death

Memorial

Courtney Bercan, a nurse from Vancouver, Canada, worked with Médecins sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on a search-and-rescue boat in the Mediterranean in 2016, the Dignity I. In December 2018, MSF was forced to stop operations of its last rescue boat in the Mediterranean, the Aquarius, due to political pressure from several European countries. This news triggered harrowing memories for Courtney.

Life and death at sea

I am walking alone along a boardwalk by the sea after disembarking 417 passengers in Italy. I am trying to process the events of the last three days and feel numb. I am holding onto the handrail on a flat, straight path because somehow the rhythm and texture are making me feel grounded and I realize that even though there are cars whizzing by to my left and the sea crashing on the shore to my right, compared to the noises of the boat over the last few days, it sounds close to silence to me.