Yesterday, 16 days after the Malaysia Airlines flight went missing, the Prime Minister of Malaysia released an official statement that the missing flight MH370 is assumed to have crashed, with no survivors.
I’m sure the story about the missing MH370 is as heartbreaking as it is close to all travellers’ hearts. We have taken flights so often that we it take for granted when we reach destinations safely. When we take it for granted the words ‘safe flight’.
I remember the very first time I read the news – I was barely awake on the morning of Saturday of March 8th. Reading about a missing Boeing 777 with 239 passengers on board was just very hard to comprehend, and it did not even register to me how this might not be ‘yet another plane crash’.
Since then the world seemed to be focused on the tragedy. Everyone has been at the edge of their seats waiting for the next news that popped up. When there were no meaningful updates or leads in the search, people came up with conspiracy theories. Some hurled blames at each other. Stories behind some of the passengers surfaced, and when you could actually picture lives and families behind the number of people affected, it just feels closer and closer to home. The closest that I knew the passenger was through a third degree of separation, and it already broke my heart when things seemed to be leading nowhere. So I could only imagine the pain that the direct families and friends are going through.
Because not knowing is painful. I think that is the hardest part of this whole thing. Should you give up hope or cling on to the bare thread? If only you knew for certain what happened to the plane, perhaps it would be easier to accept the fact that they were gone and you could mourn. Yet, the families had to go through this roller coaster of hope and loss – one moment being told that the plane had disappeared from radar, the next investigations discovered that the flight was still on its course for 7 hours after it disappeared thus sparking hope that the passengers were probably somewhere, alive albeit barely. But in the end, what seemed to be the closest to conclusion to this episode was a television broadcast announcement that the plane has crashed – ‘an assumption beyond reasonable doubt’ through analysis of satellite reading.
Which is still not the same as the certainty that you would get had they found the debris of the plane. And after all this wait, they had to hear what they had feared the most – that none of their loved ones are coming back. And they can’t even say goodbye. I could not fathom the hardship that the families are going through right now.
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy.