Yesterday, as I sat down with my cup of tea to read the end of year summaries and view the statistics, I came across an article called, "Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014." I'm not sure when the loss of a person became part of a roll call. Running through the list, I noticed that it consisted mainly of individuals made famous by the media. Even though the loss of one being is no less than the loss of another, it made me incredibly sad that the "somebodies" made it onto a list of their own and that the thousands of "nobodies", in the eyes of the media, who departed this year lacked even an acknowledgement.
This is my tribute to you. You were somebody. You mattered. You were someone's child, brother, sister, mother, father, relative and friend. When you left, tears fell, hearts broke. The lives of those you left behind changed forever. You left an impact on those who knew you and those who didn't. Your death may have been inevitable or it may have been preventable. I'm sorry that it took your death for so many to learn lessons, myself included. Wherever your soul may reside now, I hope that you are in peace and that you know that you are dearly missed. You left a gaping hole that will never be fully filled in the same way but the love and memories you left behind will help the healing process.
As we spend the last part of this year reflecting, celebrating and bowing in gratitude for the year we lived, let us spare but a moment to send love to those who lost their lives, their loved ones and to those who suffer as we breathe.
These are just some of the many lives that were lost this year.
* 239 lives were lost when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on Saturday, 8 March 2014.
* 298 lives were lost when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down on Thursday, 17 July 2014.
* Bodies are still being recovered from Air Asia Flight QZ8501 which crashed into the ocean on Sunday, 28 December 2014.
* The World Health Organization estimated more than 7,842 deaths in the Ebola epidemic in the past year, the worst outbreak in history.
* A senseless terrorist attack on a school in Pakistan on Tuesday, 16 December 2014, left 145 people, which included innocent children, teachers and soldiers, dead.
* Two people were killed when a disturbed gunman took a cafe hostage in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday, 16 December 2014.
* Typhoon Ruby in Philippines left at least 21 people dead.
* Floods in Malaysia have left at least 10 people dead.
* A snowstorm in Nepal on 14 October 2014 resulted in the deaths of at least 43 people.
* Thousands died daily from starvation and illnesses, many of them preventable. There is a gross imbalance in our world. Fellow human beings die of starvation while others die from over indulgence or waste of resources.
* Thousands were killed in the irony that is called war, a violent solution for the restoration of peace.