by Kim Bonow
A message to all the kids of Phuket Island. DO YOU LOVE YOUR FAMILY? Do you love your friends? Is this Island a fun party place to be? Everyone knows the party and “celebrations” here are hard and fast. So are our roads.
I would like to take a moment to share with you what happens to those left behind when you get on your bike after too many drinks, and ride that road you have driven 1,000 times before … and don’t make it home.
I shall never be able to describe that incredible slash of pain that rips your soul out of you, the razor that slices the joy of life from you forever, from your inner core, when you hear the words, “Your child is dead.”
This is only the beginning of your new life that you are going to have to live. That wound slashed into your soul, it never heals. It bleeds eternally. The cells in your body start to die.
It is unnatural for a parent to bury or burn their child. A black void opens that you fall into. Some call this despair, some call it grief.
I know it as the fingers of death reaching out and you beg them to take you and reverse the tragedy. Take me instead. Bring back my beautiful child, stop the pain.
Then comes the madness.
If only I had done … if only I had given the taxi fare to get home … if only I had taught him better … If only I had a bought an old car instead of a bike … if only I had confiscated the keys… if only … if only …
Then comes the emptiness.
The place where you once sat at the dinner table is empty forever. The annual celebrations are missing joy. The birthday that can never be celebrated again, the “death date” that leaves your life in turmoil. Life has changed forever and it is not for the better.
So I beg of you, please please children, if you love your family and you love your friends, please spare them this avoidable pain that they will carry until their own death.
Be smart … be wise … don’t drink and drive. Kids, look out for your mates. When they have had enough, take their keys. Chip in together and put them in a tuk tuk. Save each other.
Parents, please don’t let your kids ride the bikes to party. I never believed I would to be an “island statistic”. It happens so fast, and there is no turning back.
The real tragedy is that it is completely avoidable. Every day I weep for my sons. Every day I have to try forgive myself for not preventing this. Every day I cry for my living children who have to suffer loss, who will grow older than their brothers.
The future gets bleak. My heart goes out to Robbie’s family. There are no words of comfort, but you have my love. Please share this message in the hope that it will make a difference.
Kim is an expat mother living in Phuket. This was originally posted on Kim’s Facebook page and republished with her permission. In 2009 her son Kain, 20, died in a motorbike accident. She is also mourning the loss of two other young men, close family friends Alom “Lomy” Elliot Rook, 20, and Robert Marano, 21, who died in motorbike accidents in November 2012 and December 2013, respectively.