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Clouden speaks out on violence

Clouden speaks out on violence


For some people, wounds heal easily. However, for Kenlyn Clouden, the prospect of healing seems remote.

She is perhaps the person who has been most deeply affected by the spate of crime and violence that has ravaged the communities of Edinboro and Ottley Hall.{{more}} Clouden, a former national netballer, poured out her heart recently at Edinboro as she begged young men of both warring factions to desist from a life of crime. “Please stop it…it is hard for me to see young people act in this way. I have lost my daughter just like that!” she pleaded.

The icy hands of death grabbed two of Clouden’s children in similar fashion in 2008 within months of each other. They were both gunned down in a manner reminiscent of Hollywood movies. First it was her 25-year-old son Sean Clouden, who was shot six times about his body by a masked gunman on October 10, 2008, at San Souci, as he was about to enter his car. Less than two months later, tragedy reared its ugly head again. On Wednesday, December 3, her daughter Shereen Clouden fell victim to a drive-by shooting as she stood at the side of the public road in Edinboro. She was shot in the head.

Speaking exclusively to SEARCHLIGHT last week, Clouden stated that it is hard for her to deal with both deaths since she has had no closure, as she does not know the motive behind her children’s death. “I don’t think I will ever be able to heal from this…the only thing that bothers me is not knowing the reason behind it all,” she lamented. Death has been inviting itself into the Clouden clan since 2006. Her third son, Gary Clouden died 10 days after he was involved in a horrific vehicle accident on September 3, at Gordon Yard, an interior village along the Leeward Highway.

When asked how she has been able to deal with the loss of three of her children, the long stare, water logged eyes and drop of the head were enough evidence to put all suspicions to rest. She has not been handling it well! “I don’t think I am really coping sometimes, but I pray without ceasing and God has been the one I look to,” she added. The still ailing mother, who shook her head repeatedly from side to side, said that one question has been on her mind from since 2006. “Why me?” “Sometimes I wonder if I ever did something wrong to anyone,” Clouden stated.

Clouden has vivid reminders of her two deceased sons in the two children they left behind. “Every time I watch them kids and think about them, I feel sad to know that they would grow without knowing their fathers,” Clouden cried.

The popular netball and basketball referee says she does not want another mother to go through what she has been through, so she is urging parents to talk to their young ones as much as possible and teach them right from wrong. “The problem has to do with a lot of parents because they are not rebuking their kids, but instead they are taking part in the war,” she asserted.

Many would say that revenge would be the best antidote for the pain Clouden has been experiencing. However, she admitted that at no time has the thought of revenge lingered in her mind. “I don’t ever think about that at all because I know God will deal with that…I don’t know if someone else might have dealt with it like I did, but if I had to choose that road, I would have done burn down the whole of Edinboro,” she stated.

To this day, Clouden expresses fear for her life and the life of her other children. She claims that persons have threatened her daughter on numerous occasions since Shereen was shot. “Some people who and me used to talk good, stopped talking to me after Tiny’s (Shereen) death as if I killed one of their children. She recalled the many nights during which she would wake in the wee hours of the morning just to make sure the house was secured properly.

Speaking on the current state of affairs in Edinboro and Ottley Hall, Clouden said that she is most scared for the young ones who are being influenced by the men involved in the gangs. “I am not so worried about the older ones, but now it is the little kids who are getting involved….Whose child is next? Please, young people, you can do much better than this,” she urged. “If you ask them what they fighting over, none of them can’t even tell you,” she noted. She commended Commissioner Keith Miller for his efforts in helping with the crime situation but still believes that it is going to take a lot more than police intervention to rid both communities of crime.