How I almost died, twice

garyhughesby Gary Hughes, The Weekend Australian Magazine, March 7-8, 2009

Journalist Gary Hughes and his wife, Janice, barely survived the recent bushfires which destroyed their home in St Andrews, Victoria. This feature article is written as a diary of the days after the fire. The journalistic instinct to record and to share was a reflex for Gary, but he reflects on this as a double edged sword as the adrenalin wanes.

We find that, as we repeatedly retell our survival story, the details are getting briefer and briefer. We are shutting ourselves off from reviving memories. We are starting to put up walls. There is also a deepening disconnect with the real world. As we visit the local supermarket we know so well we find we are strangers in a strange land, a land where normal people lead normal lives and have normal homes. We do not belong to that world any longer.

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