Thursday, March 17, 2011

Memorial Service, March 18th

Today is a beautiful day. Strangely so. We have had so many beautiful days since the earthquake. It's an odd feeling, to be a place where that is so broken, and yet so beautiful. Some days I have to make myself work hard to enjoy sunshine, children, well, life all together, really. It isn't just the traffic, the queues, or constant daily small difficulties of getting on with life, its the thoughts, and memories that take me away. The worry of what will happen with insurance, the thoughts of others suffering worse than we are, wondering what the future looks like, and knowing that life here will just simply be hard to live, for along time to come.

Just now, even as I write, the Memorial Service has begun. Four hundred seats have been put out for the families of those who have died. One hundred thousand people are there in Hagley Park, there to remember, there to mourn. I'm home, watching it on TV. It started with a video of our city, so that we, the people of this broken city, can see what has happened. It's hard for me to look, impossible not to, and yes I am crying. We knew, but yet didn't, the extent of the damage.

Prince William, Prime Minister Gillard and many others have come to mourn with us. Prince William has done the royal family proud, with his willingness to walk through the rain and talk to the people who have lost family members. Maybe it is because, he too, has suffered great grief.

I embrace the Maori opening. This is New Zealand, and it is our Maori culture that makes us different. So our grief, must also reflect our culture and our difference.

There were debates about the memorial service today. Many said it was too soon. Business trying to get back on their feet, have said this is too hard, to have a closed day just as they are getting back on their feet. Others have said, they needed more time, to distance themselves. I'm ready. I want it. I think the city needs it. If some need to wait, I don't mind. When they are ready to mourn, I will join them on that day as well.


  1. I am so, so sorry for your loss. For the people that lost family and friends, for all of you who lost your beautiful city. You will rebuild--of course you will. But it will never be exactly as it was. That does need to be mourned so you can begin to heal. My heart is with you.

  2. You embrace us all with your words allowing us to know what it's like from the inside. You are one brave lady.