Monday, January 10, 2011



The reflective nature of lighting a candle has been artfully replicated on for Lori, Tony and family.

And with the wonders of modern technology, you can start your own group, or join one already there, or simply light a candle for your own personal reason, using this website.

If you would like to light a candle and leave a message, I urge you to do so. Knowing that people would light candles for us after our daughter died, and throughout these past seven years without her, brought a strange, almost primal comfort. It seems to be something very deep seated, anyway.

There is a hashtag going on Twitter - #prayingfortony - which has already trended once in Australia, a phenomenal testament to the love this community has for Lori. While it can't be overlooked that all around the world, let alone Australia, there are other families grappling with horrific, hard to hear news about their dearest, loved and cherished, every once in a while, a family seems to be the lantern-bearer for the collective. It's not an easy responsibility, it's not one you'd wish on yourself. But there is somehow a deep sense of comfort knowing that the outpouring is not just about you, but about those 'outpourers' finding their own compassion, sharing heartfelt moments (even with strangers or people they have never met... I know I have picked up at least three new followers on Twitter because we got to chatting and felt rather kindred about certain things, something that might never have happened if it weren't for all of us #prayingfortony).

In every darkness, there is always light. Somewhere. And the coming together of people over something that unites them in their resolve is the thing I think I love most about humanity. It is the sort of coming together that causes over 12,000 calls with pledges in under one minute to happen during the Queensland Flood Relief Telethon, which currently stands at over $11m. People may say money only goes some of the way, but when there is no other physical way to show you care... it has shown that thousands of people have cared a hell of a lot!

The same can be said for the incredible amount of money raised for Lori - over $2,000 in under a week (and if I can get the code for the Paypal donation widget, you will see it added to this post later) - it's "only money" but it will be invaluable to her both in terms of easing financial pressure for the immediate term and also as a visible statement of how much she is adored in our community.

*Addendum: Earlier today, I discovered that another familiar blogger in this community lost her sister, suddenly and unexpectedly, this Saturday just past. My deepest sympathies go to Lulu as she grapples with this huge loss from her life and that of her family's. The outpouring of grief and support for one family, whilst expected and warranted, has overshadowed several other losses that have been occurring these past few days - at least on my Twitter feed. So while I continue to quietly pay my respects to both Lulu and Lori for their terribly tragic losses, I also know that so many others around the blogosphere (and on Twitter) may well have been recently bereaved. To those people, I also offer heartfelt sympathies. It can be really lonely, or make the emptiness feel even more hollow, when one loss is more noticed than another.

I realised this less than a month after Ellanor died - there was a spate of deaths brought about when several babies in the same NICU where she had lost her life succumbed to a sudden illness spreading through the ward. It caused at least three more deaths. And part of me felt so upset that these other losses had been splashed about in the media; in my mind it was as if they were more important or meant something more to my community than the loss of my daughter's life, which is what naturally happens when awareness is brought to an event or issue.  Of course, this was not the case. But it was hard all the same to stand by without a voice.

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