A view from the outside: Daddy killed mommy
Patrick Gowan and Roulene Clarke Gowan in happy times.
With Karyl Walker
The recent news that a man shot and killed his estranged wife and then killed himself in full view of their 12-year-old daughter in Jamaica has hit home hard.
The reality of the mental trauma facing that child as she tries to overcome her reality is not strange to me. I mourn with her.
You see, this fact that will be revealed by me is something I rarely talk about. Some of my closest friends do know of it. They may wonder why I am so twisted and warped but they never know how it feels.
My father killed my mother. I was the sole witness. It happened some 50 years ago and I have never fully recovered.
I saw when the life left her body. I was but an infant but I can never forget what it felt like seeing my mother frothing at the mouth and coughing up blood before the stiffness and finality of death took over.
It happened on Sunrise Crescent. I hate the place. Whenever I have occasion to pass by there, I cry inside. The sad memories never fade.
I can just imagine what the little girl must be going through right now.
Young girl. You will and must get over it.
There will be feelings of guilt.
There will be nightmares.
Until this day, I have never been able to stop biting my nails. I am a chain smoker. And I drink like a fish.
Find some way to recover.
Do not wallow in self-pity. It was never your fault.
Your father was a weak man. His actions have affected an entire generation of people negatively.
My child, you can make a difference.
Out of bad will come good.
If you need someone to speak to who can assist you with trying to overcome whatever thoughts are plaguing you right now, contact Loop Jamaica. They have my number.
I am here for you. I know it. I will try to help you.
I cry with you.
That is my view from the outside.
Karyl Walker is a multi-award-winning journalist who has worked for Loop Jamaica, the Jamaica Observer, the RJR Communications Group and Nationwide Radio among other media entities. He now resides in South Florida.