I'm in Christchurch at the moment. I have no words to explain what it feels like.
Christchurch was hit by an earthquake last Tuesday. 6.3 doesn't seem that big but it was 10km from the city and 5km deep. Basically it has wrecked destruction in the CBD and eastern suburbs. People are homeless, people have died. There are no words. I feel redundant even writing about it as there have been endless news reports on the internet and television and I am no journalist (an aftershock just hit as I was writing this). Everyone has their stories, everyone has been affected, everyone is anxious and on edge.
It's been really hard being away, really really hard. Seeing all the news broadcasts, all the horrendous articles on Stuff and not being able to be with all the people who you love so much has been extremely difficult. It's hard to carry on at work and not be able to hold them and tell them how much you love them. I haven't wanted to hang out with anyone who isn't from Christchurch because it is hard for them to understand. Everything you grew up seeing, your past, all the memories have changed forever. It's hard to digest - and then put everyone you have ever known for the past 20 years amongst it and it is almost too much. But now I'm here it is even harder. I don't feel like talking to these people who I love so much when I see them because ... because I have no words... I just want to be near them. I don't want to talk about my job, or my flat, or my life in Auckland, because who fucking cares. They nearly died and I couldn't be there for them or help them in this terrible terrible time. And the realisation that I can't be there for them at all (because I leave on Monday) sinks in every time I finish catching up with someone. People matter and my friends and family mean everything to me. The stink thing is I won't get a chance to catch up with everyone I want to. It doesn't feel fair to catch up a few and not see the rest - but I guess that is the reality of this situation.
To my amazing friends, the words that burn inside me that I find so difficult to say in person is this:
"I am sorry I can't be here to support you and help you. You mean the world to me. I am sorry some of you have lost things that mean so much to you, I really do feel for you. I am so grateful you are ok because I wouldn't know what to do with myself if you were hurt or worse. We need you, I need you. Even though we may not have contact for months you need to know that you are extremely significant in my world. So please be safe. I love you heaps... I really do."