Tasmanian jumping castle accident: In the face of such tragedy, what else can we do but hug our own kids?
All over the country a lot of slightly-confused kids are being pulled in tight for some extra hugs right now.
What else can we do to salve our collective wound over the Tasmanian jumping castle tragedy, which to date has claimed five young lives?
How else can we process the fact that five families will have to endure Christmas with an empty place at the table and a pile of presents that will never be unwrapped?
Children die every day, all over the world, from illness or accident or malicious intent.
Someone out there right now is reading this and drafting an email or a tweet reminding me about the children in Syria or Sudan, as though measuring one tragedy against another can make one of them OK.
But there is something about what happened at Hillcrest Primary School on Thursday that feels like it has turned every parent I know into a raw nerve.
Is it that these Year Six students celebrating the end of the school year were so close to beginning a new chapter in their lives?
Is it that it happened on the cusp of the festive season, at a time when families are preparing to spend time together eating too much junk food and bickering over board games and the TV remote?
Or does it have something to do with the fact that none of us have space for one more tragedy after what has been, for many, a tough couple of years?
People will be asking how something like this could be allowed to happen and whether tighter regulations are needed around when and where jumping castles are used and how they are secured.
Those are valid and important questions but the answer will do little to alleviate the nation’s grief.
Like many other parents out there I will content myself with dolling out some extra tight hugs to my children, torn between a well of sympathy for the Tasmanian families now lost in a grief I cannot understand and utter relief that my own family is still here to be hugged.
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