what is your idea of graphic photos?

In an effort to learn about the tragic death of the Georgian Olympic athlete today, I googled it. I found a link to the Huffington Post (usually my choice for interesting articles) and read the headline stating that there were graphic photos. Now, in my mind I know what graphic photos are. However, published graphic photos, to me, are different. What I saw was what I thought should remain in my mind. It was unreal. It was sick. It was wrong. So very wrong.

As a nurse, I’ve seen death. I’ve seen the peaceful death of a hospice patient finally at peace surrounded by family and love. I’ve seen the sudden death of a heart attack – pulseless, lifeless. I’ve seen the horrific death with CPR, intubation, IV lines, drills…Relentless…tiring.

Being as I’ve seen such things, I can say without hesitation, this was uncalled for. I had imagined the graphic photo would be of the poor soul hitting the metal piping. Instead, I saw him bloodied, intubated…paramedics searching for a pulse…his eyes were open but he was dead.

Why has the media taken it to this level?

Sadly, this brings me to a flashback from 2004. Remember reading in the news of the poor American, Nick Berg, who was decapitated in Iraq? I do. I remember it so vividly, because morbid curiosity got the best of me and I watched that sick video. It has haunted me since. It was by far the worst decision I have ever made. Ever. I had nightmares about it for months. I can safely say it has been a significant reason for my insomnia back then. But why did I watch it?

My guess is that because we live in a clean state of mind, we have to dirty the waters by trying to understand the unimaginable. While some people deal with this kind of sadness and destruction daily, I don’t. My sadness is minimal in comparison. I had to try to grasp this. That piece of real world, not created by Hollywood directors.

The video was horrific. The sounds were unnerving. Even now, when I close my eyes even for a moment, I can still hear it. One wrong decision six years ago…

While this wasn’t a murder of beheading, this was a tragic death. Those photos may be the first taste someone has of such a tragedy. This may be their Nick Berg. No amount of warning will keep people from viewing it. It’s unfair to Nodar Kumaritashvili’s family. It’s unfair to Nodar Kumaritashvili body. It’s unfair to Nodar Kumaritashvili.


About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on February 12, 2010, in Cassie and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I agree that these photos are too much. It doesn’t respect the dignity or humanity of the man who died. However, other graphic photos of people who die in the streets during protesting dictatorial regimes (i.e. Iran) are incredibly important for the world to see because those people are dying for what they believe in. Or the genocide in places like Darfur – we NEED to see those images or people just don’t get it. The photos of this tragedy and the close-up nature of them is too much.

  2. I considered looking up the videos of Nick Berg or Daniel Pearl, so many years ago, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to bear it. After reading your poignant post, I’m so glad I didn’t.

    Hell, I couldn’t even watch Saving Private Ryan, just because I knew it wasn’t fiction. I can only imagine how many sleepless nights would follow seeing something as real as that YouTube snuff film.

  3. I didn’t watch the video of the Georgian athlete’s fatal accident, and I don’t plan to. Not only is it (according to The Guy) sickeningly graphic, I know *I* certainly wouldn’t want strangers all over the world watching ME die.

    My heart goes out to his family. They shouldn’t have to endure this on top of everything else.

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