Editorial comment – Embracing life

JOSEPH Underwood was 17 when he died on Saturday morning.

Before that his dad Wilfred Underwood had tried communicating with him, asking him whether he wanted to go home.

He claims he got a response.

Young Joseph reacted. His father reckons he tried to tell him that he wanted to go home. Before that, his father had pulled his fingers, and he claims he got a response.

Nothing could, however, take away the pain that enveloped Mr Underwood when he saw his son hooked up to the life support system at the Lautoka Hospital.

It hurt him seeing his son lying there like that. He remembers the life his son had lived.

He remembers the moments of joy and how close the young Joseph was to his friends.

They were all members of the Burning Fire Healing Ministry. Joseph was also a former student of Ratu Navula College.

Mr Underwood and his family are now left with only fond memories of a son they had hoped would recover and return home with them. He was an only child.

All Joseph’s hopes and aspirations came to a standstill when the vehicle he was on was involved in a horrific accident at Nabou.

Six people were killed two Saturday’s ago. One died later and he became the eighth victim of that accident. His family’s story is a familiar one for many people.

There is the element of love, appreciation and fondness attached to a member of the family.

There are moments of joy and laughter, and many fond memories that make up a great story. We need to be reminded though of how fragile life can be. This is a harsh reality of life.

We live, and we die. Some die in accidents, becoming innocent victims of a cycle of life that is not what we all want to see.

Such stories remind us of the importance of life. It should give us reason or an excuse, if we feel we do not have that, to embrace life, our family and loved ones.

We always hope that road accidents will never happen. But they do because we allow them to happen. Road safety is everyone’s business.

We should not be taking great care on the road only to meet an accident because someone else did not reciprocate that care.

Not everyone is as strong as Mr Underwood who accepted his son’s death when he was relayed the news, saying it was the will of God!

We must make it our priority to adhere to road rules and advocate road safety every day.

We must learn from this accident and engage in constructive discussions within the various groups we are part of.

We can put a stop to road accidents.

We must plan to arrive at our destinations alive, adhering to every law designed to ensure safety is for every road user.