I am a coward. I am unable to speak out. I am unable to express myself.

Everyone has come forward and condemned the heinous criminals of Peshawar.
Everyone has expressed their grief to the bereaved parents.
I am a coward. I have nothing to say.

What do you say to more than two hundred parents who sent their children to school like it was another day, only to realize it was their last? Can I look that parent in the eye and say I am sorry? Can I say time heals all wounds?  Can I even say time wounds all heels – that’s really not going to get their children back, is it?

Somewhere I had read, a child as being a piece of your heart that you allow to roam freely outside. That piece of your heart is gone. Now what do you say to someone who has lost a limb – a hand or leg, or in this case a piece of the heart? That life will go on? You’ll manage? What?!

These are parents with shattered hearts, desperately picking up the fragments, holding, clinging on to the shards, even if they bleed them dry. No tears can express their grief as they walk in a daze trying to come to terms with a bleak future where no night ends, and mornings don’t herald a new beginning.  Where there’s no hope of seeing the sunshine of their child’s smile every morning. Where life stretches eons ahead like a barren landscape: endless, colourless, hopeless.

Can I talk to these parents? I am a coward. I can’t.

Instead, I’ve shrunk into a dark corner in the recesses of my mind, crumpled up into a heap. I cringe at the very thought. I can’t bear to imagine the grief. I cannot empathise with them. I cannot sympathise. There are no words. These are no tears. There are no sobs that wrack the body with grief. There is just a wounding of a heart, tears of blood and a painful realization. I can only imagine the terror, the screams, the horror that hundreds of little souls went through. Nothing, nothing will ever be the same again for so many people. I can’t light a candle even in my mind; right now I don’t see it dispelling the pall of dark despair that this heinous act has cast.

And as I make myself smaller and smaller crouching in the dark, damp corner of hopelessness, all I can say is may the rest be a little more hopeful, a little more courageous than I am.
I for one am a coward. And I have no words to say for humanity. Or the sheer lack of it.
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