I tried to write this post four times. Maybe five. Each time I walked away; disgusted at my attempts. Frustrated at the futility of my words. Pissed off because let’s face it, what’s my pathetic blog post going to change?
A small three year old boy and his five year old brother perished this week alongside their mother.
In a week where children everywhere went back to school after a long summer break, another boy and his brother will never have that privilege, that right.
On a day where I followed my two youngest around the garden on yet another dinosaur hunt, another boy and his brother will never play, anywhere, again.
On a night where I rested my hand a little longer than usual on four heads as they slept, another boy and his brother will never receive a goodnight kiss again.
Because they are dead.
I call my youngest Small Boy and this week another small boy was pictured washed up on a beach in Bodrum having drowned as he and his family tried to flee their war torn country.
Aylan Kurdi and his brother Galip are not the first children to die as a result of the wars tearing their countries apart. And they most likely will not be the last.
Others have lost their lives in horrific circumstances but it was the sight of the three year old’s lifeless body that stopped everyone in their tracks.
It’s horrific. It’s harrowing. It seems so pointless and too mammoth a problem to solve. Where on earth do you start?
Over the last few days I have read and listened to dozens of radio reports about Syria and little Aylan. Dozens. Most people are open minded and have some compassion and empathy. Then there are those who demand to know why we should open our gates to migrants. Haven’t we enough to worry about here with our own homelessness problems?
Yes, yes we do but that problem isn’t going to go away any time soon either. If it ever does.
I think we tend to forget. Initially we react strongly to the horror that is presented to us and after a fashion we forget. Our own lives continue and that of our kids.
But in this case two little lives lost and washed up on a beach in Bodrum will never continue.
I think it’s horrific what happened to that child. Beaches are for playing on. But in another, perhaps perverse way, I am also glad for him.
Glad because his pain and suffering has come to an end.
In the way it has always been and always will be, those who pass on are at peace; it is those left behind who have to deal with the grief and upheaval.
It is a week in which we should remember. It is a week in which we should try to help those less fortunate than ourselves. It is a week in which we should never forget.
His name is Aylan.