A special table decorated in pink with white candles was set up in the lobby at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) this evening, as nurses joined family and friends of their deceased colleague, murder victim Kimberly Lovell, in reflecting on her life and work, during a ‘private’ candlelight vigil.
Members of the media were not allowed in the QEH’s auditorium for the 6 p.m. vigil. However, the emotion spilled out into the nearby corridor, where a special book of condolence was opened and a youthful picture of Lovell rested against the wall.
During the almost two-hour-long ceremony, organized by QEH’s Nurses Committee, and attended by a members of the hospital’s management team, nurses with grief-stricken faces were seen comforting each other, some with tears rolling down their cheeks while others openly cried about the loss of the critical care nurse who worked in recovery.
On the whole, it was a very emotional setting as well over 300 people packed the hospital’s auditorium, singing choruses and paying tribute to the late staff nurse, who was found dead with several wounds about her body at her Alleyne’s Land, Bayville, St Michael home, in the wee hours of Sunday, May 29 by her mother Cicely Sargeant.
The 27-year-old’s life was apparently taken by her husband Derek before taking his own life soon afterwards. He was discovered hanging from a rafter in the backyard of their home.
Lovell’s brother Fabian Sargeant told Barbados TODAY the entire family was deeply touched by the hospital’s moving initiative.
“It is good to see how the nurses rally around this particular tragedy and situation. It shows the camaraderie that nurses have among themselves. This tragedy touched everybody. We embraced this moment,” he said, considering that the past week and a half had been a particularly difficult one for them.
He explained that his nieces – five-year-old Danae and three-year-old Danea – were still having a hard time coming to terms with the death of their mother, pointing out that the pain of losing their mother ran very deep, especially for the Danea, who still asks for her mother everyday.
Lovell’s mother Cicely, who is also a nurse at the hospital, expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support the family received from the staff.
“I find that since Kimberly’s passing they have been very supportive. What they did here today really meant a lot to us,” the mother said as she kept her eyes on a busy Danea.
One of the highlights of the vigil was a message from the hospital’s Chaplain Canon Noel Burke in which he urged the gathering to get on their knees and look to God for strength during their period of grief.
Founder of the SAVE Foundation Liesel Daisley also addressed the gathering, which was marked by the lighting of candles in memory of the deceased woman.
Lovell will be laid to rest on Saturday.