The Police Reunion – Tickets Unused

by Dawn Shaw

Not many bands were left on my “must see” list, but I’d decided that if the Police got back together, I definitely Police-2007-Ticketswanted to see them perform live. I had literally grown up with their music. They released their first album when I was 12 and Synchronicity came out shortly before I graduated high school. So in 2007 when the reunion tour was announced, I jumped on buying tickets for me and my husband. It was to be a long wait; tickets went on sale in February and the show wasn’t until June 6. But it gave me something to look forward to.

However, fate threatened to interfere. My sister hadn’t been feeling well and was being treated for a persistent kidney infection. On Friday June 1st, five days before the concert, she was admitted to the hospital. That same evening, she collapsed, aspirated, and coded. They revived her and placed her in intensive care. I wasn’t there when she collapsed, but I visited her daily after that, at least when I was able. I knew her situation was serious, but had no idea how serious. Even when the family was told she was septic, I didn’t have a clear idea of exactly what that meant in terms of her chances. Probably just as well, because we all retained hope that she might somehow pull out of this.

I spent what time I could with her, which wasn’t much because the hospital staff wanted to limit contact and there were quite a few people wanting to share that precious time.

With the Police concert looming, I decided that as long as there was no significant change in my sister’s condition I would still try to attend. Maybe it sounds selfish, but I don’t think my sister would have wanted me to stop my life on her account. It would be a much-needed distraction, and my cell phone could notify me if my presence was required. Besides, there wasn’t much I could do hanging around the hospital.

But fate stepped in again. Due to exposure and stress, a few days before the show I came down with a debilitating case of the flu. Sometimes I was functional, and other times I couldn’t get out of bed or venture more than 30 feet from the toilet. I managed to drag myself to the hospital during the functional times for family meetings with the doctor, but even then I had to be cautious not to infect everyone else.

June 6th, the evening of the concert, was one of those days I simply couldn’t get out of bed. No amount of willpower could overcome the nausea, exhaustion and dizziness, so I had no choice but to make the sacrifice. The tickets went unused, and our seats remained empty. By the next morning I was functional again, able to struggle to a family meeting with the doctor for an update on my sister’s condition.

Friday June 8th at 2 am the phone rang. It was my distraught father, saying that my sister had lost brain function. The family gathered, my dad tortured by the decision on whether or not to pull life support. He needn’t have worried. By 5 am, my sister made the decision for him, passing on her own with all of us around her.

Though the date of her passing is emblazoned in my mind, I have mentally blocked the year. Whenever I need to be reminded, I look up that Police reunion tour, either on line or on the unused tickets. The two events will forever be linked in my mind.

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