Something today broke my heart.

The photograph of the refugee toddler being carried from the sea broke my heart today. Ripped it out in fact. I cannot imagine how his mummy felt, if she even made it. I’m sure she would have gone under herself first if she had been with him. That last breath, knowing your baby was going to go under too. (Since writing this, I found out that she didn’t, nor his brother but their poor father survived.)

Until now I have avoided it a bit, I mean, I’ve said how awful it is, felt sad for the people but was guilty of not digging too deeply into finding out more, probably knowing how upsetting it is, preoccupied with my own life. Seeing that image today has ripped me from my denial, brought it home to me how real this is. All this and I had only seen the photo of him being carried from the water. I have now seen all the images and am in tears. The thing that has disgusted me the most has been the attitude of some people, the few that have accused these refugees of having an agenda.

These people don’t want our jobs, they are desperate, desperate enough to risk their lives and their beloved babies lives to escape. They deserve our help, as fellow humans. What it must be like there to take this as a better option. I just can’t imagine. Today I had a hideous day with my children, I was near to tears by the time I got home from a horrible stressful trip to London complete with cancelled trains and the tube at rush hour, but the whole day I couldn’t get that image from my mind. I felt terrible, and so guilty because I still have my babies to cuddle, I am stressing about a fun trip to see the dinosaurs, a train journey that I could afford to pay for, a trip across a country that I am free to explore. This summer we went on holiday, we were free to travel all over Europe, having a lovely time, and all the while people were clinging together in the dark waters off the beaches more used to seeing bikini clad holiday makers, in the freezing cold, praying that their boat isn’t the one to sink, holding their children close in an effort to keep them warm. Wondering if you will ever be saved, if you will be able to get them food.

The reason for my easy life and my ability to come and go as I please is because of the place I was born. These people are the victims of their place of birth. It could just as easily have been you or I in that position. What atrocities would be bad enough to make you get into a leaky boat with your tiny children having no idea if you would ever get out again, or where. If you eventually did make it somewhere, the relief you felt would be short lived. Unable to speak a word of the language, met by hostility, angry faces, razor wire. Forced to sleep on the rocks, to bed your children down in the grass at the side of train tracks, not able to provide them with any food or water, or dry clothes.

No matter who you are or what your status, I’m sure you can relate to that. You may not have any money to donate, and that’s ok, I understand, but maybe you have some old clothes, maybe you were planning to have a clear out of your children’s outgrown clothes and toys, think how much a person who has left their homes and everything they own would appreciate that jumper that Aunty Meryl knitted you ten years ago. I’m pretty sure they won’t care a jot about the too long sleeves or the green and orange polka dot pattern, they will just be thrilled with the warmth and the fact that someone cared enough about them to send it.

If you do have some spare money and you would like to give something, this is a link to donate to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, who are working with the fantastic Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to find, rescue and treat refugees stranded at sea. I think it’s called operation Phoenix if you wanted to google them. You can donate with paypal, easy as buying a pair of shoes on ebay!

I don’t want to post the photos here. They are so upsetting. But if you wanted to see them for yourself and read through the article; this is the link. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/if-these-extraordinarily-powerful-images-of-a-dead-syrian-child-washed-up-on-a-beach-dont-change-europes-attitude-to-refugees-what-will-10482757.html

In the meantime, I will leave you with the image of these little lads in happier times. May they rest in peace.

Aylan Al-Kurdi and his older brother, Ghalib, died yesterday when their dinghy sank off the coast of Turkey (Qattouby/Twitter)
Aylan Al-Kurdi and his older brother, Ghalib, died yesterday when their dinghy sank off the coast of Turkey (Qattouby/Twitter) Taken from The Independent newspaper.

31 thoughts on “Something today broke my heart.

  1. thank you for putting in writing what many of are feeling after seeing these images. I can only hope that the legacy for these two littles ones will be of a greater awareness of the plight of refugees and international action

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is all we can hope for. The worst thing would be if their deaths are in vain. The truly tragic thing is all the children who drowned before them and slipped beneath the waves without any of us being really aware. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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    • It’s so much easier to turn a blind eye. I’m not naive, I realise that there is not an endless pot of money from the government but if we can all help then all they need to do is stop ignoring them. Take down the razor wire and just care a bit more! Stray dogs get better treatment then these living, breathing, feeling people. Don’t feel helpless, we can help just by raising awareness and opening others’ eyes to it all, hopefully this post will help with that, I’ve woke up to it so the more of us that are aware, the sooner things will change.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written and I totally relate to this. What has this world come to!? Shame on us if we cannot help a fellow human in such dire need. And as is said somewhere, the little bodies are the heaviest to carry.

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    • Oh gosh, that last sentence is tragically beautiful. I think it has been easier for the government to have us desensitised to all this. It is a lot of work for them, & also so difficult for them to find the money. If we can help financially, even just a little, all they need to do is stop keeping them out. Just things like clothes and food donations take the monetary pressure off a little. Maybe seeing us all band together to help will push the powers that be into joining us.

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  3. Thank you, well said. I have felt devastated after reading the article, seeing the interview with the poor father and seeing those photos pf those sweet children. Life shouldn’t be like this for so many. Right after I closed the article my facebook feed popped up of an acquaintance sharing her holiday photo in a bikini at an upscale resort and bragging about taking off on her next trip in a few weeks. I know it’s not her fault, but seeing her post really hit home about how we are so lucky to be born where we were. It’s not fair and I do feel compelled to help. I wish there was a clear answer. I have donated to an organization that helps refugees but there has to me more one can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tank you for taking the time to comment Jen, I’m sure your donation will be hugely useful. If you wanted to do more, there are lots and lots of small groups getting together to collect donations and they need people to help sort through things and organise. I’m sure even a spare hour would be appreciated. 🙂 We are all going to be guilty of carrying on with our lives and birthdays and Christmas and all of life’s excesses will still be there, but if we can all do a tiny bit, that can surely be better then living in ignorance.

