The rarest of birds . . .

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Kayra Wil­liams

Fire­flies. Among the most mes­mer­iz­ing crea­tures. Sil­ver ones? Rare—if not al­to­gether non-ex­is­tent. On Face­book the late Bianca Felix is ‘Sil­ver Fire­fly.’ To those who best knew and loved her she was as unique and cap­ti­vat­ing as her FB ID.

Last week, 25-yearold Bianca took her own life. Like so many oth­ers I re­ceived the shattering news via Face­book, ad­mit­tedly not al­ways trust­wor­thy. The head­line: ‘Sus­pected Sui­cide in Trouya!’ I clicked on the link and there she was, ab­so­lutely light­ing up my com­puter with the sparkle of youth, look­ing al­most ex­actly as I re­mem­bered her when we were stu­dents of the Cas­tries Com­pre­hen­sive Sec­ondary School. We were not our­selves close friends; but we had friends in com­mon, which is why we nearly al­ways ac­knowl­edged one an­other when­ever our paths crossed.

News of Bianca’s death hit me hard. I tried con­vinc­ing my­self the re­port might be a mis­take. There could be no deny­ing the sad­ness I felt. She was so young; younger than me. I tried in vain to imag­ine what might pos­si­bly have led her to take her own life at a time when she should’ve been bust­ing with youth­ful am­bi­tion—look­ing with great op­ti­mism to the fu­ture.

I thought long and hard about oth­ers be­fore her, other young women, who had de­cided their lives were no longer worth liv­ing. I thought about those they had left be­hind: par­ents, close rel­a­tives, friends. Could it be pos­si­ble that all of them had failed Bianca in one way or an­other? Not pos­si­ble; it had to be some­thing else.

I thought too about vi­va­cious Alisha Hunte; a for­mer car­ni­val queen con­tes­tatant and as­pir­ing model seem­ingly with so much to look for­ward to. I’d also known her for some time. Her naked body was found in her bath­room. She had been stabbed mul­ti­ple times. The year 2011; Alisha was just 22. I was then the editor of this news­pa­per.

As I took in Face­book pho­tos of the crime scene around Bianca’s home, I re­called the cir­cum­stances of Alisha’s mur­der in the same Trouya neigh­bor­hood. No one in the area had heard or seen any­thing un­usual, de­spite that their homes were in some cases mere yards from Alisha’s apart­ment.

Ev­ery­thing had seemed so nor­mal when I ar­rived at the crime scene. A nearby bar blasted karaoke. Birds sang their songs and dogs chased each other play­fully while peo­ple went about their reg­u­lar busi­ness. Ev­ery­thing ap­peared nor­mal. Ex­cept that Alisha was dead.

I imag­ined it was also busi­ness as usual at the scene of Bianca’s death. I imag­ined, too, there would be the usual mind­less gos­sip, the wild spec­u­la­tions and no se­ri­ous ac­tion on the part of the au­thor­i­ties. I thought about Bianca’s rel­a­tives, their grief and their se­cret ac­cep­tance that there would be no an­swers as to what re­ally had driven Bianca to do what it is claimed she did. Af­ter all, in Saint Lu­cia sui­cide notes are al­most un­heard of. Is it just pos­si­ble de­clared sui­cides are ac­tu­ally cover-ups? Re­port­edly, on Wed­nes­day, March 2 Bianca’s life­less body was dis­cov­ered hang­ing from a scarf at­tached to her ceil­ing. How dare peo­ple who had never known, let alone cared about the is­land’s lat­est sui­cide vic­tim now post mes­sages about her? You have shown lit­tle in­ter­est in the pos­si­ble causes of this sud­den spate of sui­cides in Saint Lu­cia. When you have spo­ken at all it was al­ways with political tongues.

Shame on the hyp­ocrites! As for the posted ref­er­ences to “sup­port sys­tems,”—what sup­port sys­tems? Un­manned so-called hot­lines; hot­lines manned by un­car­ing and un­qual­i­fied per­son­nel; stupid re­marks from stupid politi­cians in cam­paign mode; that’s what passes in Saint Lu­cia for sup­port sys­tems while the peo­ple look on in sheep­ish si­lence.

In the com­ment sec­tions of re­lated news ar­ti­cles and posts I read sup­posed con­fes­sions from scores of peo­ple who claimed, for one rea­son or an­other, to have con­tem­plated sui­cide but some­how found the strength to re­sist.

“Iso­la­tion is de­cep­tion,” wrote one user. “Don’t let the dark­ness win. You are not alone, and you never will be. R.I.P Bianca.”

“I wish I’d known her . . .” wrote an­other. “I could’ve said some­thing . . . done some­thing. I would have. We need to do bet­ter as a peo­ple. We need to care more about each other than about the next vi­ral In­ter­net sen­sa­tion.”

In a post re­lated to years of sex­ual abuse as a pre­teen, an uniden­ti­fied woman con­fessed to twice hav­ing at­tempted sui­cide. She reached out to Bianca’s fam­ily; of­fered prayers on their be­half, and pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment to any­one else who might be think­ing about giv­ing up.

“Don’t!” she urged. “Talk to some­one. Get a new mean­ing to life. Do some­thing dif­fer­ent. Get away from the things that are caus­ing you pain. Find peace within your sit­u­a­tion be­cause no mat­ter what it is, peace is there to be found. It’s not al­ways go­ing to be smooth sail­ing, but things will get bet­ter in time. I was de­liv­ered, and you will be too. May you see and be the light here on earth.”

Yeah, right!

Alisha Hunte met her un­timely death a few years ago in Trouya the same com­mu­nity where Felix resided.

The late Bianca Felix whose death last week was ruled a sui­cide.

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