Saturday, March 5, 2011

Earthquakes and Words of.....

Comfort... opening my facebook, reading an email, talking on the phone or in person to a friend or family member, these words have been a life-line of emotional support to me. Words of comfort are more important than I ever realised. How I now wish I had spoken more of them in my life. When David Cameron spoke from Kuwait on the TV, I nearly cried. Harper in Canada, less emotional but I clung on every word, a note from Obama, seemed a let down, Gillard's words expected and appreciated (along with the hundreds of Australian man-power here on the ground within hours!) Our own PM John Key was in his finest hour when he called himself a son of Christchurch and said your pain is our pain. Only words...but words of comfort are powerful.

Information ... words of information have become like gold. Lack of those words leaves a hollow that is deep. I wait for words that tell me what has happened, when power or water or sewage will be returned, and I fight back the thought that needing that information is foolish beside those who wait for information about lost loved-ones.

Encouragement...every time someone says, Christchurch will rise again, it is incredible the fighting spirit that renews in myself and all around me. When someone on TV or real life says, Cantaberians are a resilient or fighters or strong, I think we rise up and become more resilient, stronger and fight harder.

Pain...are important. Each time I tell my story, it has less power to hurt me. Each time I hear the story of another who went through the day, I know I shared it with someone else. Each time I hear the story of great courage, I realise how far people can be pushed and still come back. Each time I hear the story of loss of babies, sisters, brothers, sons, fathers, mothers and loved-ones, though I don't think I can bear it any more, I hope it helps that someone else is sharing their pain.

Humour-- Being me, I made it through the last earthquake on the back of my rather strange sense of humour. I'm finding it harder to reach into that bag of tricks this time. That is not to say I don't appreciate a good story or joke..and can giggle or even laugh when one comes my way. But making earthquake jokes is just not serving me this time. (Okay--stop with the sighs of relief already!) Some day maybe I will once again make those jokes so prepare yourself for that torture. But as I wait to see how many have lost their lives, I can only feel sorrow. Smiles and laughter are far away.
Written by Barbara on February 25th

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