What are we waiting for, mum?
Shh, darling. People are paying their respects.
To the old lady?
She wasn’t old, my love.
So why did she die?
An accident. No, not an accident… She was unlucky.
What do you mean, mum?
She was on her way home and then…
She met someone who wasn’t nice.
Not all people are nice, sweetheart. Some of them are nasty and like to hurt other people.
She met a bad man?
It seems that way, yes.
How did she die?
We don’t know yet, baby.
We might know one day. The police are investigating, trying to find out.
But she wasn’t old?
No, beautiful girl. She was young. That is why people are sad.
Why did they bring flowers?
That is what people do when they are sad.
But we didn’t.
No. We didn’t know the lady.
But I want to bring flowers.
It is better for the people who did know her to bring them. It will help them to feel better. We are not bringing flowers so that there is space for theirs.
Oh. When can we bring flowers?
When it is someone we know.
I don’t like it when people die.
I know, sweetheart. Nobody does.
Why do people die?
It is part of life.
So she died because it is part of life?
I don’t know, my love. I don’t know.
Choose certain death and ostracism
Exile self-imposed; ‘tradition’
Loss of home and family
Born of faith’s supremacy
So young, with minds not fully fed
In fear of first missteps, unled
Some seek to live by others’ rules
And hope to never have to choose
While those whose choice was thrust upon
Unwary shoulders, far too young
Have just enough experience
To recognise their own good sense
And knowing that some errors will
Occur despite intentions, still
Are less afraid to persevere
And build the life they want right here.
Though actions have their aftermath
There is no righteous, clear-cut path
Please do not fear all consequence
Change is not dangerous; though dense
And unenlightened elders may
Feel life no longer goes their way
As age and distance emphasise
The loss of youth before sad eyes
Unready to relinquish reins
To those in throes of growing pains.
Decisions to abandon trust
Give up hope and freedoms; lust
For life of lesser contemplation
Out of social obligation;
Turn to ends more violent
Ignore suggestions, kindly meant
And quick condemn all other views –
Is this the path you wish to choose?
Consider this, before you do
For truly, this choice rests with you:
Such suicide invites abuse
Of others that may follow blood
For love, for family, for feud
Will throw themselves away; – jihad
In mourning for those gone before
Their minds made waste, still immature
And more than one will idolise
The first to die – if death you prize
Above the life you hold in hand
So understand, if you have planned
To be the martyr for your tribe
And leave the others still alive
The minute you take up this course
Imagining rewards; Firdaws
You lose control of what is shown
And once you’ve gone, the whole thing’s blown:
With ashes scattered over sand
Your image will be used to brand
Misinformation into truth –
Deserted and abandoned youth.