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  4. The father is responsible for his children’s deaths he put them in danger he was not coming from Syria he left Tunisia WHICH IS NOT AT WAR so they were in a country that was not a threat to him or his children. So he alone is responsible for his children’s deaths by putting them on a boat that was unfit and he wasnt in any immediate danger so HE is at fault. Then we get the oh put your hands in your pocket brigade or donate items brigade. then this encourages more of them to risk their lives to come here so you will also be at fault…..seen this earlier

    “Here is a scenario for you……If i was wanting to get a army of exstremist terrorists into a country thats 1000s of miles away to be able to destabilise that country how would i do it?………I would flood them onto boats and send them past all the country’s that are not at war and safe for them to go to and send them to a target country and prey on the generosity of that country’s people to pay for their entry into the country and sustain their lives while they plan a attack inside the targets own country and use the target country’s own generosity to fund my plan for terror…………Im not saying all of them will be terrorists and not genuine. but its a total certainty this WILL be exploited and will happen then it will be………..Where did they all come from so many of them in this coordinated attack in our own country??……heed my words its a recipe for disaster!!!”

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    • Wow. I’m not quite sure what to say to this. I’m pretty sure that wherever he came from, he would have felt an extreme level of desperation to even contemplate such a journey with the most precious cargo he’s ever had. I can guarantee that he will feel worse then any of us can even imagine. I highly doubt these people are going to risk their lives for someone’s hand me down jumper. Plus I think the terrorism angle is very interesting. Surely by showing people compassion we can teach it. The young children who receive cuddles and toys will grow up remembering that, maybe we can do some good here, to change and shape new views in people. Maybe something like this can help to mend relations across a fractured world. Or maybe not, but either way, I think it is our duty as humans to help. If people follow my link to donate, the money doesn’t go to the people themselves, although I’m sure they would all want to go and spend it all in a fancy restaurant…oh wait, I’m not sure any of the major chefs have set up in the refugee camps yet! The money goes to rescuing people floating about in the sea close to death, to treating their medical injuries, to stopping them drowning. Anyone that can look at those pictures and not feel compassion for their fellow human beings is a bit of a mystery in my book. I really hope that if something bad ever happens to you, you are surrounded by people more caring then yourself to help you out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My heart was totally shattered into pieces last week from the moment I saw that picture to listening to all the prices of the story unfold. It’s just senseless senseless loss of life. For these little boys who deserved to have the world ahead of them and all the other refugees young and old who are desperate to get out of their war torn, dangerous homes 😦 #babybrainmondays

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    • Beautiful comment, thank you. It’s just tragic that so many children are suffering. It is always the innocent that have it worst. No-one deserves that fate, especially not a baby.

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    • Yes me too. My children are blessed to be safe, to have food, and water, warmth, toys, trips out. Hopefully the massive wave in support will mean a better life for at least some of the poor people suffering.

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  6. I couldn’t agree more and linked something similar to #babybrainmonday. It’s mind boggling how heartless some people’s comments are! Take a look at the #savesyriaschildren campaign if you’ve not already. Great post. Thanks for writing this.

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  7. I’m not sure I think her comment can be described exactly as nasty. She is expressing a fear that has been ingrained into her by the media, regardless of whether it’s factual or not. Many little children have died at the hands of our previous governments and I wonder where the tears were for them. It seems that people’s heart strings can be played like a fiddle based on the images the media chooses to show.
    Having said that, the British have always been a generous nation. Digging deep and pulling out the stops when it mattered. They are not represented by the people in charge in this sense. But I too hope that when this image is forgotten – as it will be – replaced by many other viral images of varying topics, that the UK’s generosity won’t come back and bite them. As the saying goes, ‘a good deed never goes unpunished.’

    PS I very much agree with your post. I often drink plain deliciously chilled water and think of how amazing it is that I can do that at any point in the day and there are people who cannot simply by dint of birth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very good points and I do see what you’re saying and agree to some extent. I suppose the reason I thought it was a nasty comment is because I am not asking people to sign a petition to let all refugees live in Britain, I am not naive and I know that the services that make Britain such a wonderful draw to people in need are struggling as it is and with further strain we risk loosing the quality of things like the nhs and schooling. However, my post was signposting people to a charity that is helping the people who are already at sea, and to ask people to think about any old clothes they may have to donate to people who are freezing and scared. I know that there is no easy answer, and that the media are perfectly positioned for propaganda from all parties, I also know that throughout history there has been loss and hardship but I think we have been protected from seeing it in Britain in a lot of ways. This photo brought it home to me that there are small children, not unlike my own, who are drowning, what I can only imagine to be the most terrifying and horrendous of deaths. It has opened my eyes to what I have perhaps not wanted to acknowledge before. I know you can’t save everyone and that it is impossible to help all but I feel it is my duty as a human to help others, even in small ways, as I would wish my children to be helped if they ever found themselves in the same position. God forbid! Phew, sorry about that impassioned speech! I think I may have tapped into my inner crusader! 😉 Thank you for taking the time to write such a well thought out comment. I will change my wording, as I think I wrote ‘nasty’ in anger, and I’m not sure it is the correct word to use. 🙂

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