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The grief and loss experienced in the SA bushfires

Posted by Kate Moody

The heartbreak & loss experienced in the SA bushfires



Credit to photo & poem is Gary Mathews from South Australia, Stockport - recently affected by the fires.


I have been deeply touched by the recent SA fires and the trial of immense loss and devastation that has unfolded since Wednesday. 

I'm a country girl at heart from SA. I now live in Melbourne. My parents still live on the farm on YP.

This week I was so deeply concerned and feeling for the animals, people and family and friends in this area - knowing how quickly & harshly these spring / summer fires can bring devastation and loss to the land and people....just like that!

My thoughts and prayers are with you all, your family, & your community during this time of rebuilding and recovering.

Warmest wishes of strength & hope.


I came across this beautiful piece of writing by Gary Mathews a local resident affected by the fires -  about the people who have been affected by the recent South Australian fires. My heart goes out to you all.
"Thankfully the fire is finally under control, By the grace of God, our property was spared, only by 500 metres.
As the media attention fades and turns to how well the pink ball will last in cricket.
Being so close our phones are full of photos that we could post, or we could put up our drone to show you the blackened landscape. Some of the best land in SA that now looks like a desert.

What these photos can't show you, is the heartache, that it is for some of our neighbours to be burnt out two years in row. They can't show you the grief, from loss of life, of those we know or have heard of and their stories that go with them. Pictures can't show you the heartbreak of watching your sheds or your house that you lived and raised your children, in many cases the same as your Father, grandfather or even further has, been burnt to the ground, knowing there is nothing you can do.

They can't show you the emotions of seeing the farm shearing shed destroyed a place full of the smell of lanoline, that has been home to many a story and yarn over a cup of tea between runs at smoko. Photos can't show what it is like to see new machinery or faithful old girls, that you have spent many hours driving, maintaining, that share a place of pride, turn into burnt out piles of rusty steel. 

They can't show you the feeling of seeing trees that have provided shelter and shade for hundreds of years fallen and burnt.
 
They can never show you, livestock, that have provided you with an income, but also hold a piece of your heart, to find them blackened and dead, or have to destroy those ones who have survived the fire but would not survive the burns they received. Pictures can't show the smell of hair or burnt wool.
Pictures can't show you the overwhelming feeling of loss of your companion -  your loyal and loving Kelpie that would work along your side day in and day out. And not to mention the loss of your beloved pets that brought so much joy to your family.
Pictures can't show the feelings of watching a haystack, keep burning for days, some of the best hay that has been grown for years, hay that has been put away without any rain on it that gave some comfort to the dry finish of this year.
 
Pictures can't show the feeling of unfinishness, of not being able to put a header into a crop, that you have sown, planned and toiled over all year. To take them from a seed through weeds, rust, frost and and an extremely dry finish to see them gone in seconds.To see your work of stubble retention and direct drilling to build your soils turn to a dust bowl.
 
It can't show you the feelings as suited politicians, with a managed background offer you money for a tooth brush and a clean undies to show the city folk voters, they care and have an understanding of what has happened.
 
They can't show you what it would be like to look over your farm, with the smell of ash and smoke in your nostrils and not know where to start.
Pictures also can't show you the relief, when you find your family, your beloved pets, your neighbours are OK after seeing the fierceness and anger of this fire. 
Pictures also can't show, you the feelings of those of us who are along side of you, have been amongst you the last few days but have been spared as we start our headers again, as we go to the silos you planned to go. To put grain in the grids yours should be! or livestock for sale in the yards yours were planned to be.
Our hearts break for you.
 
I'm sure we also speak for every other farmer, who all may not fully know what your going through, but all certainly understand as only a farmer can. We are all thinking of you, encourage you and will help you in way we can to get up and go around again.
May strength and hope be with all the farmers on this land during their  rebirth, renewal, rebuilding and recovery process."

My thoughts, prayers & candle lights are with all the people who have been affected by the recent South Australian fires - including the fire fighters who put their life on the line to save lives.

In prayer & love,
Kate xx
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