Have you been like me, totally numbed, by the events of last Friday? I have quite literally sobbed my way through the news coverage every evening. My thoughts turn to the tragedy through the day. We flew that route home two months ago, almost to the day.
What a tragic, needless, loss of life. More than 80 children who will now never grow up. While, a small number in comparison to those killed from the Netherlands, there were 28 Australians and a further 8 permanent residents on that flight.
One family, from my home town of Perth, lost their three children aged 8, 10 and 12. The children were flying home with their Grandfather. The parents were staying a couple of days longer in Europe. I can not comprehend their grief - to lose your young children, and live yourself to me is the greatest horror I can imagine. As our Prime Minister said these were your neighbours...children, parents, brothers and sisters.
Then there was the body of the toddler on the news. Though covered by a sheet...the child lay with arms flailed out in much the same position as my slumbering toddler in the next room, similar blonde hair was visible from the top of the sheet. That could have been my child plays again through my head. And, my husband turns to make sure I am ok because now the sobs are audible.
I rang my Mum shortly after that..because you know when you are upset....you ring your Mum. At least I do. She and I both had a teary on the phone...and after that I felt much better. Mr Provincial and I decided to leave the news off for a few days - something that was a good move as it has immensely improved my outlook during the latter part of this week.
The whole incident of MH-17 puts pale to that false safety we have about the fragility of life. In the last hundred years, at least in the West, we have made such strides to eliminate child mortality. So few are touched by it - that even a single instance is disturbing. To see it on this scale is horrifying. I am sure that is only now because I have children and more sensitive to it, but hearing of the loss of any child sends shivers down my spine.
Truly, though, I am so amazed by the strength and faith of people, parents and children, who are able to carry on in these circumstances. Some people have amazing God-given fortitude don't they?
I leave you with a quote from the TV show Call the Midwife which has stayed with me for many months. In one episode, Sister Monica Joan, in a reasonably lucid moment, remarks..
“When do you suppose babies became so very precious? Are they more valued now because they can survive or do they survive because they are more valued?”
Thinking of those precious little souls.....and hugging mine closer and hoping you are too because of such is the Kingdom of God.