The ‘D’ word isn’t something young people really want to think about at all, particularly after their 18th birthday when they finally gain the freedom they’d always longed for. Life is much too exciting when you’re young to think about morbid things—like death. Young people love talking about that aspect of life just as much as they love conversations that have to do with STDs or HIV.
But recent happenings have forced us all to finally see how quickly one’s life can be taken away. It’s a harsh reality check that no one ever really wanted to have to face.
Incidents of crime, or accidents involving young people have been happening one after the other for the past couple of years, to the point where it almost seems as if an entire generation is being targeted, or even slowly but surely wiped out.
Case in point: 16-year-old Mario Butcher and 19-year-old Donavan Lovence were both shot and killed in Leslie Land this month. Then 22-year-old Ashley Bernard also known as “Skunk” who was shot and killed shortly after the Leslie Land shooting that claimed the lives of two teenagers when police went in pursuit of suspects in the Wilton’s Yard area. Then there’s Jason Warrican and Kimroy Simon, both in their twenties who were shot and killed while police executed search warrants at their separate residences in Bois Patat. And who can forget18-year-old Cindy Mandy La Corbiniere who was fatally stabbed in 2010 when another girl attacked her. Those are just a few of the lives lost as a result of crime, and then there are names like Hazel Louis and Shane Mathurin, both 23-years-old who were both involved in fatal vehicular accidents this month. Drowning incidences can’t be left out, and we remember 17-year-old Miguel Houson from Desbarras, Babonneau who drowned on Grand Anse Beach in 2010.
Facebook has become exceeding depressing in recent times, as it is often the first medium through which news comes out, and also the way people have resorted to expressing condolences,
comfort friends and even write loving notes on the
wall of a friend who passed away. Through status messages many people have expressed they’re now slightly scared to log onto any type of online social network, or even look at their phones in the morning for fear of receiving even more bad news.
Many who lose their lives are people who are under 25-years-old, who are just beginning to establish themselves or others whose lives were shaped by the circumstances they were brought up in, and taken away still unfairly, according to the way they chose to live.
I spoke with a young man who lost his best friend in an accident weeks ago who told me: “Death was far from my conscious memory. I knew it existed but it was far from my thoughts. It’s like God gave me a slap to wake me up. My best friend and I grew up together. I think about him a lot, and talk about him even more—even dream about him. We all got to go at some unknown point and that’s the harsh reality.”
When you lose someone close to you, it hardly even seems real—even after news confirms that the person is really gone and you won’t ever see him or her again—at least not in this lifetime. No matter what anyone says, that it was “their time to go” or “you’ll feel better in time,” you can’t help but think that it wasn’t meant to happen this way—“what if . . . ” Then there are those who say “the good die young,” as if indeed we who alive are the ones who should be mourned. The whole thing just seems unfair. The quote “when one person is missing, the entire world feels under-populated” comes to mind. Selfish thoughts begin to flow, “why couldn’t it be someone else? Why did it have to be someone so close to me? Why is it that the ones you love are always taken away too soon and the people you don’t care about that much stay around forever?”
But those very same people we don’t care about as much, are often loved endlessly by other persons.
With all that’s been going on lately, some would say it’s some kind of sign that young people should perhaps be more cautious in everyday life. Stop all the drinking, partying and other ‘negative’ activities. But wasn’t everybody once young and carefree? I posed the question to a man in his early forties who responded: “When we left school we were partying every day. Not only on weekends. I just think we were a little more aware of what was going on. I wouldn’t say we partied any less quite frankly. I think there’s a moment for everything. You turn 18 and you just want to be out there. I think now there’s more access to move around the island than before; that’s the big difference. More young people have vehicles. When we were that age and we wanted to go somewhere far like Vieux Fort to party, which would be rare, we’d have to scrunt to get a ride.”
The man I spoke with told me of incidents with young, healthy people losing their lives to crime or accidents were far less common than they are today. And when it happened, he said, the shock lasted a while.
“When it happened it used it hit hard; now the shock doesn’t really last,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s because it’s become more frequent or we’ve just become less sensitive to it. I had one friend who died in a motorcycle accident in the States, a bike lover in his early twenties. Apart from that it was rare.”
When asked whether he felt young people were too careless at times, and if he felt they didn’t value life as much as they should, my anonymous contributor responded: “I definitely think young people are too careless. You have to be cautious. The old saying safety first still stands. You have to be safe when you’re in a house, when you’re drinking, out partying and do everything in moderation. Safe sex is still a big issue; it’s another thing we need to pay more attention to. For a lot of young people, it’s from one party to the next,” he continued.
“There’s no down time anymore. There’s nothing wrong with taking a quiet day to chill, but some people want to party, drink or smoke everyday. I believe in life we need time to reflect. We’re not in touch with ourselves. There’s no family time, not really any time to sit down and appreciate life. Some parents have given up on trying to speak with their children about important issues. Just because they think they’re grown doesn’t mean they are.
And just because it may seem like they’re not listening to you when you finally take the time out to talk with them, doesn’t mean they’re not taking in what you’re saying. Don’t ever give up on your children.”
Just a surely as life happens, death is inevitable. Even if you’re not the
most spiritual person on the planet, a useful bible Proverb states: “Stubbornness will get you into trouble at the end. If you live dangerously, it will kill you.”
The world continues to turn, as cruel as it seems even once you’re no longer part of it. People cry, hearts break; then wounds heal, but they’re never ever forgotten.