Month: January 2017

Bourke Street Tragedy

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Thalia was laid to rest today.

I never met her, but I was there at the end of her short life. I’d just finished having lunch with my cousin in between job interviews. I was preparing for my next interview. Talking myself up, getting myself in to boss lady mode. I was totally absorbed in myself and what I was doing. I wasn’t paying much attention to my surrounds. I didn’t think I had to.

Someone knocked my handbag off my shoulder, in hindsight I see that he was just trying to get out of the way, but at the time I thought someone was trying to steal my handbag. It was then that I looked over my shoulder to see the car on the footpath just behind me. I don’t know how, but I my body moved me out of the way. I don’t remember making a conscious decision to move. I just ran and jumped into the lane. I wish I had made a noise, I wish I had a way to alert all the people ahead of me. My silent escape from harm’s way did nothing. I was just lucky that someone knocked me. I wouldn’t have made it out of the way in time if he hadn’t. The car was going too fast. I watched in horror as the car hit the family in front of me. Two little girls and their mum. He didn’t stop. He never slowed. He didn’t hesitate. He just kept going. He kept hitting people. In the hysteria I couldn’t tell if people were getting hit or if they were just getting out of the way.

After he was gone the scene was just as awful. People everywhere bodies strewn across the footpath. A little girl. Rogue runners and purses. The police were there pretty fast. They were fantastic. They kept us as calm as they could under the circumstances. My real life superhero appeared shortly after. Her name is Jo. Jo was incredible. She works at the RACV club. She came bearing first aid kits and water. She looked after me. She helped me call Mum and my boyfriend. Cuddled me when I needed it most and took me away from the scene when she could. I can’t tell you how much she helped me that day. She represented all that was good in a scene so abhorrent.

The police needed a statement. She came with me. She held my hand while we walked down the street. Walking past that little body was just awful. Thalia.  I think about it all the time.

I don’t know what else to say really. I don’t know how to deal with this. I think I’m doing okay. I mean I’m not okay – but I will be. I think about it all the time. It makes me cry often. Night time is hard. Sleeping even harder. My heart feels so so broken. I can’t imagine what everyone else feels like. 

I think we can be proud of the everyday heroes who appeared that day in the madness. I witnessed quite a few. To Jo, to Patrick for just making everything happen, to Kate who met me at the police station, to Laura for picking me up,  to the Police, to mum for just being mum – hearing her voice made me feel better. The lovely ladies who kept me company that night. I can’t ever express just how grateful I am.

Love you all x

bourke-street

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