This is no time to be angry

ANYONE involved with the tragic death of dear little Patiya May will tell you this is no time to be angry.

They spoke of finding a few more minutes for their children. A few more opportunities to tell them they were loved.

Instead, they are focusing their energy on loving their children and being thankful for every minute with them.

And they’re feeling guilty doing it, knowing Patiya’s mum, Kristy, has such a long and painful road ahead.

The overwhelming reaction from those on scene, within the organisations dealing directly with the events that unfolded in Rosalind Park and the days that followed, was one of raw emotion.

Most were visibly upset. Many spoke to each other about the silent moments they had with their children on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

They knew what mattered.

Among those were the emergency services response teams, who each went home to their own families having witnessed a trauma even those with the best training have difficulty comprehending.

They spoke of finding a few more minutes for their children. A few more opportunities to tell them they were loved.

When the paper had gone to press and my daughters finally fell asleep on their new camp stretcher beds in the lounge room, I found myself wanting to stay awake.

I watched their little faces, that are not so baby-like anymore. Their limbs are getting so long and their feet so big.

I listened to their breathing, one silent the other with a slight wheeze.

Not wanting to sleep, I just kept watching my beautiful girls “sleeping over’’ in the lounge.

Tears rolled down my face – not for me, not for my daughters.

But tears for a little girl who never had the fun and trials of growing up to be a big girl – and a mother who will never see her do that.

Tears for little Patiya’s extended family, for the battle they have ahead supporting Kristy while lost in grief.

And tears for her father.

Patiya’s death has deeply shocked and saddened our city.

So to read and hear so much negative feedback about the City of Greater Bendigo’s decision to cancel last night’s fireworks is not only disheartening, but disappointing.

Given the tragic circumstances, which occurred so close to where the celebration was to be held, it’s perfectly understandable and fitting they were cancelled.

It is a sign of respect most would expect.

The new year will come and go, as it always does.

Families don’t need fireworks to celebrate that – instead, they should simply be celebrating the fact they have each other. You don’t need outside entertainment to do that.

There are very few positives to come out of such a tragedy as that we have seen this week, but often reminders.

For most parents, Patiya’s death should be a reminder of how blessed we are to have our little ones beside us.

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