Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Christchurch Quakes II


Thank you for the love and concern I've received for me and my family over the past half-day, from near and far.

We are fine. We are far from the chaos, in physical terms, but I do feel odd sucking down a hot Milo from the comforts of my bed, when I am but a few hours drive from tragedy, displacement and disaster.

I am met with sighs of relief as sincere and loving friends enquire after my brother and his family's well being (in Christchurch) when I respond that they are safe. Naturally, there should be relief. But there's also other feelings; feelings of confusion. Yes, my family is safe. Some of my friends are hurt, but they are also safe. But this doesn't make me happy. I'm still sad, because everyone who is hurt, missing, or part of the rising death toll (I dread the morning's official update), is someone's family; somebody's "somebody." So I get it. I get the relief...but as soon as the number of dead is announced, it is a sickening feeling to wish "your" people are not among that number; that someone else's people are - to wish that grief on someone else.

I cannot comprehend what people there are feeling - nor in any place on this earth where such events are occurring. Today I've dwelled on many imagined scenarios that would terrify me;
  • being in labour in a city struck by such a cataclysm; or
  • being a parent of children from which I was separated for any period of time; or
  • being a member of a family waiting on someone who still hasn't come home tonight.
...to name a few.

I don't know how children will return to schools (once open) after having been separated from their parents for this paralysing dose of déjà vu. I fear the grisly finds that will be made days from now. I worry how many people will never be able to return to their homes, and how Christchurch will attract residents in the future.

I'm grateful we at least have some building codes in this country, and that a quake of this intensity did not hit an area abroad where the death toll would now be in the 1000's. I'm thankful that so many people care. I'm glad our country has communication systems that are still working to bring some people some peace.

So thank you again, kind emailers/texters/FBers, for being part of what I'm thankful for; for the love and concern human beings demonstrate in such times.

And if this event (or one like it) is very close to home for you right now (geographically or by association), I am praying for you. And that's not just a trite offering, I mean you're the meat of the prayers I'm sending to heaven right now.
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