Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement

A Father’s Lament

Dear Adam, Christchurch Earthquake, Christchurch, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Dear Adam

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.

2 responses

  1. You’re right…it’s so difficult to lose a child…children aren’t supposed to die before their parents…and it takes a long, long time to recover.

    November 24, 2012 at 3:57 am

    • Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your comment. We have a friend who suffered losing a daughter this year to cancer. While we cannot know her deep personal grief, we share a grief of having known the daughter and understanding that this could have happened to one of own children.

      November 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

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