I actually had a different post for today on my blog, it was about how to make avocado pâté for festive get-togethers. Just at the weekend I was saying it’s nice to write about food for a change given what I used to write about when I was a journalist in Pakistan. Today I have no appetite.
I have no words. I have no words today. So then, why even try to write an article talking about the devastating attack in Peshawar that took the lives of innocent children? I’ll tell you why, so I can make myself feel better. You heard me, so I can make myself feel better. You won’t find any apology for my apathetic existence here.
I won’t disrespect the mothers and fathers by saying I am sorry for their loss. Of course I am, I don’t think my heart has hurt like this for a while. My heart goes out to those parents who will bury their children tonight but I will go back to my life in a week or two.
Am I sorry for that? No, I am so grateful that I didn’t lose someone I love today, I am so thankful that a life, I cherish beyond my own, like a parent does their child, is not something I had to experience today. I think that pain would cripple me. Why does someone else have to go through that? That question is burning a hole through my heart as hot tears pour out of my eyes.
Because an apology would be selfish, it’s just another way to make myself feel better about the fact that I will move on from this tragedy and my heart won’t be broken forever.
I don’t even have anything scathing to say about all the Twitter and Facebook updates. Seeing them makes me feel better. It feels like I have someone to mourn, someone to comfort with a response or an acknowledgement.
Because what I can’t do is comfort those mothers and fathers. Nothing will comfort them other than their child coming home from school with tales of the day. Instead they come home from school in a shroud. I wish I could make that happen, I would give anything to.
I feel united with Pakistan all the time, but today it is in my anger and in my sadness. Just the other day I was saying after a year in Toronto I was missing Karachi more than ever, just last night I was telling my husband I want to move back. Today I wish I could be in Peshawar doing something for the families who have truly suffered from this horrific tragedy.
I am well aware of what happened yesterday in Australia and Philadelphia, it was awful but please don’t berate me for crying out with my home country today. Please don’t point out all the faults with this post and everything that is wrong with it in the comments. I know, I already know, but I just want to make myself feel better. Because this morning I woke up to children, in their school uniforms, being carried to hospitals and I have never felt more ashamed of being a human being in this world. Because I have been crying since I read my best friend’s status update, whose birthday it is today, with whom I have spent the most amazing years of my life in Pakistan.
“On this day of my birth, nothing brings home the transiency of life more poignantly than the incident in Peshawar, where scores of children breathed their last. My only wish is for this insanity to end…now and forever. If there were anything I could do to give these families their little ones back, I would give my very last breath to make it happen. Words aren’t enough to describe the depth of this pain! I mourn with them…for their loss and for the unlived lives of their children. My day is dedicated to them.”
Because today, this is what being Pakistani looks like.