I always think about this whenever I see photographs taken from spots where people die from drowning.
There is a reason to write about the choke that people might have felt during those few seconds before their deaths. It’s a photograph that I saw a few days back which literally triggered my thoughts about the few seconds of sufferings that they might have had before death.
The photograph was taken from the river valley in NY. A plane had nosedived in to the river killing three; and the photo was taken when divers where trying to take out the dead body of a person. His left hand was seen above the water level, as if he had lost his life after a long tug of war with death. Death might have grabbed him, in the midst of his efforts hold the hands of life tightly.
If holding my breath for even a second can literally falter my steps making me fall down in a moment, what would have been the condition of that man, in those few moments? He might have struggled a lot to get out of the murky water, to get a little bit of air. The hand was raised up above the water level, indicating the struggle that he did before surrendering to death, the suffocation that he suffered during those few moments before his death.
I was also thinking about the thoughts that might have gone through his mind during that time. He might have thought about his family whom he is about to leave alone on earth. He might have hoped that someone might help him get out of the muddy water, so that he could breathe, he could walk back to life, meet his family and live with them for a few more years.
I read a news report related to the photograph, the very next day, that a few people had complained about publishing such photographs, about the shock that they can cause. But the news paper alleged that it was the best photo that they could get from the spot.
I am not planning to go deeper in to press ethics or its dos and don’ts, but the photo is truly a shocking and tear-jerking one.