Shemar’s death hits 18-year-old sister ‘like a brick’

EDITOR’S NOTE: The correct spelling of Shemar’s name was given by his sister.

The last time 18-year-old Keandra Weekes saw her little brother Shemar in person was in June 2012. That’s when she last visited Barbados for their grandmother’s funeral.Now three years later, she is preparing to return to island –– this time to bury her little brother.

“It is crazy! It still really hasn’t registered in my head yet,” said the American-born Keandra, who is the oldest of Julianne Weekes’ three children.

“Sometimes I forget [he is gone] and I think I am going to call him, but then it just hits me in the face like a brick, that it is really true,” she said in a telephone interview with Barbados TODAY earlier this afternoon from her home in New York.

As the family anxiously awaited news of a post mortem ordered on the 12-year-old’s body, Keandra said she was busy making plans to fly back to the island for Shemar’s funeral. She said relatives of the former Coleridge & Parry student were also planning a “colourful” send-off for him, similar to the one afforded his grandmother, who went before him, but wanted to ensure that his former schoolmates could attend.

Keandra, who is the only one of her mother’s children born in the US, said though family life was not always easy, she never expected him to take his life. In fact, the news of his death last Thursday night has come as a complete shock.

Keandra Weekes
Keandra Weekes

“When I heard, it was the next morning. I was sleeping and awoken to the news. When I heard, all I could say is: ‘What?’ And I broke out crying because it was just a shock.”

Part of her initial reaction was also to contact her mom for what turned out to be not much of a conversation, since Keandra says: “I was mad and upset. I could barely function to talk for long.”

For her it was just too hard to believe that her “crazy” little brother, who she loved so much, and who she communicated mostly with by Facebook, was gone for good. The most hurtful part for the young teenage mother was that Shemar would never get a chance to meet his little niece, who he was already quite fond of.

In her search for answers, Keandra said she had been reading a lot of what has been reported on her brother’s death. She has also spoken to her mother every day since last Thursday, as well as other close family members in Barbados.

The best explanation she could come up with so far is that Shemar didn’t really mean to kill himself.

“I don’t think he wanted to do it, but in the end, I think when he realized and wanted to turn back, it was just too late,” she told Barbados TODAY.

However, behind Shemar’s handsome bright face, promising eyes and smile, there was a history of family troubles. Mother Julianne had migrated to the United States when she was about Shemar’s age to stay with her auntie. After graduating from high school in the US, she worked for a bit before she conceived her first child. However, to this day Keandra has never met her dad, who is Ghanaian.

Asked to explain why she was not resident in Barbados with her mother, Keandra said: “After 9/11 [September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks] happened when I was about four, she left to go back to Barbados and she took me with her. But my family preferred that I returned to the US. They wanted me up here so things would be better for me. So they came down to Barbados and she eventually brought me back out,” Keandra said.

The physical distance had put a strain on the relationship between mother and her first-born. Keandra also felt that Shemar suffered from the absence his dad, who sources say has been battling some personal issues and was only seen from time to time.

With rumours now rampant about the 12-year-old’s death, Keandra admitted to not believing everything she had been told about what had actually transpired at the family’s home on the tragic night of May 14, 2015. However, she acknowledged that a lot of rumour and innuendo was surrounding her brother’s passing, including social media comments, which suggest that her mother was to blame.

She defended her mother against the accusations, saying: “I honestly don’t think or feel she is capable of doing something like that because I know my mom is a smart person, she has more sense than that . . . . Never in my life would I think she is even capable of that,” she said, even though she admitting that her mom may have been too hard on the boy at times and she did not consider neither herself nor Shemar to be their mom’s favourite.

“Right now, I am just waiting on the post mortem results and so should everyone,” she said, while urging that the needless “talking and bumping heads and putting blame” should stop.

“Our family are the ones suffering from this and we just want to mourn in peace,” she added.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The correct spelling of Shemar’s name was given by his sister.

3 Responses to Shattered!

  1. kathy-Ann Clarke May 21, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Well said Keandra. Lets all wait and see what the results are.

  2. nanci May 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    well keandra i don’t care what you say, all mothers hurt when a baby die like that, no child 12 years old would commit such a horrible act against himself, your mother probably was too strict on him and he could take it anymore. I keep reading about family issues, is mental illness a part of the mother’s history? because i think people putting good words to substituted for the real words. I hurt and i dont even know the child. I didnt even want to listen to the tape she recorded for the nation news, its too late, he is gone, the child should be in school, not lying in a morgue.

  3. Ormond Mayers May 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Well the family is hurting so sad. We all are anticipating the results of the Autopsy, then the hurt may turn out greater.


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