Today is the third anniversary of the day 185 people lost their lives, and we lost our city.
We’ve been told the third year after a natural disaster is the worst for mental health issues to come out. Somehow, people who have been coping okay until now find they’re not coping so well any more.
There has recently been a poster campaign asking the question: “All Right?”
Am I all right? Most of the time I feel okay. Sometimes it still hits. Anniversaries like this one trigger memories. I found my jaw aching this week – I’d been unconsciously clenching my teeth. Little irritants have cause more of a reaction than normal. I’ve found myself having to stop and breathe a bit more. I’m trying to use the strategies and techniques I learned from counselling to look after myself emotionally and spiritually.
When I go into what used to be the city centre, and see yet more open spaces where there aren’t supposed to be open spaces. I can’t get used to that. My gut twists inside of me when I see landmarks through the middle of what used to be two city blocks. It’s not “all right.”
There are some positives still. There is still a lot of colour and creativity and vibrancy to the city where there used to be grey stone or dungy brick. That gives me hope that the New city to come will be even better than the Old.
But there’s also this weird juxtaposition that we’ve sort of got used to: vibrant colour, creative artwork immediately adjacent to and surrounded by rubble and de-construction and re-construction. There’s a weird mingling of hope and grief. All right? Maybe.
Please keep praying for our city. The ground may have stopped shaking, but the journey is only just begun for us.