Monday, 2 January 2012

Proper words fail me

The new year started with a horrific shock, not just to the families of the victims of the incident in Sliema. I never thought I would be writing about anything so sad, so serious and so shocking.

Unfortunately knowing some of the people concerned makes it all the more difficult to comprehend and to accept. To me—a bystander, or at most, a friend—it feels like one of those terrible nightmares you actually wake yourself up from. It is like a horror movie come true. But this is no movie and neither a nightmare. It is the sad reality. The loved ones left behind in the tragedy, the families and the friends, have to live with the horror that has hit them. They have to try to patch the pieces and work out a life knowing the tragedy will be relayed a few millions of times a day in their mind.

While thinking and then writing this I feel I am intruding. I know I could erase what I have just written but I feel I need to convey my thoughts on this sad start to the new year. Actually—and most uncharacteristically—I have felt at a loss for words and a hand seemed to stop me from writing anything these past 24 hours. All subjects seemed inane; all words seemed insane.

So I had to force myself to write seriously about the deaths—is such an incident called a double murder?—of these two young people, which shocked us all on New Year’s Day.

I still find myself knotted up and can hardly think straight. I doubt if we will ever know what really happened and for the sake of us, the intruders, the onlookers, I almost wish we do not learn anything more than that two men have expired. I say this because through our hunger to pry, to find out, to talk and to find reasons and stories that fit, and hypotheses that sound right, we do nothing helpful at all.

Our natural curiosity should be stemmed: and the only thing that matters is to let the families suffer in private, away from the public gaze. Whatever wrong doing needs to be uncovered let this be done but let us all try to keep off the gossip-mongering which leads us into the temptation of believing fantasy to be the sacred truth.

There is a mother with two babies who are just a few months old. Whatever happened, whatever she saw and knew, she has to carry on.

Hopefully, with the grace of whatever God or natural force helps the afflicted in these circumstances; she will make a new beginning and give the children a whole new meaning to their lives, notwithstanding the tragic end of their father.

It is hard to express good wishes when life seems so strangely tough. But to all, even the suffering ones, may the year bring some form of inner peace.

If what I said above lacks proper articulation I ask forgiveness. It is hard to write about a subject which is so fraught with tragedy. If I have offended anyone by my prying, by my words, I also ask forgiveness.

My intention was not to offend anyone. What I do feel guilty about is that I have written all this so that I can move on. If I hadn’t written this piece I would have kept silent forever or at least for a long time. Nothing made sense and all the rest of the subjects, the thoughts, the words seemed trivial and nonsensical.

1 comment:

  1. The language of silence is possibly the most difficult for us Maltese to learn. We are a Mediterranean race, full of noise, curiosity and drama and silence, grace, poise - these are mostly alien behaviours for us. Respectful comment such as yours is not part of the noise that our media and gossipping nation is uttering, so do not feel bad. Your piece is sad, uncharacteristically so, I may add. But it is also correct, respectful and non invasive. May the feeling of moving on be easily transmitted to the real victims of this tragedy - the ones left behind!