What’s really killing us?

IRONICALLY, working in close proximity to a funeral parlour has a way of putting life into perspective. Almost daily, the blood curdling screams coming from within invoke such feelings of helplessness that one cannot help being jerked back to the reality of how precious life really is. Without even having to know the circumstances of the person’s demise over which family and friends are mourning, one is distinctively aware that those screams have punctuated the finality of a human being; a person whose existence might have been cherished dearly.

With ever increasing crime a reality for most Caribbean nations, it’s easy to perceive that any one of the ceremonies one might run into happening within a church or funeral parlour might be that of a victim of the island’s most recent homicide. After all, the names flash through the news so quickly, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with what happened, and when. As it relates to murder on our shores, we hear about the scattered incidents on television broadcasts, in our papers, or on social media, some reports in depth, others that leave us hanging with bated breath.

Crime is not the only thing killing our people. Many have succumbed to health related issues and complications – diabetes for one, is quite common. The complications can be deadly if not treated early, and adequately. Cancer too is on the rise, of all kinds. Not even children are immune. The status of our nation’s health is as questionable as our health care system itself, but even these atrocities aren’t the only things killing us.

Depression, anxiety and hopelessness kill. People who are mentally unstable or those who feel they’ve lost a handle on life and the ability to navigate the challenges therein take their own lives. Unless you’re a professional, there is very little you can say to a person who’s made up their mind that their life isn’t worth living to get them to think otherwise, especially when psychological issues get into the mix.

This week, news that a fellow media personality attempted to take his life was shocking to many. Speculations were rife, but so far one of the most solid truths is that his actions landed him in hospital. Reports indicate that he may have ingested toxic chemicals, and is in critical condition. We at the Voice wish him a speedy recovery, and hope friends and family are around to support him during this unexpected and trying time. More details on this story as it unfolds.

On that note, spring is on the horizon. It is our hope that the newness, rebirth, and renewal that comes with the foreign season will translate into the lives of those who need it most. May the ones who need help and support find it, and may we reach out to help, or offer a kind word when needed.

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