Tuesday, 2 June 2009

When the news happens to you

Yesterday, I went out to photograph someone who I thought was a brave, yet foolhardy, windsurfer. Part of me admired his thrill-seeking spirit, while the rest of me was just plain freezing cold. At the same time at Lyall Bay, a surfing beach across town, a surfer died after colliding with another surfer out on the water.

The surfer was my childhood neighbour. He is six weeks younger than me (33) and has a wife and two young daughters, with a third baby on the way in January. A lifelong surfer, he would have seen our recent stormy weather as an adventure-seeking opportunity, quite the opposite to me, who is more than happy to cuddle up with a book and a cup of coffee. Along with our neighbours on the other side of my parents' home, we all grew up together; we still call each others' mothers "Aunty" and fathers "Uncle", even though we're not technically related like that. Our parents' families also grew up in the same local community and originated from the same small village in Italy, Stromboli. Our roots go far beyond merely living in the same neighbourhood.

How is it possible to feel shocked, devastated, numb, and disbelieving all at the same time? So far, this morning has dragged on for an eternity, yet it has only been about an hour and a half since I heard the news. I don't know what to do with myself; any actions will somehow mean that I have to confirm the news in one way or another, either inside of my own mind or in relation to the rest of the world. Like everyone, my family awaits further details. How can the news be something that has happened to us?

Words simply cannot describe the emotions I feel right now.

RIP Tony.


Sab said...

I am so sorry! That is terrible! I'll pray for you and your family, and his as well.

A baby on the way? I SO want to cry for his wife!

Arual said...

Sorry to hear about this. My thoughts are with you.

Evelyn said...

How AWFUL. Yes, each tragedy affects so many others, doesn't it? My prayers are with you all of your family.. . . especially Tony's wife and children.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

We are human made of flesh that’s easily cut and torn. It's easier than we think to lose a limb. But flesh heals, though it takes time in convalescence. It may take longer, depending on how much it is torn. When it is healed sometimes the pain and discomfort is still there in the scar. Rubbing it helps. People who see the scar may sympathise and this helps too.

Loss of friends, acquaintances, relatives and loved ones can be like tearing flesh from us. The convalescence is called grief and this takes time to ease. It may take longer, depending on how much is torn. When it's easier, sometimes pain or discomfort is still there. But there is no scar to see. To rub it requires thinking about grief that’s passed and that helps. People don’t recognise pain and suffering that continues after most grief has passed for they don’t see a scar. It is good to speak of it and to let them know it’s there.