without warning


On facebook earlier today, i came across this post, titled This is what the Syrian refugee crisis looks like. Don’t look away.

There was no trigger warning. How could there be? The link displayed a gut-wrenching image in a large size. A young Syrian boy, dead, on a Turkish beach. Another victim of is being called a « migrant crisis ».

I cried when i saw this image, like i have cried in front of other images of refugees, of children suffering, of our humanity being questioned by the way we treat each other on a global scale. I cried, thinking of this child’s parents, wherever they are, of how desperate they mut have felt to embark on such a dangerous journey with their little boy, of the pain they must feel now — if their lives weren’t claimed by the Mediterranean sea.

I could say i would have preferred to be given a choice not to see this image. After having lost my own son, i was hit harder by it than i would have been otherwise. But trigger warnings are both a limited tool and a luxury that too many do not benefit from.

In the end, i agree with the author of the piece, , that we shouldn’t « look away » :

I am not disrespecting this child by publishing his picture. I am mourning for him. I am saying to everyone who glances and quickly glances away “Don’t look away! Do something. Anything…. Just help in any small way you can so you don’t feel so helpless. Don’t let this child have died in vain. Bear witness to his life and his death.”

I know so little of the lives of refugees, of people escaping Syria, so i hope i am not mistaken in agreeing with her that not letting this death be in vain is important, perhaps vital for this boy’s family.



i wish i had the words to say how i am holding this little child in my heart
i wish things were different

2 réflexions au sujet de « without warning »

  1. My heart breaks too, for the boy and his family. Thank you for sharing the story…

    I don’t want to look away. I don’t want to be unaffected. And yet, because there is so much real suffering in so many places around the world, one is bound to feel somewhat helpless to make an impact.

    • I feel helpless too, and like whatever i/we might do, it is not enough. But after spending more than a year very much focused on my own pain, i finally feel i have some energy to look outwards and to *try* to help. And seeing this boy’s image really made me feel like i should do something — i am still working out what.

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