For a light-hearted blog, I’m about to get a bit serious. Bear with me, I’m just trying to make some sense out of all this.
I recently wrote about our fantastic school reunion and how we had such a great year. We really did. I now think back to that night of smiling faces, I think of the beautiful friendships, the laughter and camaraderie in the room. Just weeks later, the unimaginable has happened.
I can’t believe I’m writing about a terrorist attack in Sydney.
And I can’t believe Katrina Dawson, by nothing more than pure and ugly chance, was killed.
You might have read or heard about Katrina. If you did, you will have heard she was a superstar lawyer with a supreme intellect, a mother of three and a lovely person to boot.
I’m lucky enough to know Katrina from school and I can tell you, she really was remarkable. A friend described her as “formidable” on the news last night, and I think Helen nailed it when she did. Honestly, she was always smiling and genuinely happy to see you. She’s the girl who never said anything bad about anyone. You won’t hear a single negative thing about her because she really was that nice.
I read somewhere yesterday that she was a “high flying barrister” and I’m not sure about that. She had a stellar career, yes, but for me, the words “Katrina Dawson” and “high flying” don’t go together. She was too humble, too nice, too normal. Her great friend Molly wrote this today and it’s just spot on.
I’m devastated for her family who are in a world of pain beyond anything I can imagine. She had a tight-knit group of school friends who are just lovely, wonderful people. I’ve been in contact with a few and I’m thinking of them all. I’m finding this incredibly difficult and intensely sad, so I can only imagine what they are going through and my heart goes out to them.
For someone so warm, doing so much good and with three young children, to be killed the way she was is beyond comprehension. I now know what it’s like to see a friend’s face on the evening news, something I never wanted to experience, and it’s absolutely gut-wrenching.
It’s been a long couple of days. These feelings are totally new to me and hard to describe. At varying times I feel breathless, sick in the stomach, sad, panicky… sometimes all at once. Just now, I took the kids out for pizza as a treat. The people on the neighbouring table started talking loudly, in graphic detail, about the siege and hearing it so suddenly meant I lost it right in front of the children. So if that’s me, how on earth are those closest to her coping?
But as I’ve said, we had a great school year and the messages, words of love, comfort and support bouncing around have been really something. I’m looking forward to seeing them all for a big group hug.
Finally, as I tucked my kids into bed last night, I thought of three gorgeous little children whose loving mother never wanted to leave them.
And my heart broke.
Katrina’s family has set up a foundation to honour her memory. It will focus on the education of women. Please go to http://www.thekatrinadawsonfoundation.org for more information and to make a donation.
Much love to you all, wherever you are.