The widow of the billionaire who perished on the doomed Titanic submarine along with his son has spoken out and condemned OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.
Christine Dawood was onboard the rescue ship as search crews were looking for her husband, Shahzada, and their 19-year-old son Suleman after the OceanGate expedition to the bottom of the Atlantic came to a haunting end as the Titan submersible lost all contact with its support ship – Polar Prince.
After days of searching, Titan debris was discovered and it was confirmed that the submersible, along with its passengers and crew, imploded deep under the surface near the Titanic wreckage.
Now, grieving Dawood broke her silence and recalled the moment she and her daughter, Alina, learned they had lost half of their family.
“The moment we knew they’d found debris and there were no survivors, Alina and I went on deck. Until that moment we’d had hope. We took some cushions with us and just sat there looking out at the ocean. We were both crying,” she said.
“I turned to her and said ‘I’m a widow now.’ She said ‘Yes, and I’m a single child.’ Then we cried even more.”
She continued: “Apart from a few business trips when Shahzada would go back to [his native] Pakistan, we did everything together. It’s the waking up every morning that’s … sometimes I still don’t believe it. The possibility of it imploding never crossed our minds. To lose a husband is terrible, but when you lose a child…”
Speaking of her grief, Christine admitted she’s always loved being a mother while saying it felt unnatural to suddenly lose one of her children.
“No parent should have to grieve for their child. It’s unnatural. All of a sudden your purpose, your identity, is ripped away from you,” she added.
And while the family has no graves for Shahzada and Suleman, Christine and Alina go to the sea to feel their loved ones’ presence.
“There were no bodies, but recently we went to Singapore. The sea was warm enough for us to walk in and I truly felt them around me. I thought: ‘This is such a gift. I don’t need a grave because every time I am in the ocean I will be able to connect with them because they are part of it,’” The grieving wife said.
“We stood there with our skirts draped over our arms and cried for ten minutes straight. It was very, very cathartic. When I think of them now, they are just asleep down there.”
The mother also admitted she never wanted her husband and son to go on the dangerous adventure deep into the ocean. At the same time, however, she explained she didn’t want to deny them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Concluding her interview with The Daily Mail, Christine explained she didn’t know how exactly she feels about OceanGate. But she did admit that the company’s CEO Stockton Rush was not her “favorite person” after it was revealed he ignored warnings about his vessel being unsafe.
“It’s difficult because we don’t know exactly what happened as the investigation is on-going. But I do feel angry,” Christine said.
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