This morning, as I caught up on news from Australia, I read about a father who has been found guilty of murdering his own daughter. As a father of a little girl I was dumbfounded, but what made the tears roll down my face was the manner in which this little girl’s life ended. While driving over the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne her father pulled to the side of the road, and while his other two children watched, took his daughter and threw her over the side. She fell 190 feet to the river below, amazingly enough survived, only to drown in the cold water. It was supposed to be her first day at school.
Her name was Darcey Iris Freeman and she was four years old.
Immediately following the event it was widely speculated that her father was seized by some sort of insanity caused by a bitter divorce. The ensuing court case ruled today that he was in fact not insane, but deliberate in his actions and motivated by revenge towards his ex-wife. This I do not understand. A judgment of insanity, although not any sort of explanation, would at least provide an explaination that I can wrap my head around. Instead I am left with a sense of apathy towards the world and the fact that such evil acts can even take place.
I have been profoundly affected by this, and deeply troubled by the reality of a father doing something as cruel as this to his own child. In writing about this event I had hoped to bring some sense of calm to the thoughts in my mind, but I know that this story will trouble me forever. All I can do is hold my baby girl tight, tell her that I will do my best to protect her, love her unconditionally and never, ever do anything to make her truly scared of me.
When I read about this in The Age this morning it was all I could do not to get in the car, pick Lily up from day care and spend the rest of the day hugging her tightly. She, of course, wouldn’t understand why Daddy was acting this way and would be wholly inconvenienced by it. Her sense of humor and wonderful innocent nature are the things that will direct my attention away from this horrific story, but I can’t help thinking about the two brothers who saw their sister thrown over a bridge to her death. They, and their mother, are victims too! How will this horrible event shape their lives in years to come? The lack of answers is what has got me all tied up inside, how will it affect them?
And what of the young innocent life that was stolen away? What would have Darcey done with her life had she been allowed to live? Sometimes the world is just a cruel place.