Friday, August 6, 2010

Loss: reflections on 2 different boys, from 2 different countries

Meet Ashiraf, a 12 year old boy in Northern Ghana. After his parents divorced, his dad left Ghana in search of a better job, in Sweden. After a second marriage, several calls back to Ghana, and countless promises, he said he would be coming back to see Ashiraf, and, amongst other things, bring him a laptop.
1 week before his expected arrival, a phone call reaches Ghana; Ashiraf's dad has been killed in a car accident..

Meet Pat, A 23 year old Canadian boy; an economics graduate from McMaster University. Walking along the road, late in the middle of the night. He is hit and killed..

After the loss of Ashiraf's dad, the family was incredibly sad, and beyond the tragedy that he would now grow up without a father, there was a deep sadness over the loss of opportunity for the boy.. Ashiraf- currently being cared for by family and a mother struggling to make money by selling items in the market- dreamed of a better life, out of poverty, and thought that as soon as his dad came back everything would be different. And his life probably would have change, drastically. Maybe he'd even get to go "outside" (leave Ghana) for his education, which his dad promised him. Now, he's like so many other boys in Northern Ghana, struggling, hopeful, for something better in their future. But lacking opportunities to see those hopes come into fruition.

Losing any loved one, no matter what the age or circumstance, is incredibly painful and life is never the same again. Every human being, no matter what country or what economic status, has experienced some kind of loss.. Losing a grandma, a sister, a mom, a dog, a best friend, a brother, a boyfriend, a daughter. Unfortunately, to some death and loss are more commonplace, a frequent visitor to normal life.

I remember one of Ashiraf's "brothers", while others were crying, stoically saying: "Life is like that.. people enter. And people exit."

1 family loses a boy. 1 boy loses a dad.
2 different countries.
1 unfortunate, unexpected connection..