Wednesday, September 13, 2006

From a discussion on grief

My firend and I were discussing why multiple deaths in places far away are reported so differently to those closer to home. I mulled this over, and replied as follows. She said I should say this 'out loud'. Here I am, on my blog, out loud.

We are inured to death. When we hear of two children near our town (we live near Soham), then we are devastated. When we hear of 40 children on a bus in Palestine, we are hurt, but immune. Two children taken and murdered by one man - a different set of emotions are employed. We can blame that man, we can hate that man, we can see and direct our fear and anger towards that man. He was one of us, he is the ultimate evil, a traitor.When we hear of those children far away, we understand there is a war, their country is like that, it must be awful, no one will ever be caught, and we cannot direct our emotion because we have no empathy with a Palestinian family in the way we do with someone closer to home.

It is right? No. But we do become immune to continued exposure to things that are bad. The soldier home from the war is always changed. The surgeon is used to blood. The undertaker used to death. As mothers, as people, we are made to care so that we can survive - we look out for our own and continue our bloodlines. It's as basic and primal as that, and intellect can't overcome it because it cannot cope with the extremity of the reality. If I were to cry for every soul, my eyes would be blinded by such sadness.

But my brain knows, and my soul understands. It's just that my heart is so full - it has no room for any more. One of my friends doesn't talk much about her home country, Israel. She is a strange fish, only 27 but in some ways she seems older than me. She tells us that the news in the UK is biased against Israel, and I'm sure it is. All news is biased in one way or another. Do you think I understand the Ireland situation from every point of view? Of course not, I doubt if anyone can.

There was more - but this will do for now. Comments welcome people (person? Anyone?).
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