This week I have taken a step back from writing and I would like to take this opportunity to remember the victims of what is now being dubbed as the Sydney Siege.
Around 9:45am (Sydney EDT), news spread worldwide of a gunman holding hostages in the Lindt Cafe on Martin Place, Sydney. As we all prayed for a peaceful resolution, in the early hours of Tuesday morning the Sydney Siege came to an abrupt end. Three people lost their lives that morning, two were innocent victims, the other was the gunman. Now I am not going to post pictures of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson throughout this post, in a similar fashion to the media. I am not going to speculate on the situation and how it could have possibly been avoided. No, that is not something I am going to do, it’s not reason I am posting. I am not going to discuss the personal lives of the victims and their families, especially without their permission. If you’re interested in that then Google it yourself, there is more than enough of that in the media coverage. What I want, is to remember those we’ve lost, particularly Katrina and Tori, the eight children murdered in Cairns and the victims of the Pakistani school massacre. All innocent lives taken violently, long before it was their time.
Sadly, these families are now preparing to lay their loved ones to rest, instead of preparing to spend the festive season celebrating with them. I’m not at all trying to put a “downer” on your celebrations, I’m simply asking you to take a moment to remember those who are grieving, those who have experienced loss, those who need a helping hand.
Perhaps you have seen on the news the sea of flowers being placed at a makeshift memorial on Martin Place, whilst this is an amazing sight and a wonderful tribute to the victims, flowers don’t last forever. In Katrina’s honour, The Katrina Dawson Foundation has been established. The foundation will focus on the education of women. Of course the foundation is still in it’s early days of establishment, if you would like to, you can find more information about the foundation here. Lindt Australia and Tori’s partner have requested that donations be made to beyondblue and with their help, a webpage has been set up so people can make donations in his honour. If you like, you can view the page here.
Now, don’t go thinking that I am now out to solicit donations from all of you, this is not my intention either. In our rush to organise everything for Christmas, I am simply asking you to perhaps stop for a moment, offer a thought or prayer for those who are experiencing grief and loss at a time when others are celebrating a joyous time with their families and loved ones.
I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak that these families are experiencing and how difficult it must be. May they take some comfort in knowing that Tori and Katrina touched the lives of many and their memory live on.
Whether you are a religious person or not, place your thoughts with those who have experienced loss and with the loved ones of Tori and Katrina as they prepare to lay them to rest. I offer this prayer,
Eternal rest grand unto them O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them,
May they rest in peace, Amen.
So as Christmas comes near, take a moment to remember those we’ve lost and celebrate with those you love.
© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.