Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One year later - the 5th stage.

  I thought about doing a very in depth blog for the one year anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake but I am pretty sure my husband will have that covered in his blog Being a former journalist, he is into the details and facts. My blog is essentially written for my family and the 3 other people that read it and believe me, they know every detail of that day.

  I was sitting at home last night feeling a bit sorry for myself. My husband is back in Christchurch for the anniversary with our Ambassador. I was watching the interviews and reports of the quake and reliving the hours I was there. When I was running through those streets, I remember bricks and debris falling and I remember stepping over them or running away from them as they rolled toward me, but to be honest, I didn't realize how devastating it was in other areas of the city as well, I was just moving and dodging. It wasn't until I got back to Wellington  and saw the news footage that I realized just how devastating it was and how lucky my husband and I were. A lot has happened since then and though it still makes me sad to watch the footage, I am no longer anxious and depressed about the earthquake and I am beginning to feel differently about it.

So, today I will focus on the many positives in my life. I am clearly approaching the 5th stage of grief

  I am lucky. Not just because of that day but because I have a great life. I have a great marriage and I have unbelievable children. I have all of this because I am a very strong and capable woman. My husband and I enjoy one of the best marriages on the planet not because of luck but because we are both decent people and have the skills to respectfully communicate with each other and share this life together. Plus, he's really hot.

 I have two outgoing, respectful, smart and talented children who will still cuddle up to me and tell me about their day and how much they love me.

 I just bought a beautiful old house that I really love and hope to make into my forever dream home.

 I live a varied and interesting life with the opportunity to go anywhere in the world where there is an embassy.

 I have been able to collect a handful of really great friends, I know Jennifer would drop everything without hesitation or explanation if I needed her.

 I still have my two grandmothers! Peg brings me so much joy, all I have to do is hear her voice on the other end of the phone and I know I am going to smile today.

 My Dad and his wife are always there to listen. He knows better than to give me advice about emotional stuff but if I start talking about mechanics or fixing something, we can talk for hours. It calms me, I think he knows this.

 I have been lucky enough to have married into a unbelievable family. They couldn't be more different than me but they accept me. I think they even love me sometimes:) They are kind and smart and beautiful and best of all, fiercely loyal.

 So, yeah. I am not going to mourn today. I am happy to be alive and happy that I still get to wake up every morning to these beautiful people in my life and make them laugh, make them cry, make them shake their heads and sometimes just wonder ;)

 Naturally I have been questioning how the earthquake affected me personally and if it has made me stronger or has somehow made me weak. I don't know yet but what I do know is that many of the folks that were in Christchurch but don't live there are still a part of this. They seem to be the forgotten ones. Somehow they don't count and are not entitled to mourn or be depressed. They are told to get over it whenever there is a shake here and hide under their desks. One friend of mine was told she should seek counseling because surely she should be over it by now, it has been a year after all. Perhaps some of us cannot get over it becuase nobody aknowledges that we were there, and afraid and in danger.

 If you run into a survivor today that looks sad or scared or just a bit shell shocked, how about giving them a pat on the back or a hug and tell them how glad you are that they are still here and if they need to talk, you'd be happy to listen. Belittling them and minimizing their experience down there is incredibly damaging. Watch the footage on TV, it brings it into perspective. Remember, you weren't there and you have no idea the raw fear that many of us felt. It did matter, it still does and always will.

 Now, me and my girls are off to put flowers in traffic cones as and act of solidarity with the Cantabrians. I don't know who came up with the idea but if I had to bet money on it, I'd say Adrian had something to do with it. He is obsessed with cones.


  1. Stronger. Hands down, you are stronger.

  2. Beautiful, Ame. And, yes, you are definitely stronger. I'm glad you decided to mark today in the way you did. Looking forward. The folks in Christchurch were trying to do the same thing.

  3. You are correct. I would be there in a heartbeat. I might have to bring my kids, but I would be there. :-)

  4. A perfect post to mark the anniversary. And I agree with Nomads - you are stronger.

  5. You are an honorary Cantabrian, and not forgotten by those of us in Christchurch. We know that there were people from all over the world touched by this, and they are all bound together in our hearts. It sounds like you're starting to heal - be patient with yourself, it does take time. (And if you think talking it over with someone will help don't discount the counselling - lots of us in Chch have needed it too.) I liked reading your uplifting and positive post. Thank you for sharing.

  6. You know what they say "Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger."

    I too like the way you have chosen to mark the anniversary!

    Big hugs!