Now is 2nd December 2019

I heard news of a friend’s father who was the fall guy for a crime he did not commit. Over fifteen years he spent in prison. To then be released because he was indeed innocent. The impact that had on his mental health was evident. It left him devastated. There were six others who had been imprisoned innocently.

Also this week, a friend shared a talk of her work as a human rights lawyer. One story was of her in Sierra Leone. She was in a car with two others. It was torrential rain. They turned a corner and saw a car had smashed into a big truck with twenty people in it. There were bodies everywhere. They picked up a woman with her two daughters and a young boy with a serious head injury and drove to the hospital. The nurses at the hospital started attending to them. After a few minutes my friend notices no doctor has attended to the boy yet, who had the serious head injury. She asked one of the nurses who replied, “All of our doctor’s died treating patients with ebola”.

A few hours later the boy dies.

Later on she checks on the mother with her two daughters. The mother’s fallen unconscious on a bed, with one of her daughter cuddled up with her, resting also. My friend then sees the second daughter by the doorway. Her expression turns to one of horror. She freezes. Her body goes rigid. She feels numb. My friend rushes up to her – she is soaked with other people’s blood. She changes her clothes and puts on her own clean t-shirt. She then embraces her, and sends as much love as she can towards her. The child loosens up a bit. Then she starts crying. Wailing. The emotion pours out. The fear, anguish and horror all pour out.

The child needed a feeling of safety to feel her emotions. To be held in comfort, before she was able to relax and feel all that emotion.

These were strong stories to hear. All the more impactful being the firsthand experiences of people I know. Quite the week.

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