Unfeeling or Overwhelmed – The Loss of WPC Nyasha Joseph

According to a paper published by Dartmouth College, an individual’s response to encountering a traumatic event can vary widely. Some responses include denial, shock and numbness. I am no expert but it seems to me that we, the citizens of this country, are simply dealing with the daily trauma and horror we are forced to endure every day.

Joseph’s body was recovered from the water yesterday when a fisherman discovered it entangled in his net. A countrywide search was conducted for the young officer when she failed to show up for duty last Thursday.

So, are the accusations justified? Are we as a citizenry indeed heartless and unfeeling? Are we untouched by this tragedy? Is she just a statistic? I venture to reply, “No, not in the least.”

I keep asking myself, “Who will guard the guards?” Usually, we pose this question when persons in authority are suspected of unscrupulous and or illegal activity. But this vibrant, young woman was a member of the protective services and she too fell prey to the roaming criminal elements in this country. Who will guard the guards?

I think we are tired; psychologically, mentally and emotionally tired. Stretched thin. Tired of the bad news, tired of the murders, tired of the hopeful, painful wait for the return of missing friends and family members, only to have them found in a ditch or bag somewhere. We are stuck in a vortex, in a vicious cycle of being shocked and shocked again by the senseless killings of young women, mourning their loss, pleading for justice and, before we are recovered, we are slapped in the face with the news of another missing person. We are tired. Our minds can barely take it anymore. Is this life in Trinidad? Is this how we will live our days in this country?

To the people in this country who are asking where is the outcry for WPC Nyasha Joseph, I can volunteer this. Do not mistake our understated reaction for nonchalance. Perhaps we are only buckling under the weight of an unbearable crime situation. A young woman is dead; one who vowed to protect and serve us. We feel it. It breaks our hearts.

So how do we move on from here? The same paper published by Dartmouth says, “a sense of community or togetherness is essential for helping individuals feel supported and cope with their reactions to traumatic events.” In the face of our nation’s present situation, this is a mild solution but one we should employ anyhow. We need to come together and stand together. We can stand with the authorities while they try to figure this out. We can support each other and be each other’s keeper. When other countries accuse us of being passive and ‘don’t care’, we can prove that we are better than this and that there is more to us than what meets the eye. Because…what else can we do?

RIP WPC Joseph.



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