The Ghosts of Rana Plaza 

"Three days later, Rashida traveled to Jurain. Upon arriving, she was issued a number from a list. She then walked among the rows, looking for her daughter’s resting place. All around her, relatives wore their grief in different ways. Some wailed hysterically, others prayed, and others still stood motionless as photographers snapped pictures from a respectful distance. In a far corner of the field, a group of boys played cricket," writes Jason Motlagh

Motlagh continues, “Rashida stopped in front of a black placard—​dna #155—​and dropped to her knees, hugging the plot mound with both arms. “My dear, look. I am here,” she said, sobbing. “You have gone too long without us, and I cannot live without you.” Then she offered a prayer: “Oh, Allah, please keep her in peace, for she suffered a lot in her life. We couldn’t provide her good care, education, or even food. We are very poor, and so we had to send her to work. Please, Allah, forgive us for our sins, and keep her in heaven.””

Read the full story by Pulitzer Center grantee Jason Motlagh for VQR here. 
View this interactive timeline for more stories from the Rana Plaza tragedy’s key characters with detailed images. 

All images by Jason Motlagh. Bangladesh, 2013. 

I keep you alive through songs, places and memories that I’m not ready to let go of yet. I keep you alive through countless poems and diary entries that I re-read until my eyes are blurry from fighting back tears. I keep you alive through new people who remind me of you, and it hurts a little less sometimes, but there’s still a gap that I can’t fill. I keep you alive because I need to believe that someday, you’ll be here again.
—  I’m running out of ways to say I miss you - (sd)
Like a hurricane, I crush people beneath my waves. The storms that explode within me I cannot control. I cannot shut them off. The ones I love, I drown them. I drown all of them. The shores are barren, not a ray of sunlight, not a footprint in the sand. Then they’re gone.
—  365daysofdarkness
To the boy I once loved
Sometimes I still see your crystal eyes as I look into the sky when I wake
There’s something about the way that the sky shines down on me like you did when I first caught your eye
I sometimes hear your voice in crowds of strangers on the street
I hear it weaving through the crowd trying to find its way to me
Sometimes when I’m in bed alone and our song comes on I remember what it was like to fall asleep by your side
And I close my eyes with your silhouette in my mind
When I look at my hands I sometimes remember the way that yours fit through mine so perfectly, effortlessly
I remember how soft your hands felt when you dragged them along my bare back
And God it felt like you could heal every scar on my body
Sometimes when it’s late at night or early in the morning or in the middle of the day
I remember our love and I think to myself
What a beautiful thing we once were

I am a star, bright and untouchable. A galaxy vast and forever. I am the rain on a summer night and the sunlight peaking eagerly through the curtains at five in the morning.

I am like the ocean, wild and untamable, beautiful and unforgiving. Like the wind in your hair, as you’re driving down the deserted highway, at full speeds in the middle of the night. I am strong and true and perplexing. I will kiss you under the moon and lead you to the tops of mountains.

I am a soul crafted from the dust of gods and stars long forgotten. I will leave you heart pounding, lungs breathless, favorite songs ruined. You will taste me like blood and bruises and lemons on your lips.
I will be your easiest and your worst mistake.

I won’t be the one.
But I’ll be the one you’ll wish you’d never let get away.

—  I’m not the one.

They will come for you in the night,
they will come with floating veils,
whispering your name in soft coos
and you will turn away from me,
you will turn away to invite them
in between our supine bodies,
to divide us, to distance us,
and I am afraid, I am so afraid
to close my eyes and sleep
because if I do, if I don’t
watch over you, you’ll be adrift
in their currents and like the waves
in your soft tresses, I will miss
the way you feel against me
when the night is young,
before they come and insinuate themselves
betwixt our hearts and steal you from my arms.

Not that I don’t think of you every single day but last night I allowed myself to wonder through memories quietly.
It occurred to me that you’ve been gone nearly a year now. Time has been strange.
I still feel the numbness of shock and blood draining from my face when I remember that day.
How everything instantly slowed to a crawl and sound stopped completely.

I remember glancing around, the whole world was in slow motion to me. I could hear the rush of my own pulse in my head and wondered why Id never noticed it before.
Then the inevitable punch in the lungs and I couldn’t breathe. Everything amplified and caught up. The speed of the world regained its momentum, as I involuntarily dropped to my knees. I’ll never forget those moments.
It’s still difficult to even think about a life cut so short. Your life.
My eyes always burn and my throat tightens at just the thought of you.

Last night, I felt angry that the world was still living their lives without even a pause. Didn’t anyone else notice?

Then a trickle of fear; because if the world didn’t even hiccup when you decided to leave us and you were such a wonderful person, then what’s going to happen when each of us are gone.

Will it be to the world like we never existed too? Will it even matter if no one even knows?
Then, I guess I thought that as long as I think of you, then you’ll not be forgotten. We all will fade from existence, memories and fleeting thoughts eventually but as long as I breathe , it won’t happen to you yet.

You made your mark. Maybe not on the whole world but you made one on mine.
..and I’ll never forget you.

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anonymous asked:

Even though you lost Liam a long time ago, i'm sorry you had to go through that. It's not easy at all. I too lost my brother and it still affects me today. You definitely are a survivor with everything that you have been through. You are very lucky to have someone that cares about you, you and Emma have a special relationship. You both understand eachother which is important. It's very obvious you love her with all your heart too.

I’m sorry to hear that you have been through that, but thank you for your kind words.