Do you know that post-childbirth feeling, when you are in absolute awe of this precious amazing incredible thing you have brought into the world and you just can’t stand to think about all the terrible, ugly things there are out there or you just might explode at the injustice of it all? I don’t think I’ve ever quite got past that.
At first it was unintentional, just a vague avoidance of seeing horrible headlines, reading about murders, violence or atrocious wars.
Since I had the littlest, the avoidance has been fully aware. I feel so utterly helpless in the face of all the bad news stories, and so aware that there is nothing I can do to alter any of it, that I don’t want to hear about another murder in a part of the country I’ve never visited, a war in a part of the world that I can’t help, and – most especially of all – the death of a child that could have been avoided if only somebody had done something.
All my news knowledge these days is gleaned from Facebook statuses.
But, of course, in the past few days, an image of a beautiful little boy, washed up dead on the shores of Turkey has been unavoidable, even by the news-phobic such as me.
Like all parents, I’m sure, who saw the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, I couldn’t help but think that could be one of my children.
The sproglet (my second child) is three, just exactly the same age.
And my oldest son died when he was just small, so I know, all-too-well, the heart-bursting anguish of seeing your child lying completely still in death. In this country where I live, that is a rare event. A terrible, unthinkable tragedy, that most people will never have to experience. For those living in and trying to leave Syria, of course, it is far from rare.
So I just want to say – thank heavens for social media, for people who are engaged and political and ready to share images so that even the news hermits like me are aware what is going on in the world.
Of course, I wanted to help. Personally, I decided to donate money to someone who could spend it more wisely than I, perhaps, would be able to. Someone who knows exactly what is most needed. But there are lots of different ways to help.
I’m joining in with a number of bloggers, including Mammasaurus, to say, please just do something:
“There’s lots that you could do from the comfort of your own home.
Please don’t turn a blind eye.
Do Something to help.
Whatever you decide, don’t choose apathy.
#SaveSyriasChildren To donate £5 please text SYRIA to 70008”
And if you haven’t seen it already, take a look at this article from the Independent, which outlines various different ways to donate items, money or your time.
The world is, to be sure, a terrifying and awful place, where violent wars go on, and the people who try to flee aren’t immediately given governmental assistance. But how wonderful to see such an outpouring of compassion from those who want to do what they can. Please join in.