Ongoing support needed for victims of tragic events

ONE thing about being a journalist is you are thrust into the frontline of tragic events.

We attend fires, car accidents, criminal activities and follow the aftermath of events like the recent Cyclone Marcia.

There are times, unfortunately, these events are close to home.

I have always worried while reporting on these events I would come across people I know.

In a close-knit community like CQ, it is bound to happen.

This week there was a house fire in Yeppoon where a young family with four children escaped in only what they were wearing.

I was in the newsroom when I heard about the fire and my heart sank when I heard the address.

So close to home.

It turned out to be closer than I thought. Next door in fact.

When I saw the photographer's images come through, I was shocked to see what was left of my neighbours' house.

There wasn't much.

My own house had lost part of the roof due to Cyclone Marcia just over two weeks ago.

It remains empty while I wait for power to be restored and the roof to be replaced.

It could be months before it can be lived in again.

But the house next door is now a pile of ashes.

There are no repairs to be done. It is a start all over job.

And for some of what was lost in the fire; well that family will never get any of it back.

Photographs, treasured family possessions, whatever it may be; they are gone.

It has been said they were lucky to get out alive.

And so that may be.

But I bet they aren't feeling too lucky at this point in time.

While many members of the community have rallied around in support, offering replacement clothing, food and homewares, there are the ongoing issues they will face.

That is where our community needs to keep giving long after the home is rebuilt.

The same applies to all affected by any crisis, including Cyclone Marcia.

There was much talk about connecting with your neighbours and making sure they were okay after the cyclone.

We need to remember to keep it up long after the physical evidence is gone.

The mental evidence may still be there.

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