Friday, February 20, 2015

RIP little Elijah


We live in a world where horrible tragic events seem to happen more often than we like and most of the time, we protect our selves from going insane by shutting our selves off and building impenetrable walls to protect our vulnerabilities. We hide our helplessness behind indifference and nonchalance but some things find a way to sneak in and completely gut you. Yesterday was one such day. 

The unspeakable tragedy of little Elijah touched a cord with everyone. The entire city was gripped in the shared horror and worry about this little boy lost in the frigid, harsh winter.  My heart ached when I saw the image of the little  munchkin, standing in the hallway, his tiny silhouette  a warm glow in the bleary twilight of early morning. I watched  the video in horror as he sauntered out in his tee-shirt and diapers, for what he must have thought would be a spectacular adventure.  Every fibre in my body wished that he would have turned around when he stopped and thought for a minute, his hand in his mouth.

 I got invested in this for a simple reason. I KNOW 3 year-old toddlers. I know their precociousness; I know how good they are at wandering away and being consummate escape artists. I marvel at their ingenuity and dexterity, their innate curiosity and I know that look of quite contemplation on Elijah before he ventured out into the cruel, unforgiving cold.

When he was found, I too hoped against every rational scientific probability that a miracle would occur. I dared, no begged the universe to make it so that this little guy would survive despite the overwhelming odds against his favor. I distinctly remember the moment I saw his death announced on the TV as a second before, I was saying a silent prayer urging him to hold on. I remember stumbling into my office just wanting a moment to process this immeasurable loss to his family.

Even though I don’t want to, I keep imagining how terrified and lonely he would have felt in his final moments and the I hope to God that the sweet oblivion of unconsciousness was quick.  I keep thinking of his family and the horror they will be burdened with for the rest of their lives and I understand their frustrations. Be compassionate to them. Its very easy to point our fingers but try to remember that toddlers are experts at evasion and one tiny slip can lead to disastrous consequences as it did with this poor family.

 Everybody stands united in our grief for this little angel and as Bill Blair said, it only makes us hug our loved ones a little harder and to be thankful for the little monkeys in our lives. Last night I could not sleep properly until the little prince came and sneaked in between us. Hugging him close gave me a measure of comfort. Normally I’m quite grumpy when I have to wake up in the middle of the night to help him pee- pee but the only thought in my mind last night was that Elijah’s loved ones would kill for the opportunity for this mundane nightly annoyance. So, I wiped the unbidden tears and hugged my sleepy bunny as he peed and thanked god that he was safe with me.

Rest in peace precious Elijah. May the lilting laughter of angels and the warmth of heaven wipe away the horrors of your final moments. Sleep in heavenly peace little angel.