The recent death of a young school girl has shaken many of us. Words to express our pain fail us and we are in no way able to understand the anguish of her parents, relatives and friends. And yet in some way all of us hurt with them. That such a gentle, quiet soul should resort to taking her own life speaks of our collective failure. I have written a brief poem to try and articulate this internal voiceless scream.
Our eyes are dry and tears will run no more.
The grief we feel is beyond despair; there is no respite.
There is no hope, no future, no joy, no light.
All is darkness and ashes.
A continual nightmare from which we cannot awake.
Is there no compassion in this world?
Will no one remember our child and take action to prevent another gentle innocent from such a cruel travesty?
Is everyone deaf to our pain and the loss of our child?
Better we never ever conceived her than for her to experience such pain and shame.
God we look to You for justice when all others have failed us.
Let not another innocent child suffer her fate.
Let no one become a teacher who has a stone for a heart.
A gentle heart and spirit,
A light in this world,
Has been snuffed out.
We have lost our beloved.
(Beloved and Beautiful)
While we work through our grief and anger, we also need to harness it for constructive change. We need to put in place support systems for children and adolescents; a safety net of sensitivity to these young ones that are under so much pressure these days. Those in authority need to take a hard look at the system. Education is about nurturing, understanding and encouraging. Teachers play a big role and children are very sensitive to their teacher’s opinions. We ask that Vasanthapiriya’s death be not in vain.
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS