The incredible institution of rememberance in Australia made me think on the universal experience of grief that we all share, or will share.
If we were living in 1914, would Michael have been called up to fight? What might that loss have been like?
Imagine the fear and courage of all those men and women (200,000 Australians lost in WW1 alone) who met their fate on foreign shores…
Their loved ones didn’t have the chance that I had, the chance to see and touch their husbands, sons, fathers one last time before they died.
No chance to say goodbye.
No chance to allow their brain, heart, mind to witness the death of someone within whom a part of their own heart and soul resides.
How incredibly difficult is the act of grief ahead of them; to comprehend not only the circumstances of their loved ones’ passing, but the incredibly tangible LACK of that person who will never come home.
Their clothes and belongings lying around as they left them in their home. But they’ll never be touched by those warm hands again.
I have only experienced the ANZAC remembrance since living in Australia these last eight years. I’ve always revered it and respectfully observed it.
This year I think of the grief and pain of so many who lost what I lost, in very different and inevitably more difficult circumstances.
I feel for them and respect them in their experiences of grief. No wonder they want to remember. We should all remember.
Lest we forget.