Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Lost Generation

The death toll from Monday's earthquake has exceeded 20,000 as of this afternoon. Some 19,500 are from Sichuan Province alone.

More than 72 hours have passed since the quake hit, making it harder to hold out hope for the more than 25,000 still missing.

Chinese state media continues to broadcast images of courageous soldiers and rescuers going through the rubble, and pictures of aid put together for survivors.

But there are not many stories about the dead.

Today I read a heart-breaking story in the New York Times about the hundreds children who died in the quake. They were all in school when the earthquake hit, the buildings collapsing on their small bodies.

It is not only devastating for parents to lose a child, but also your only child when the government forbids you to have more than one.

One distraught couple told the reporter they married late and had their daughter late. The chances of them being able to conceive again are very slim.

With so many of these children's lives snuffed out, practically one generation in some towns is gone.

According to the article, parents haven't been able to properly grieve for their child -- they are cremated in batches as quickly as possible to avoid the stench of death.

Parents have requested caretakers to arrange it so that their child and his or her best friends can go to Heaven together.

I don't know if the government will provide for psychological counseling after such a traumatic experience.

It's not even sure how the government will make sure survivors have proper housing and the things they need to even try to begin to rebuild their lives again.

But loved ones can't be replaced. Especially children, who for many, were their parents' sole treasure and hope.

1 comment:

ks said...

in a situation like this swift action in disposing the dead is of utmost importance. psychological trauma takes a back seat. i think that is fair.