Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Every. One.

As I write the death toll for the Victorian Bushfires stands at 181. It seems that it's still expected to rise significantly, even up to another 100. Unthinkable.

And although I think it right that the damage and destruction be measured in precious lives lost, rather than how many dollars of damage are caused it is a horrendously large number. Even though people have lost homes, livelihoods and items of sentimental meaning for them it's not the 'face value' of them that matters so much, it's the meaning beyond the dollars.

I'm certain that for most of us death in a fire must come close to the top of the list of worst possible way to go. And the number of deaths is staggering.

The tales of personal loss are staggering.

And that's where it sticks for me. Every one of those lives had meaning. Every one leaves behind family or friends who mourn their loss. I would hate for those individuals to get lost behind the statistics.

There is a community of suffering down in Victoria at the moment. It seems that the survivors are looking out for each other and others have come to help look after them, but I'm not certain that the individual loss is lessened by the fact that so many others have also lost loved ones.

I also feel for all those who have lost loved ones in the last few days across the rest of Australia. There are people missing in the floods up north. I'm certain that there would have been people who have died with cancer... heart attacks... stroke. People who have had car accidents. Every one is important. The loss that their loved ones are experiencing is just as real as those from down south - just not as widely publicised.

How many lives lost over the last week count for something?

... Every. One.


Lilly's Life said...

Great post. Some of the stories emerging are horrific. The feeling of panic when you knew you had no escape must have been terrible. Whole families. There are not many words to sum it up are there?

Femina said...

It is simply awful. I know people who've lost houses. I know people who've lost friends. Everyone seems to have been touched by this in some way. There are two Christian campsites in Marysville, one of the towns that was completely wiped out, and practically every church here and most schools have had a camp or retreat there at some point... although there was no loss of life involved, it really made it hit home with so many people that this familiar place, where so many of us have stayed, is gone. I know a number of school kids who feel shaken up by it because suddenly this slightly distant tragedy just came a whole lot closer.

And the thing is... in three months from now when the fires are well and truly over and it's not on the news and we've started to forget about it... the houses will still be gone. People will still be struggling to rebuild. Lives will still have been lost. It will go off our tv screens but the survivors will still need our help and prayers.

Total Delights said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kitty and Glen said...

What a touching post. You are so right - counting the number of deaths doesn't encapsulate the fact that each person who died was an individual who mattered to a whole lot of people. With other events, like September 11 or even the Holocaust, the death toll is the coventional way of measuring the extent of the tragedy, but it doesn't personalise what's happened for people unless they actually know someone who has died. And as you said, each person who passes away, not just those in these visible disasters, represents a huge loss to those around them.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Very insightful and heartfelt post.
Yes, each single person mattered. post.
Yes, the stories emerging are so horrific and I cannot imagine a worst way to die .
Whole families , parents unable to protect their children.
The last minute text and phone calls ...
The long identification process and the dear ones they can't identify.The mourning and the grief is unthinkable.

Dee from Downunder said...

Very well said.

Givinya De Elba said...

Yes, very well said.

Half an hour ago I was tidiny something messy when I was thinking about your blog. Isn't she clever, I thought, to finish Every Single Post with "...Approximately None?"

Then you went and did an "Every. One." ending.

I decided I sorta liked that, it gave special meaning, for you to give up your "Approx None" ending!

Givinya De Elba said...

tidiny = tidying.


Mistress B said...

Well said.

(over visiting from WTBAY)