For All The Lives Touched
I follow these terrible events each day, as scene after scene of this tragic, twisted play unfolds watched by millions through the lenses of cameras capturing every little piece of pain, and the words of reporters that could have been written by some great playwright. As in all intense dramas one side casts their crafted prose to take the audience one way, miss direction takes you down a blind alley. There is a gasp and the tension becomes palpable as words flow from the opposing side, this drama, this tragic drama of real life enthrals and captivates. Truth is masked by artistic licence and becomes what the wordsmith wants you to see. So between two opposing sides, two versions of the truth unfold, perhaps the reality lies between the two. Both sides release statement after statement, one jabs, the other parries, its blocked and the blades slash at each other to win the hearts and minds of the audience. Spell bound we watch this awful, twisted portrayal of events that would have entertained the Bard himself. I sit as millions of others are doing, waiting for the next scene, the next episode, we have all become voyeuristic leaches, feeding off this drama in some way, unable to pull away or distance ourselves. Amongst all the sound-bites, the revelations that come thick and fast instantly from another continent, amongst the arguments and retorts, defence and attack, we almost forget what has really happened. In the debris of this addictive TV drama, near thriller, lies two families destroyed, two specific people destroyed, and we are feeding off it.
I feel quite ashamed that I find myself waiting in morbid anticipation for the TV news to have my next fix, to mainline the drama, to be absorbed by the fight that rages with verbal viciousness between the two sides. Yet I sit back and see Oscar destroyed, Reeva lays dead, two families devastated, and this is the reality of it all. Whatever the outcome these basic facts will not change, whether he is guilty or not become irrelevant as these core observations will never change. If Oscar is guilty then his life is destroyed, if he is innocent how can he come to terms with killing the love of his life, how can the Steenkamps forgive him, how could he ever find peace in this dreadful tragedy or errors and misfortune. Lives are ruined, lives are lost and can never be recovered, a dreadful tragic end to such amazing people.
Reeva was a fashion model, FHM model, TV personality and also had a law degree; she did a lot of charity work which often went unnoticed. Reeva was so much more than a pretty face, a beautiful body; she was reported to be kind and gentle, intelligent and articulate, and so loved as a daughter, sister, and friend to many. Whether deliberate or accident, Reeva had so much to offer humanity, so much more to achieve and do, so much life yet to live.
And what will become of Oscar, the first disabled person to run in both the Olympics and Paralympics, the blade runner that didn’t just cut down the lanes like a human missile, he had cut through every barrier life had to offer, and become an idle for millions of disabled people to aspire to. Oscar was, and I do use the past tense deliberately, a shining star in both the able and disabled worlds, bridging the intersection of these worlds. Respected, admired, hero to millions, determined, intelligent and also so much life left to live. Regardless of the outcome I see his life, as it was, also died with the four shots that were fired through the bathroom door. At that same moment the Pistorius family also had their lives changed forever as each empty cartridge was expelled from the gun and fell to the floor.
I cannot express how deeply sorry I feel for them all, for the love that was lost, the lives devastated regardless of intent behind the act or the motive. Lives left destroyed as each bullet was released. I cannot really express how much I have been affected, and I suspect millions of other people’s lives too. It has actually surprised me how deeply I have felt this tragic drama as it unfolds before my eyes, I really have been shaken by it all. Over the week of just a bail hearing, the defence and prosecution have attacked each other, playing counter media games, both sides releasing information best left for a trial in court when we get to this stage. But instead the guilt or innocence of Oscar is being played out by the media; this is trial by media and would never be allowed in this Country. This media circus would have been quickly curtailed by the judiciary in order to get a fair trial by his peers. However, I do not believe those judging him can be so ignorant of the goings on in the press, orchestrated by the defence and prosecution, so how can they be impartial. Most people I know have made their mind up one way or another, so how can he be judged fairly when his trial does come to court?
It is simply awful that two people and two families have been destroyed by the events of Valentine’s Day, a day when love is supposed to be celebrated, just tragic. For me I have watched my hero dismantled, everything I thought of him, everything I believed relating to him, everything I was inspired to achieve by his own acts are now called into question. Certainties are now question marks, as are the futures of these families. May Reeva rest in peace and may all affected by these events also find peace.
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