Monday night, a tweet update appeared on my Facebook Newsfeed, requesting for help in finding a 17-month-old boy. A photograph of the mother and the baby was attached in the tweet, both looking happy and smiling so wide at the camera. The little boy had the same toothy grin as my younger son.
I shared that on Facebook, with the tagline that I’m hoping this is a cruel hoax but that if it is true, perhaps someone will be able to find this boy.
I guess when one is a parent, a mother especially, the worst fear that is losing one’s child is felt most even if the child belongs to someone else.
The next day, it was reported that the baby boy’s body had been found floating out at sea, near the Bedok Jetty and while the mother had been saved from drowning a few hours before, he was dead.
This news rattled me, my heart ached and I couldn’t seem to breathe. I look at my two boys and had to hug them tighter. I looked at my daugher’s photo and felt I was back in the hospital cradling her body.
So these few days, the papers had this on front-page news. I couldn’t and didn’t want to read the details, but it is really hard to look at the picture of this happy boy and not imagine how he died. A good friend commented that the little boy would have thought his mum was taking him for a swim. That killed me… because that would have been the kind of trust my sons have in me too.
His mother has been charged for murder and yet, I feel so sad for her.
I don’t want to judge her for what she did. Some had said, if there was a problem raising the child, just put up for adoption or let the grandparents or his father to take care instead. What drove her to do what she did?
I feel people need some kind of answer, some logical explanation to things, a sense of closure so that we can move on. But really, does it really matter?
“Filicide, the act of a parent killing his or her own child”. This article was written back in August 2010 and reported in CNN. And in the article, it lists some possible reasons why mothers kill: long-term stress, the lack of positive social support, mental illnesses.
Sure filicide is unthinkable, it goes against the order of things. Parents are suppose to care, to nurture, to love most of all, if not, why have kids.
To do otherwise, is just being evil.
It pains me that another child’s life is snuffed out. Perhaps his mother wouldn’t need to be in this horrible position if she had been a little more rational and sought help.
When you are stuck in a rut and when things feel like there is no hope, and you realise perhaps there is no one else you can trust to take care of the one person you love too much, that you feel the best thing for this person is for him to leave with you. Because you feel to leave him alone in the world without you is even worse and you just can’t live with that thought either.
I know, it’s screwed up thinking… I felt that way at times when I was so helpless watching my daughter struggled with every breath in the High Dependency Ward. The only people who stopped me from going any further with this thought were my husband and my older son.
For months after Leia’s death, I felt guilty that I didn’t check on her more often the morning before she died when she looked more tired than usual. I felt guilty for not hugging her more, for not telling her “I love you”. I felt guilty to smile and laugh. I felt guilty for not trying harder to make her feel better. I felt guilty for living. I thought about joining her too.
Guilt still hits me and makes me feel that I have been a bad parent.
The worst is the guilt and I think that guilt is racking through his mum every minute.
I really hope she seeks help for whatever had bothered her so much, that her family and friends will not make things worse and condemn her even if this is such a horrible chain of events.
I pray for her soul. And for peace to those who should be there for her now.