Sorrow and hope:
Shadica Dublin struggles to move forward after her child’s death
DSecember 13, 2017 is a day that will remain etched forever in the mind of 22-yearold Shadica Dublin. It is the day she pulled out the body of her 17month-old daughter Amya Eastman from a muddy trench in front of her Mocha Arcadia home following hours of a frantic search for the child who had gone missing.
“The police was there and they was like telling me how to look for her in the trench and then I tell them I find she and he tell me bring she up and I just bring she up and I look at she in she diaper and was like she was looking at me and then I couldn’t remember anything else,” the grieving mother told the Sunday Stabroek recently.
As a single parent, she was out working as a domestic and had left her three children aged 17 months and three and five years old at home in the care of an adult. The family lived in a small one-bedroom home in a yard surrounded by relatives of the children’s father. He no longer lives with his family, but Dublin said they have “a good communication” and he helps to support them even though she refers to herself as a single parent and added that “life can really be hard.”
Dublin is no stranger to the pain of death as the aunt she grew up with died a few years ago and her father was murdered in Sophia, months before her youngest child died. But those deaths did not prepare her for the sudden death of little Amya. he recalled the child’s happy demeanour hours before she breathed her last. Her eldest sister had returned from school and she was excited about the gifts and the little treats in a party bag she had taken home. Shortly after, Dublin left for a domestic job and on her return, Amya was nowhere to be found.
“I remember one of her sisters saying ‘ya ya mommy we can’t find Amya’ and I dropped everything… we started looking for her, but we couldn’t find her and I tek a picture of her and went to the station and report that we not finding her,” she recalled.
Police officers returned with her to the home and it was they who suggested that the trench in front of the home be searched.
“I went in the trench and it was the Corporal who tell me how to search, how to use my foot instead of my hand and I keep searching but nothing. He then tell me search under the bridge and is then I feel likea small hand touch my foot,”
WDublin said, closing her eyes against the pain.
“I paused a little bit because I did not know what to do and then I tell them I find her and they tell me pull she up… I left stupid after I pull she up,” she recounted.
Dublin said she cried a lot and they spent what felt like hours with the body on the road. “I was in shock and I was asking ‘Why Amya, why it couldn’t be me?’ You know she was innocent and maybe I should have gone instead of her,” she said sadly.
She was then taken to the police station where she spent some 24 hours; she was questioned extensively. While some may view this as inhuman and even overkill, Dublin holds no grudges against the officers, who she said were just doing their job.
“The officers were 100 percent good. They did not put much pressure on me. They were by my side. I was there, and they got prayers for me from a pastor and after then I left,” she said. hen she returned home, Dublin said, it was very difficult because not only was Amya not there, but her two other children had been taken into the care of Child Care and Protection Agency.
“I was alone really because my children was not there and then the father was not there. Being alone was hard but then I did not want to see anybody else and I did not want to talk to anybody,” she said.
The girls were taken to their sister’s funeral and were not immediately taken back into care, instead they were placed with their father’s mother. They were eventually returned to their mother but in the interim, Dublin had to endure being blamed for her baby’s death.
“There was a lot of pushing around and blame and it made me feel guilty. The father blame me too. And I don’t think it was my fault really, but I was taking the blame for it because she was in my care. But what people don’t understand is that I was out trying to provide for them,” she said.
Dublin became a mother at the age of 15 and she recalled that it was a great disappointment for her aunt who had raised her since she was a baby. While her mother is still alive, Dublin said, she and another sister were raised by the aunt who had no children but who sadly passed away after battling cancer. She died months
after Dublin’s oldest child, a boy who is now seven years old, was born.
“I don’t know what it was but he [the father of her son] was bigger than me. Maybe I was looking for love, but my aunt was very strict so when I get pregnant she was very disappointed.
“Now I miss her more than when she just die because all these things are happening to me and I have no one to talk to,” she said sadly adding that she also regrets disappointing her and bringing a child into the world at such an early age.
She shared that she met the father of her son while she was still at school; he was a minibus driver.
“He use to drop me home almost every day and he would tell me not to tell anybody about he. You know he much bigger than me, he must be in his late 40s, early 50s now,” she said.
It was only after she gave birth at 15 that she understood
Shadica Dublin and her baby in happier times.