Life Story for the Special Initiative “Living the Coup: Collective Diary of Daily Life in Myanmar” by SEA Junction and Partners.
|Grief on Christmas Eve
Grief on Christmas Eve
I am 48 years old and I am from Karenni State in Myanmar. I lost my husband to COVID-19 in 2021, and my precious kid was one of the 35 victims, including children and women, who were burned and slain by the military on December 24 (Christmas Eve) in Hpruso Township, Kareni State. I was shocked when I heard the news about my son. I could not believe it because he said the day before that he would go to send rice for the people who had fled due to fighting between the military and local armed groups. When I told him to not go because I had a nasty dream the night before, he said that there were many refugees and they did not have rice. People will be starving if he did not send the rice. After hearing his remarks, I was rendered dumfounded and let him go. My lovely son earned money by working as an assistance bus driver to transport rice to refugee camps. He was a hard-working young man. He provided for me and his sister (my daughter), giving us everything he earned by buying rice, snacks, and coffee. Of all of my children, he had assisted me the most both financially and physically. Since the military took over the country, the cost of everything has increased there are fewer jobs available and I received some free rice from the UN and I expect to receive more in the future. I could not afford to buy meat and curry. I can only do so only if I have a job.
If I must continue talking about my son, he was just 19 years old and he should have been living with me by now. I am still reeling from the loss of such a clever son. I implored “My son….if you were killed and burned, please visit me in my dream at night”. That night in my dream, a charred body with a bruise on the right side of his head (my son) grinned at me. After having that dream, I accepted the awful news and have been sobbing alone under the tree every day since then. I cannot cry at home because I do not want my other children to see me cry. I understand that I am not the only parent who has lost a child but it is not easy to accept the awful news. I do not want to visit my neighbor since they cannot understand how I feel and blame me. However, I was able to express my emotions to the women who worked for non-government organization, it has brought me some slight relief. My forthcoming Christmas Eve will not be as joyous as other family’s and it will be an unforgettable day filled with pain for the rest of my life.
I lost my family members one by one after the military coup. The prices of commodity are suddenly surged. I can’t afford to buy meat and fish, go shopping, or give up on the future. We are like orphans because we don’t have a government that will look out for us.
“Living the Coup: Collective Diary of Daily Life in Myanmar” is a special initiative of SEA Junction in collaboration with Asia Justice Rights (AJAR) to document how people are living in present-day Myanmar and their coping with daily security, economic and health challenges. We are asking for short stories in the form of written, photo essays or art illustration, in Burmese Language (to be later translated into English) or in English. For more background and other stories click here.
SEA Junction, established under the Thai non-profit organization Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEA), aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions- from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information see www.seajunction.org, join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/1693058870976440/ and follow us on twitter and Instagram @seajunction
Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
AJAR is a non-profit organization, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, whose aim is to contribute to the strengthening of human rights and the alleviation of entrenched impunity in the Asia-Pacific region. Its work focuses on countries involved in transition from a context of mass human rights violations to democracy, where it strives to build cultures based on accountability, justice and a willingness to learn from the root causes of human rights violations to help prevent the recurrence of state-sanctioned human rights violations. For more information, see https://asia-ajar.org.