It has become an everyday occurrence, I turn on the TV and
there they are, images of children, blackened, bloodied, dead or dying. So many places, so many children, so much hate, such senseless loss. Most people tut, shake their heads, fists, make angry statements. My response is to just shake with disbelief, with pain; seeing the horrors of men’s hate, men’s wars, men’s “justice” I feel such deep sorrow that it drives me to tears and I look away because I cannot bear it.
Watching these images it seems that the more intelligent our weapons become the more violent and barbaric the outcome of their use. Louder still is the shrill wailing of the grieving mothers, the angry threats and curses of the bereaved fathers. And for what? Justice? Freedom? Self-determination? No. Power. Greed. Money. Control. Cowardice! The children dying in Syria for the past year have been dying so that a skinny egotistical selfish little man can retain power. The children dying in Africa for longer than we all care to remember die for the greed of war-lords and transnational corporations looking for a quick profit. The children that died and continue to die in Iraq and Afghanistan died for control over oil, over access to routes used to move goods, to move people.
I cannot even begin to imagine the feeling of losing someone as deeply cherished as your own child, especially in a manner so violent, so cruel. I don’t want to imagine it! But I can see that is not the only life lost, with it is extinguished the life of the parents, leaving them empty, angry, vengeful, looking for their own human justice served in the same violent way. Extending a terror so deep it seems endless.
I know that violence is inherent in nature, human and non-human alike. But this is more than just violence, this is a horror perpetrated by man’s hate, itself created by fear, and blind faith in a nation, a God, or one’s self importance.
My intention in writing this is not to make anyone aware, it is not to bring an issue to light, or to make myself feel better, it is to mourn in my own way. It is not just about the way these children died, it is also about how we choose to remember them. For me the poem below is the best way:
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grace and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
-Mary Elizabeth Frye