Losing a child is devastating.

Losing a child because we forgot must be worse than devastating. I mean, how do you comprehend the fact that a person’s mind can be so preoccupied to the point of forgetting about his child baking under the hot Malaysian sun? Did the father not know that the child entered his car? Did he not tuck the child carefully into the car seat? Made sure she was comfortable? Pushed the air-cond vents towards her so that it will not be so warm at the back? Looked into the rear mirror while driving to see if the child remains seated securely? Now and then ask if she needed anything?

I know that considering the circumstances, it sounds a little harsh. I am sure the father feels like the pits at this moment. But plainly put, it is hard not to think that this basically negligence. A child under our care is a heavy responsibility. It is a responsibility we do not just forget. We need to be constantly vigilant and mindful about any child under our care. We need to prioritize their needs regardless of our own urgencies and obligations.

How do one remember attending a dead person’s needs but forgets to look into a living child’s basic need to stay alive? From the news report, the case has been classified as ‘sudden death’.  Classifications aside, a severe heat stroke sounds like a long painful process.

TUMPAT: In a rush to attend a cousin’s funeral, a man forgot about his three-year-old daughter who was sleeping in the car under the blazing sun about 500m away from the cemetery at Kampung Morak near here. By the time he remembered about her more than an hour later, the girl had already suffered serious heatstroke. In the 11.45am incident, Nor Izyan Natasya Ishak died of severe heatstroke while being rushed to a nearby clinic. Her father Ishak Salleh said he was in such a hurry to attend the funeral yesterday that the moment he arrived at the cemetery, he just parked his car, turned off the engine and locked the vehicle. “I totally forgot that my daughter was sleeping in the back seat. “After some time, I remembered about her but it was too late,” he said when met here. Ishak said the moment he remembered that Nor Izyan Natasya was in the car, he rushed to her aid together with several villagers. He said at that time his daughter was crying and her baju kurung was soaked with sweat. “We tried to revive her but she was too weak. She died while on the way to the clinic in Wakaf Baru. “I never expected that immediately after attending a relative’s funeral, I will be attending my own daughter’s funeral,” the distraught father said. (The Star, May 24th 2011)