A Father’s Lament
Children are not supposed to die before their parents. Its one of those unwritten laws. So when an event occurs that takes away the life of a precious son or daughter there is often a period of prolonged grief, questioning and regret.
In February 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, suffered a devastating earthquake that took numerous lives and decimated the centre of this proud place. Many of the historic landmark buildings that defined Christchurch collapsed and claimed the lives of ordinary people in the course of their normal daily lives. Sons, daughters, husbands, wives, lovers, friends and relations died or were injured, some seriously.
In February my wife and I visited Christchurch to meet with friends and relations at the end of a short South Island holiday. It was a sobering visit. In the middle of what used to be the busiest shopping area in the CBD we found this lament attached to a chainlink fence enclosing a city in the process of demolition. Like all disasters, natural or man-made, the people who are intimately involved take the longest time to recover. Memories, regrets and sorrows linger with those left behind.