SIT, LISTEN AND CARE TO HELP
UNFORTUNATELY, it is that time of year again – bushfire season. The South-West fire was not the first and we are gut-wrenchingly aware that it will not be the last. The word bushfire means so much more than what we initially think. Yes, it is typically a devastating fire; but for those who have experienced the fires, the word simply means “loss”. The loss of life, house, animals, identity, comfort, photos, safety and security – the list is endless. The losses are often tangible and intangible – some can be easily replaced, while others can never be replaced. In times of loss, people need a few things – yes, they need shelter, clothes, food and so forth. But they also need friends, a shoulder (or two) to cry on, someone to share their stories and memories with. They need people willing to listen to their plight and offer a hug without wanting anything in return. They need someone willing to simply sit, listen and care. Are you prepared to offer a place to stay, provide some support (offer a couch or a bed, driving, child minding, tea and coffee making, listening) when people are in need? Are you prepared to sit, listen and care? The financial cost of fire is high, but the mental cost of loss is much greater. If you need someone to talk to or if you are able to provide a shoulder, call Anglicare Emergency Relief WA on 9325 7033 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Amanda Lambros, counsellor and Curtin University clinical fellow.