Words by Alyssia Tennant.
I do not know you, nor can I even begin to comprehend the pain that you might be feeling. In light of the very recent tragedy that you have faced, I feel the need to reach out to you and extend a compassionate hand. I understand that an event as horrific as this affects your lives in ways that I don’t understand, and that I can’t understand; but the world feels your loss, as it reminds us of how fragile and precious our lives all are, and how easily our lives may be taken from us.
I am writing to say that I am sorry for your great loss. On behalf of myself, because even with the phenomenal privilege I enjoy, I cannot end the emotional pain that you must now endure. The way we react to a disaster such as this, the way we move forward from this, has an impact way beyond our borders. The world can be an indiscriminate place to many people who deserve it least, and you, living in a country already largely economically dependent on tourism, are least deserving of the aftermath that this will see.
In many articles, your loved ones are not named and in many cases, they are just a statistic, but that factor does not encapsulate all that they were and their memory will live on with you. Remember all that they were, but live on knowing that nations have you in their prayers and in their thoughts. I know that we all react to trauma differently, and that there is no right or wrong way to feel. It takes time to process pain and other emotions, to assimilate the experience into your lives, but I hope you have the emotional support that you need during this time. I don’t doubt that the pain you may be feeling is excruciating, but I hope your suffering today will see a brighter future tomorrow.
Although we can come together to rebuild your great home, we cannot bring back those you’ve lost and for that I am devastated on your behalf. It is easy to second guess other people – and ourselves – with the vision of hindsight, but I want to take this opportunity to remember, and believe, that you did all that you could and to remind you that you are not the ones who caused this horrific incident. It’s nobody’s fault, and yet you must suffer regardless. I’m sorry.
I have faith that the world – your neighbours and those across the oceans – will rise to the opportunity to offer you help in whatever way you may need.
Please take care.
Our thoughts are with you.
Image by The Associated Press