Feb. 10th, 2009

lirion: (Default)
I know and know of too many people affected by them.

I think one of the most heartbreaking stories I've heard was from my co-worker this morning, just off the phone from her mother. Her cousin's husband's mother had been helping out at a relief station all day and then headed off to give blood. She was sitting comfortablly at home,s tood up and said "i'm feeling..." and collapsed, dead instantly of a massive heart attack.
I realise that it's not as devastating as people who have lost everything in the fire, but it really affected me, that it wasn't fire related and that she'd been giving so much of herself to assist those who lost in the fire.

Family friends in King Lake saved their house. They are some of the lucky ones.

A distant cousin in Toolangi survived the fire going straight over her mudbrick home this morning, while her husband was off helping fight other fires. All teh outbuildings are gone but the house is ok. She let her horses loose and so far one has returned safe.

To mention just a few of the stories. There are more.

I think part of what effects me so strongly is that looking out the window, it's a nice looking day. I can see sunshine and at least partly blue skies. Have been able to since Sunday. It's hard to relate this to the hell that people are living. I feel like I should be able to see some evidence, as in other times of bushfires where a pall of amoke has hung across Melbourne etc. It's like an insulated bubble capsule and I'm finding it really hard.

My heart goes out to so many people. I will be donating blood. And old clothes and towels etc. It's what I can do. Though it feels like not enough.
Not for nearly 200 dead and 800+ homes.

I do have to say though, I am heartened by the response of the Victorian (and wider) community. It's appaling and horrifying that such a tragedy has occurred. But to know that there have been 13,000 blood donations, and nearly $10 million raised already, even aside from volunteers and donations of Non monetary items - including people opening up their spare rooms to fire victims - that's something that warms my heart after the situation has wrenched it so solidly.

And as Penguin2 mentions, think of the animals as well. There are so many of them now injured and helpless, domestic animals are homeless, farm animals and wildlife no longer have feed and habitat etc. All creatures great and small.

I worry about how this will impact our farmers, already doing things so tough in these wretched conditions. How many of them will decide that this is the last straw, that they can't rebuild, keep going etc. And what will that do to us? The chain of events just keeps unfolding. And the cost isn't just felt in lives and houses. Not to mention the further effects on the drought.

That said, may the arsonists burn. I will not shed a tear if they are among the victims. My only complaint will be that if they died in thwir own fire then no-one will know what they did. If only because those who suffer should know that the person responsible was dealt natural justice.

That any of this came about from deliberate malice...words fail me. I cannot comprehend. The scope of the devastation is hard enough to get my head around, let alone the cause.


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