A Child Called Galen

When I read the front-page headline in the Jamaica Gleaner, Saturday, April 2, 2022 entitled Painful flashbacks: Father tormented by murder of 8-year-old son; Stepfather gets life in prison for offence, my heart ripped in a million pieces. 

Sadness blanketed me. 

Anger befriended me.

Rage tormented me.

Revenge knocked on my door.

I felt the grief and anguish of a father.

I sank deeper into sadness when I read, “The father said for the rest of his life he can never forget this, something that will remain with him and that even when he bathes, a simple everyday activity, he sees Galen, and he sees him with his hands tied underwater and he is constantly tormented.”

What’s the story? 

Galen, the 8-year-old son, was lured by the stepfather under the guise that he was going to buy ice scream for him. After two days of being missing, his body was found by a fisherman in the Kingston Harbour, Jamaica. 

What’s the motive?

The stepfather claimed that the mother’s betrayal had pushed him to throw his stepson into the Kingston Harbour.

What are my thoughts?

First, my feelings of solidarity run deep for the father and Jamaica in an era where it is claimed that good and faithful fathers are rare. Listen to the deep bond of this father with his son, as gleaned from the article. “The distraught father also shared that he had a very close relationship with his son, whom he described as being very honest, extremely sensitive and happy and lamented the way in which Rose had betrayed his son’s trust in him.”

Second, as a society we must continue working at addressing domestic violence and conflict through dispute resolution. We cannot believe and accept that the only option is such a barbaric response.

May the God of compassion clothe the father and mother of this child. May God’s mercy bring the perpetrator to conversion.

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