STONEWALL, Man. – Hundreds of people attended a memorial Thursday for a Manitoba mother and her two children whose deaths have sparked a call for an inquest into mental-health services.
Mourners of all ages filled a funeral home in Stonewall, a small town just north of Winnipeg, as well as a spillover room at a Royal Canadian Legion hall next door.
Many hugged and had tears in their eyes as they emerged from the 45-minute service for Lisa Gibson, 32, her two-year-old daughter Anna and infant son Nicholas.
Gibson’s body was found last week in the Red River in Winnipeg — three days after her children were discovered alone and unresponsive in a bathtub in the family’s home.
Police have said that while it may appear Gibson killed her children, they are not ruling out the possibility someone else did and are still investigating.
Media reports have said Gibson suffered from postpartum depression and there are calls for an inquest to examine what kind of health care she may have received following the birth of her son in the spring.
The office of Manitoba’s chief medical examiner is investigating. It has said it will be late fall before there’s a decision on whether to call a provincial inquest, which would include sworn testimony from medical experts and others in open court.
Gibson’s obituary says she loved her job as a pharmacist and enjoyed the theatre, running and playing soccer.
The obituary for her two-month-old son says baby Nicholas was just starting to smile and laugh.
The deaths shocked many Winnipeg residents and prompted the city to offer counselling and other services at a community centre near the Gibson home. People have left children’s dolls and other items at a makeshift memorial outside the family’s home.
Gibson is survived by her husband, Brian, who was not home at the time of the children’s deaths.