I along with you and millions of others am completely numb with shock at the siege that took place in our beautiful city Sydney yesterday and early this morning.
The fact that this is so close to home strikes like a searing iron rod through our hearts and yet I could not turn away from the TV as the events unfolded.
Last night, I tried to go about business as usual for the sake of the kids, but I felt fake and awkward in my actions and furthermore... clumsy with guilt.
I felt guilty that I was scared and shocked when every day so many suffer this torment in war torn countries around the world.
I felt guilty that despite what those poor people were going through... I could put a load of washing on and pick up stuff that my kids have left lying around. Just the usual sort of things we all normally do of an every day of an evening, and yet I was so conscious of my movements as I was going about these menial tasks because whilst my life at that moment was so... normal, a mere 30kms away 'normal' people were suffering the most unimaginable terror.
When we woke today to news that two lives have been ended so callously, it was a reminder that terrorism is exactly as the word describes, a means to terrorise the unsuspecting.
During the Sydney siege, we were asked to stay calm and go about our business as usual... but it's hard to do that isn't it?
I mean seriously... how can anything be 'business as usual' after what happened?
Whilst you and I are not physically damaged in anyway by what happened, we are as a nation wounded and scarred psychologically... possibly even permanently.
I kept my boys home from school today, not because I was scared for their safety or anything like that at all. I kept them home because I just felt the need to have them close today. To hug them and tell them I love them and to hug them some more... not just for my sake, but for those families who lost a loved one yesterday and will no longer be able to hug their own.
Whilst my younger two boys are oblivious to what happened, my 13 old knows and we explained to him last night that in light of it all... that now more than ever... it is important to breed empathy and acceptance for those whose cultures, religions or backgrounds are different to our own.
It is important to be extra kind to those around us, smile at everyone, treat everyone with respect and show them that we will not aid ANYONE in their attempts to create a divide between the diverse nationalities that call this beautiful country home.
Maybe as a wider society, returning to normal or going about as per usual is not what we should be doing after all...
Especially if normal includes any form of ignorance or apathy.