Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Who Takes Care of the Caretakers


After the December 16th apocalypse in Peshawar I wanted to write something that would somehow organize my thoughts and make me capable of wrapping my head around the chaos. I tried, but I couldn't find the words. News reports kept coming in. Conspiracies, inadequacies, incompetence, insecurity and, then, even more conspiracies.

My thoughts kept getting hijacked by my emotions because all I could think of were those left shattered in the aftermath, the families of the ones who lost their lives to the whim of lunatics. The mothers and fathers who were left with only memories of those they cherished the most. The whole world was brutally shocked into momentary stillness, it seemed

One burning question took root in my mind and grew until I couldn't ignore it any more: who takes care of the caretakers, the protectors and the first-responders? I cannot imagine the impacts of the carnage upon the soldiers who had to wade through the dead and dying children to get to the murderers. The first responders who had to check every little body for signs of life. The hospital workers who received the battered bodies and pronounced them gone forever. Those who bathed them, who led the final prayers and those who lowered them into their final resting places.

Who takes care of them? I cannot sleep at night because of what I imagine the scene to be. My perceptions fade compared to the vivid recall of those present! Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a terrible condition, especially if left unchecked.  We all felt the shock and horror of this tragedy as well as the intense feelings of survivors guilt. All emotions are multiplied manifold in those who were directly exposed to this traumatizing situation! I hope that they can find the help and support they need to get through the most difficult times of their lives or they will be condemned to an existence of re-living the nightmare indefinitely.

Can we hope for any help from a government that takes a week to form a committee which will then proceed to review the situation and formulate a plan of action? From leaders who can find it in their hearts to crack jokes at hastily called press conferences while the bodies of the dead haven’t even gone cold? I feel we might be asking for too much!

So instead I chose to drop down to my knees and pray. I pray for peace and justice. I pray for protection for those who are the most vulnerable, not those who perpetrate violence. I pray for a day in our beautiful country when the names of cities will not be preceded by the prefix “saneha.” I pray for a Pakistan that embodies all our hopes and dreams. I pray for Pakistan!

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