Friday, February 1, 2013

Bad News Blues

Yesterday was an exercise in deep grief and tragedy.

I sat through the first half-hour of TVJ's news broadcast experiencing a gamut of feelings from the darker end of the emotional spectrum.

First, a policeman was killed and five others injured during a tactical training exercise. Somehow, one (or it could be some) of the rifles that were supposed to contain blanks were loaded with live rounds of ammunition. The result was fatal. Then 14-year-old Sherifa Saddler was killed, allegedly strangled with her school uniform tie, and her body thrown from a car onto a street. Then some deranged lunatic shot a four-year-old in his face. He died on the spot. To hear the mother talk was heartbreaking.

I haven't watched the news and felt this way in a while. It wasn't the normal level of expected sadness. I felt  wave after wave of overwhelming grief as story after story unveiled horror upon horror. I cried.

But it wasn't done. Imagine my shock when I later found out that the decomposed body of former high-schoolmate, 23-year-old Brittney Mighty, was found in Port Rocky yesterday. Brittney had been reported missing for a week, and now ... well, we all know the tragic end to her story. It's too sad. And it's too much too soon.

Today is the first of February. Jamaica has already racked up a shocking number of deaths by murder – and murders of a most gruesome nature. We're one month into the new year, and I'm just hoping that these murders/stories are not indicators of how 2013 will be.

We want Jamaica to be the ideal place to live, work, and raise a family by 2030, and yet it seems that not even our police force can get it right – with each other. I shudder to think what the death toll will be like at the end of this year if we continue this way. I shudder to think that so many lives are uselessly lost in this very small, yet very great, island each day. Why can't we just get it right?

Seriously, why can't we just get it right?? If you believe in prayer, do us a favour and whisper a prayer for Jamaica.