Our small island, called Jamaica, has what seems to be one of the highest murder rates in the region. The gruesome crimes have become such a common item in the news these days that it doesn't even seem to be shocking anymore. Shock and awe of these terrible murders have been removed from the list of emotions I feel when I watch the news. In fact I have to come to expect to hear at least one person murdered during the each of the daily newscasts. However, such feelings have been replaced by sorrow and empathy for bot the victims and there families, when innocent persons are abducted, raped and murdered.
But no matter how such items are reported on in the news and your emotions get stirred up, it does not hit home until someone you knows suffers this terrible fate. On Saturday both the printed media and the television news told the story of a young female pharmacist who was abducted, raped, murdered and her violated lifeless body burnt. When I watched the news I couldn't help but to feel a mix of emotions bubble through my body, a violent mixture of sorrow and anger. As I read the article in the Jamaica Observer and saw the picture of the young lady the feeling sank in even deeper as her face looked more and more familiar. But it was not until I got a call from one of my friends, who jogged my memory. This was a girl that went to the same University I went to, the same time I went to the university, someone I saw on several occasions with her twin sister on campus, someone who got married to one of my dorm mates. My heart plunged when I though of her ordeal in her last moments and the loss her husband, child and other family members must be feeling. My anger blazed to think someone, some evil being could carry out such a wicked and heartless act.
This was not the first time I have experienced such emotions and in a world like this I'm sure it might not be the last. One of my friends from the University I used to attend suffered such a fate, it hurt even more as this was someone who I was close to while I was on dorm. A girl who had a crush on me and someone who was fun to be around. She was abducted too, some time after I entered the working world, no doubt raped, then murdered and dismembered. I couldn't stop thinking about that gruesome act and having the emotions bubble in my system up to my throat like a well hot soup still in the fire, a fire fueled by grief and anger. I even recall having dreams of her still alive, like flashbacks of us still on the dorm hanging out, even a few weeks after I heard of her demise. But now only memories of the great person she was is left in the minds of those who knew her.
The murder of Terry-Ann, someone who I have personally seen several times and of my friend just only gives a glimpse of the sorrow and emotions of what other closer friends and family members must be feeling. Tragedies like these also just underscores how fragile life is and how fortunate we are to be graced with another day on the face of the earth in such a vile and heartless world. The murders in this country increase with every passing year, but has also shifted focus from killings associated with gang wars and robberies. The elderly, women and children have now become a target of this scourge on our nation. The government and the security forces just seem powerless in the face of these heartless crimes that are being committed in our small island. We can't be too careful these days, even in the comforts of our homes we need to be wary and give thanks for each day we survive unharmed.
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