I am like so many New Zealanders who wasn't in Christchurch when the big one hit last week.
I was sitting in front of my computer on the 5th Floor of the Wellington Railway station when we felt an odd sensation and then we switched to Twitter and the #eqnz feed. The first tweet we saw was one saying - "Oh god - I think that was an 8." In our bones we just knew that there was a huge tragedy about to unfold.
What has happened to the conservative heart of the South Island, was so hard to comprehend, so hard to understand and so bloody frustrating - as the sense of helplessness invaded every bone as we wanted to be there lifting the bricks from the broken bodies.
Im not prone to tears but we have shed many for people we did not know - but were part of our country, our big New Zealand family.
The numbers of dead is staggering. The number of survival stories forever uplifting and the reaction of the people of Christchurch and the rest of New Zealand to their plight of those affected has been humbling.
The galvanizing of the effort to patch up the broken city has been in the main, well co-ordinated and organised. But it is going to be a long tough road to fix what needs fixing and to get Christchurch pulsing like it used to.
But like never before I am confident that we can do it because everyone is doing their bit. Be it a scone for for neighbours, a bloke with a hammer and a trailer full of tarpaulins who has travelled from Hamilton to lend a hand - or a million bucks from Owen Glenn - everyone is giving and doing what they can.
And it also gives us time to reflect on our own lives. We have a wedding coming up. Mum and dad were looking forward to travelling to Wellington for it but even more so now because - as mum says, in the wake of Christchurch her family is more precious to her, so getting together is now so much more important to her and dad.
In this great time of sadness there is time to rejoice in the fact that we are a nation, a big family, brothers and sisters all, who - when the chips are down, are there for each other.
No shit sherlock, Brownlee states the bleeding obvious
16 minutes ago