For some don’t remain. So far fourteen you and me’s are confirmed dead. There will be more. My heart grieves for those loved ones who must surf the hardest of all emotional journeys; that of loved ones dying.
In my mind now are images of people trapped in their houses screaming at the top of the windows as their house floats pass. People sitting on top of their car frantically waving at the helicopter that couldn’t reach them. Mums have lost their children. Images too horrible to comprehend.
Of course there’s the loss of ‘things’. It’s hard to lose things. Be it a 5000 year old ming vase or that little ridiculous present your son gave you at five, or the car you worked overtime to get; the loss of things causes mini-griefs because of the meaning they hold.
As the impact of trauma on so many starts to overwhelm my mind my spirit steps in and says hey but look…this too is true.
How lucky we are here in Australia despite our land of ‘fire n flood’.
As I watch helicopters rush to save as many as possible I think of those countries where no help comes.
I watch as all level of government ministers State and Federal stand side by side activating procedures, visiting communities, guaranteeing funds. All saying ‘we are here for you’, ‘now and for the long-run’, ‘together we are strong’ and ‘we will get through this’. Words people need without the spin polis usually need.
For some unknown reason I was lucky enough to be born here in Australia. As I watch Aussie help Aussie, our ‘always lend a hand’ compassion in action ethos, our ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off’ response and our ‘she’ll be right mate’ attitude come to the fore, I’m very grateful to that piece of luck that landed me, and my son, here. So my grief becomes tempered by gratitude.
I wish all could live in such a place. Where the color of your skin didn’t affect folk stepping up and helping. Where there is enough money to provide exceptional help and support. Where the political system exists to serve the people and the people expect them to step up when the occasion demands it.
I think of how amazingly lucky we are that we get annoyed that the supermarket shelves are not fully stocked right now due to flooded roads though there is absolutely no lack. We are annoyed because we are used to having everything.
So with grief comes gratitude and by their balance we are able to move forward. But hopefully we will take with us the reminder of how much we have and the question that follows. What can we do for others with less than us?