I doubt there is a family in New Zealand who has not been touched by the devastating tragedy in Christchurch this week.
When the reports started coming through on Twitter thoughts immediately went to friends who live there and text messages, Facebook posts and tweets went out to all, with a hope that all would come back with the words “we are all safe”. I am very lucky to say that all those I know and love were safe and are well and their loss is limited to material possessions which in the scheme of things are trivial.
I simply cannot comprehend how those families who have lost love ones and those who still wait for news must feel. As a mother our primal instinct is always to protect our young and the thought of losing a child, what ever age, is incomprehensible. It’s simply heartbreaking.
On the back of this devastation however, our country has shown it’s true mettle. An outpouring of generosity from far and wide, messages from international diginitries, celebrities and royalty just goes to show the impact this event has had. Despite this, I would say that the messages of support, the on-the-ground help and the ever increasing events to raise money to help our fellow citizens must surely show those who are living through this nightmare that they are not alone.
There are many symbols in the world that evoke strong emotions – red poppy, white cross, the peace symbol but one that is sure make you catch your breath is your country’s flag flying at half mast. For me the sight of the New Zealand flag fluttering midway on it’s pole brings to mind two things – initially it’s a poignant reminder that lives have been lost, hearts have been broken and things will never be the same, thoughts then move to the fact that flag is never flown lower and that it’s only option is to rise back to the top of it’s mast flying proudly in the face of adversity.
And so, for now, our flag flies at half mast …
Kia Kaha Christchurch.
Image kindly drawn by @donna0donoghue.