Friday, February 26, 2016

The Little Prince

There's a picture of a little boy on my Facebook timeline, he looks about thirteen. His mother has written her goodbye to him. How did he die? A car accident in Saudi. He was with friends and somebody accidentally rear-ended them and they ended up colliding in a palm tree - yes, a palm tree- and it crashed down on them, crushing them. He died in intensive care a few days ago. I never met the boy, but his mum was a cousin of my mum and she looked after us when we were kids like an aunt or an older sister. I'm reading the goodbye she writes for her son and I think that nobody should ever have to write that for their child. It kills me that she's going through all of that and I remember how kind and gentle she always was. The boy looks so familiar and so handsome, and I just can't believe I never met him. It breaks my heart, because we're all over the world and we're scattered and we can't be there for each other. Even for something like this. Something so simple. We're a family, but we need tickets and visas and permission from some asshole sitting behind a desk to tell us when and where we can meet, and if we can meet.

I know this looks like it has nothing to do with what's happening in Syria, but it has everything to do with it. It's like this is the story of all Syrians. I wish I could tell her that I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry because I didn't realise how cruel this world could be, I didn't know things would get this bad, that there could be so much evil in the world. I thought it was enough to be on the side of right and that things would work out eventually. I really thought that when this all started we were going to make a difference, that things could change. I'm so sorry I can't be with you in this time, and I'm sorry that it's all horribly complicated. Maybe change doesn't come for little people like us, who don't fit the categories and check all the boxes. We're not on boats or running for our lives, but life is just as complicated and it's all because of what's happening. It's so tiring. It wears you down, and you think you've learned to keep the feelings at bay, and then one night you see just one picture with a few lines from an anguished mother, and it brings the tears falling again. I'm crying for the boy and his family, and for all of us, and for what's become of us and for what we've seen and what's still happening.

No comments: