“I lost part of me when she went to sleep and never woke back up”
By Lakhram Bhagirat
Loss will always be a part of our existence. It has the ability in wear down even the strongest of us and it also has the ability to catapult the weakest of us into a position of strength. However, there are some losses that are almost impossible to get over.
No one knows such grave loss than a mother who has lost a child. The pain of losing a child is something many cannot fathom and quite often shy away from because of the gravity of the burden of suffering such a devastating blow.
David LaChapelle, an American artist, quite perfectly said “there’s nothing that symbolises loss or grief more than a mother losing a child.”
Hearing Shazella Mendonca speak about that unbearable loss is enough to reduce one to tears. The mother speaks with an emptiness that only the presence of her six-year-old child can fill. The emptiness is growing with every tick of the clock and not a moment goes by without her remembering her Sherezer.
Sherezer died at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) on January 24, 2019, after the wrong injection was administered to the child by the doctors at the medical institution. Sherezer and two other children were injected with an intravenous injection to their spine causing them to become paralyse, which then lead to multiple organ failures and their subsequent deaths.
The drugs, Vincristine and Methotrexate, formed part of the children’s chemotherapy treatment. A probe by the Hospital found that malpractice resulted in the deaths of Sherezer, seven-year-old Corwin Edwards and three-year-old Roshini Seegobin.
Since her daughter’s death, Shazella has been trying to find some closure because of the way in which her daughter died. Although she has two other children, Michael and Miguel, Shazella still feels that emptiness because Sherezer was her first and precious little girl. This is going to be the first Mother’s Day in six years without the bubbly little girl who had given Shazella so many firsts.
She remembers the first time she met her daughter as one of the happiest days of life and the last day she saw Sherezer’s face as the most horrible day of her 27 years.
“This Mother’s Day I don’t know what to do with myself. It is like I am just going through life as it is and even though I have two other children there is this empty feeling. This year with Sherezer not being here and she was my first child, I will feel the brunt of it definitely. It’s like I don’t know man, I just don’t know,” Shezella said as she trailed off to compose herself.
She is reminded of her baby every day and the memory intensifies at around 14:30h when school would dismiss for the day. She sits by and watches the neighbourhood children in their school uniforms returning home and only wishes to see her bubbly little girl rushing towards her. But she is confronted with a wave of sadness when she realise that her wish will never come true and she will only be able to see her little girl in the afterlife.
Threading back to the last Mother’s Day with Sherezer, Shazella said that it was one that remains etched in her memory now that she knows it was the last.
Sherezer made a card at school to express her love for her mother and was so excited to show Shazella that she could not wait to get home. As soon as she reached home, the beaming little girl pounced on her mother showering her with kisses and showed her the unique card.
“When she bring the card home she was so happy. She was singing songs for me whole weekend and it was the best. I was happy to see her happy. She was the kind of child that it doesn’t matter if you are crying, she can make you laugh because she was such a happy little girl.”
This year, for Mother’s Day, all Shazella wants is to see her baby, to hug her, kiss her, hear her voice, feel her close. She says the thought of Mother’s Day makes her heart shatter because life is so much different. A piece of her is gone and will never come back. That piece of the puzzle of her life will forever be missing and will only be completed when she departs this life.
“It is heartbreaking thinking about Mother’s Day. I don’t want to think about it and although I have my two boys, it is still so hard. I don’t feel like celebrating because she is not here. She will never be here. She is the first one to call me mommy and gave me the first feeling of a mother. I lost part of me when she we
nt to sleep and never woke back up. It is just hard,” the still grieving mother said.