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“Giving birth is my ultimate act of anti-terrorism,” said Mariane Pearl

February 10th, 2005 · 1 Comment

Sunday morning I read Robert Scoble’s link to Andrew Connell’s moblog celebrating the birth of his son. As Robert wrote: what’s a more important story than the birth of a new baby? Beautiful pictures.

Next I read Amanda Witt’s link to Mariane Pearl’s piece in The Sunday Times describing life after the loss of her dad in childhood and the loss of her husband, Daniel Pearl, while pregnant: I fight my husband’s killers with laughter.

Earlier last week Susan Mernit highlighted Caterina Fake’s Trials and Tribulations.

The thing I’ve noticed is that people who have suffered and survived terrible things are stronger than the rest of us, and they almost invariably become existentialists, and obsess about their own responsibility for making the meaning in their lives.

Like Caterina, I like to read Viktor Frankl and others who have survived horrors, such as Eli Wiesel. When I was younger, I found comfort reading about other people’s pain and perseverance. In college I wanted to minor in Holocaust literature. I felt my own childhood had been a difficult time and my desire to survive it was strengthened by reading other’s stories of survival. As Caterina described, although I don’t know if I was strong, I did become an existentialist for a while, embracing Camus, expressing my angst through stories where the characters “always got rained on”, according to one teacher.

Now that I’m older, I don’t seek out stories of suffering although I have read many. The more I’ve become connected to other people, through connections and friendships, books or blogging, the more I’ve realized that my pain can’t compare to other people’s grief. My life was a cake walk. It had many blessings even though I didn’t believe it at the time. I can see in new ways and find gold amidst the garbage.

I like to think that through time and healing, through the physical changes of motherhood and the faith I’ve fed in my heart, I’ve become less concerned about myself, less focussed on my own ache, and more compassionate towards others. When I read what Mariane Pearl has endured, as a daughter, wife and mother, I can only imagine and pray.

I know that by killing my husband the terrorists expected to break my life and that of my son. But I am fighting the holiest of fights and I win. Giving birth is my ultimate act of anti-terrorism. I am perpetuating Danny. This is what I tell Danny as our son, Adam, finds his way out to the world.

I know there is only one answer to those who killed Danny: life. I write my beliefs down for myself:

They want to silence me; therefore I will speak out.
They want to kill joy in me; therefore I will laugh.
They want to paralyse me; therefore I will take action.
They want war; therefore I will fight for peace.

Some day I will pass these words on to my son.

Tags: journal

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Katy Lee // Feb 11, 2005 at 12:31 pm

    Great perspective. Don’t let people or circumstances rob you of life.

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