Thursday, 22 October 2015

Sad but good news

yesterday in that they have identified the little body in the suitcase. Some of  you will remember I wrote about this earlier in the year. The unidentified remains of a child had been abandoned in a suitcase on a remote stretch of road near Wynarka.
I watched the senior police officer announcing this and saw him struggling to contain his composure.Cops don't often show emotion when making a public announcement. They are trained not to do it. It isn't something people often see but it was right this time.
They had sifted through 1,267 phone calls to make the identification. They had, through DNA, tied the child in with another body found in a forest over a thousand kilometres away - the body of her mother.
Now that they have names I hope that they can piece together the rest of the story and find those responsible. It still won't be easy. 
For people like the senior police officer, who possibly has children of his own, this sort of thing must be incredibly difficult. No individual with any decency at all could fail to be affected by it. 
I know someone will probably say to me today, "I don't know how they can do a job like that."
People used to say the same thing to me when I worked in two different schools for  children with profound physical and intellectual disabilities. The answer for me was that you "switch off" at the end of the day. You don't take the problems home with you. It isn't that you forget the problems but you don't try to deal with them when you leave work for the day. You take the pleasure home instead. 
I would take home the joy of one of the children achieving something for the first time or the smile on a face because they heard a song they liked or one of them saying a new word. They were little things but, in their world, they were big things. 
And, sometimes there were big things. There was the day I knew that one of the children in my class really was far brighter than they had assessed him to be. I had not been wasting time in trying to teach him to read. He could read even if he could not speak. 
I hope, for the cop - and those working with him, that the 1,267th phone call was the same sort of experience. I hope it will encourage them to keep going and get to a successful prosecution at the end.

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