No matter where I am in the world, the same thing happens every time there is some sort of serious incident in Bermuda. My phone rings like crazy.
Because I still have not fully adjusted to UK time, I had just laid down at 3.38 a.m. when I was awakened in what seemed like hours later (it was actually 45 minutes) to be told there had been yet another murder.
My usual reaction would be to jump out of bed and be on the scene, but of course this was not to be the case. Within minutes, messages are pouring in and of course, a name and a picture. I was so stunned.
While I wouldn't count myself as one of Jahni's personal friends, we had a great social relationship. Always hugged and laughed and cracked jokes about how his best friend’s father was a geriatric (hey Pressss! #sticksouttongue)!
Everyone who knows Jahni knows about the white Skoda with the thumping bass so need I say anymore?
In the line of work I do, I am usually good at keeping my emotions out of things, but this was different. My heart hurt for all those who knew and loved him. It just seems like a really bad dream…but it’s an unfortunate familair reality.
Jahni’s murder however, was different because my household was still at peace.
“What are you talking about?” I can hear some of you saying with your faces all contorted.
If I was still in Bermuda, I would have had to wake up my daughter to let her know I was leaving to cover a story and she would have known why. Somehow or the other, one of the boys always woke up and would have a lot of questions, which would lead to his brother asking myriad more.
As being raised in the area they have been, anxiety runs high whenever there is a shooting.
“Why did they kill him?”
“What did he do wrong?”
“Why are there guns in Bermuda?”
“Where did they shoot him?”
“Do I know him, mommy?”
“Will I get shot?”
Then my doors get locked. And checked. And double checked. And no one wants to go out in the dark. And every little sound makes them jumpy.
The fear was real. And I can’t even blame them because every day I used to brace myself mentally for hearing gunshots ripping someone’s life away at any given moment. It literally wore me down. Straight to depression.
While I concealed my feelings, and the incident, from the boys, I silently mourned…but I was also relieved that my boys no longer have to be exposed to what is going on in our beautiful, yet deviant Island.
Some critics may say, “Don’t share your work with them,” but that sentiment is unrealistic in such a tiny place. Social media is real (especially for teens) and many times our children hear about things within minutes of them happening.
And then of course, there’s just old fashion conversation.
We’ve only been here a month and already I see the difference. They no longer jump every time they hear an unfamiliar noise.
Just before we left, my oldest said to me: “Mommy, I’m glad we are leaving and going to the UK instead of the states, because we’d have to worry about being shot there too.”
I was sad that he even had to think along those lines.
While I know nowhere is completely safe from negative elements, right now I am at peace knowing that as each day that passes, they gain a solace which they’ve never experienced before.
To the family and friends of Jahni, you have my deepest condolences. May justice be one day served.
Valerie Tolmie Friday, 03 February 2017 17:37 Comment Link
That is so sad to hear. I have always thought of Bermuda as tranquil as well as beautiful! The thought of people having guns there saddens me greatly. Surly, Bermuda is still a British protectorate, guns should not be allowed at all!?Report
So sad for all