earlier this month. 

She said that in the hours after her sister died, she told herself "she wasn't a statistic" and sent the poem to the BBC "on impulse." 

The poem has been featured on the BBC in addition to RTÉ, 

Read more: Priest in Ireland pens touching poem about coronavirus lockdown

You can listen to Dorothy Duffy's emotional reading here. You can hear how it even moved presenter Joe Duffy immediately after she finished reading. 

My sister is not a statistic 

Tomorrow, when the latest Deathometer of COVID is announced
in sonorous tones,
Whilst all the bodies still mount and curl towards the middle of the curve
Heaped one atop and alongside the other
My sister will be among those numbers, among the throwaway lines
Among the platitudes and lowered eyes,
an older person with underlying health conditions,
A pitiful way to lay rest the bare bones of a life.

My sister is not a statistic 

Her underlying conditions were
Belief in the essential goodness of mankind
Uproarious laughter
A storyteller
A survivor
A comforter
A force of nature
And so much more

My sister is not a statistic 

She died without the soft touch of a loved one’s hand
Without the feathered kiss upon her forehead
Without the muted murmur of familiar family voices gathered around her bed,
Without the gentle roar of laughter that comes with memories recalled
Evoked from a time that already seems distant, when we were connected by the simplicity
of touch, of voice, of presence.

My sister is not a statistic 

She was a woman who spanned the seven ages.
A mother
A grandmother
A great grandmother
A sister
A Friend
An aunt
A carer
A giver

My sister is not a statistic

And so, she joins the mounting thousands

They are not statistics on the Deathometer of COVID

They are the wives, mothers, children, fathers, sisters, brothers,
The layers of all our loved ones
If she could, believe me when I say, she would hold every last one of your loved ones, croon
to and comfort them and say – you were loved.
Whilst we who have been left behind mourn deep, keening the loss, the injustice, the rage.
One day we will smile and laugh again, we will remember with joy that, once, we shared a
life, we knew joy and survived sadness.

You are my sister…….. and I love you.

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