The year 2015 will always be etched in our minds as the year terror came to Paris. Between the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January and the horrific murders of last Friday, Ruth and I managed our annual pilgrimage to France, fortuitously escaping the terror of both events.
As a Psychologist, I can appreciate how the terror of November 15 in Paris can impact the collective psyche of a Nation. But, I’m not French, and I can never truly feel the pain of the French people. At best I can identify with it.
I still remember the shock and sorrow on hearing of the Bali Bombings and the Martin Place siege, and the effect those events had on me as an Australian. I remember the sadness, the numbness, the welling up of tears, and above all, the anger. I was proud to be Australian.
Being married to an expat, I can see first-hand, the effects that the Paris events have had on a fiercely proud French woman. I see the hurt, the grief, the tears, the sleepless nights and the insatiable need for news. I can also see the anger and hatred towards those who would bring such terror to her homeland.
On previous visits to Paris, we have stayed just around the corner from the Bataclan Theatre and dined in some of the nearby restaurants. However, it is banal to suggest that “there but for the grace of God go I”.
We have every intention of returning to Paris in a show of solidarity and defiance, and to give the one finger salute to those who would seek to destroy both the French and Australian way of life. We will not forget.
It was Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the wife of Joseph Kennedy and the mother of President John F. Kennedy, who wrote:
It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.Rose Kennedy