About this blog

My only daughter's name is Clea. Clea was six years and nine months old and she was enjoying a family holiday in Samoa when the ocean surged as a wall, ten metres high, and drowned her. Many other people died that morning of 29 September 2009.
The other four members of her family survived the tsunami.
Life has never been the same since. It will never be the same. This blog features memories, reflections, poetry, etc...
Just let me stay with her under this moon,
hold her in my arms, spin her in the air,
with my dear daughter in some timeless swoon.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Last Words

‘Run!!!! Everybody run!!!!!!’

Those were the last words my daughter Clea heard in her far too short a lifetime. A few seconds before them she heard me say very much the same in Spanish: ‘¡Corred! ¡Corred!’

I have often wondered if Clea was able to detect the absolute panic in my voice. It all happened so quickly that we did not have a chance to do anything other than run. I have never asked her twin brothers if they remember the sheer panic in their father’s voice, the urgency, the fear of the monster I saw coming towards us.

In fact, I don’t really want them to remember. Whereas I cannot forget. One day, probably in quite a few years’ time, they may want to know more. As a matter of fact, the story has already been written for them, and I don’t mean Lalomanu. They’ll be able to read it and find out about things they will have forgotten or we have kept away from their innocent childhoods. I wrote it in Spanish.

Every night, they both come into the study to say good night. They always find me writing something on the PC: it might be my own things, or a review, or for the blogs I keep. Stuff, as someone would say. They often stare at the screen and read little bits of what I’ve written. Their curiosity has been increasing lately. They know I have written poetry and have (awkwardly at times, of course) listened to me reading out to them. They seem a little uncomfortable, though not embarrassed.

I also wonder how they will react to my words in maybe ten, fifteen years, whether I am alive to discuss it with them or not. At the time I wrote it, I felt it was necessary to record it, just as I felt it was necessary for me to write the book of poetry.

Yet I confess I made a mistake. I shared the recount of that morning with people who probably did not want to read it. Perhaps they did not deserve to read it. My bad judgment? Possibly. There was too much to confront? Too much horror to witness through my words?

Who knows, it may have been too human… And that, it seems, is the scary bit.

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