The pain and sorrow etched on the face of the father of October 25 crash victim Wavenie Johnson were palpable as he buried his head in the wreaths that were laid at his daughter’s gravesite this evening. “Why? Why? Why my baby?” Winston Grant, who flew in from abroad, cried out.
“Let him grieve, let him grieve,” another mourner indicated to some who attempted to hold him up. Her mother Carmalie Johnson stood on the other side, eyes closed, in reflective mode, resting her head in the arms of a friend. This grief was shared by the parents of her two friends, cousins Shakira and Shameka Shepherd who were buried next to Wavenie.
The three girls died, along with their friend Carey Brathwaite when the vehicle in which they were travelling crashed into a guard wall along Two Mile, Hill, St Michael. Following a lively thanksgiving service to celebrate their lives at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, the young women were laid to rest side by side at Bushy Park Cemetery, St Philip. Shakira was buried at the left, Wavenie to the right with Shameka between them. The cries and screams belted out at the gravesite echoed in the distance, at one point drowning the committal hymns being sung. Wavenie’s elderly grandmother Marva Johnson had to receive physical assistance after she almost collapsed. The mothers of the two cousins also grieved deeply and looked on in disbelief that their daughter’s caskets were lowered into the ground. All the graves were adorned by an array of colourful wreaths and flowers. Nursing students who studied with Shameka at the Barbados Community College made a special arrangement for her that included purple balloons. (AH)