Friday, October 11, 2013

An unthinkable loss

AMMAN, Jordan — There are thousands of stories here. Many are difficult to just imagine, while still others brim with optimism despite long odds. One story from Thursday's visit is one that no one would ever want to hear again.

Wael Sleiman, executive director of Caritas Jordan, hears many of the stories of the pain and anguish that escaping Syrians who come to Jordan endure every day and have been living for the last two years as their country is ravaged by an ongoing civil war. Stories such as people losing not only their hope but their faith, their loved ones, their homes. "There is no God in my life any more," Sleiman said one six-year-old Syrian boy told him.

There is no remedy for one story, nothing that can be done and no consolation to be offered to one Syrian mother who came to Jordan two months ago.

"One mother came here," Sleiman said. "She was scared and in a rush to leave her homeland. There was violence all around her," Sleiman said. "It was not until she arrived here eight hours after she left Syria that she realized she did not bring one of her children."

Sleiman said the woman has four children but was in such an emotional state of hurt and confusion that she mistakenly left her two-year-old daughter laying in bed in their Syrian hometown, one that was being threatened as the violence grew nearer. There has been no turning back for the mother. No crossing the border back in to Syria to retrieve the child left alone. No re-establishing contact. No calling a neighbor or a husband to find out if her child is OK. No way to know what has become of her.

And, Sleiman said, although Caritas Jordan offers much to thousands of refugees, there are no therapists that can provide encouragement and no treatments that can take away the pain of this mother's loss. It is one of the few times, Sleiman said, that there is simply nothing that can be done.

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