On our office wall, we have a line up of the M2 covers. This issue will be the 167th. Each is kind of a captured moment. Each a chapter in a string of months in a string of years. Often covers are representative of events completely unrelated to the cover or the magazine, but just a representation of a big event, sometimes personal, sometimes global, sometimes good and sometimes bad. When I look at the wall, I can see the moment when we purchased our first home, the Indonesian Tsunami, the Christchurch Earthquakes, the birth of a child, the death of a father, the week I spent with the Triad, the loss of an America’s Cup, the winning of an America’s Cup.
But this issue, of course, marks a moment that will cast a shadow far beyond a month. As a country, we will deal with the ramifications of the Christchurch terrorist attacks for a long time to come. We will reflect on an undercurrent of racism, we will celebrate our unity, we will make a law change regarding military-style semi-automatic weapons, that in hindsight should have happened a long time ago. We will look for reasons, we will try and carve out blame, we will try and process our guilt, we will cry for justice, we will mock a certain Australian Senator and face more complex diplomatic relationships, but slowly the coverage will wane.
But in the events that have profound global and political impacts, the biggest tragedy comes not from the scale of these ramifications, but still from the very individual and personal human loss. The senseless loss of a mother, or father, or child, or brother, or sister, or grandfather, or cousin or friend.
Whenever I look at this issue on the wall, I will try to remind myself that this isn’t just about a moment that shocked the country and the world, but it’s about the very personal and ongoing impacts on the families who lost their loved ones and also a testament to the stories of bravery and forgiveness that have come from these families. There seems little to celebrate in a time like this, but those things are worth holding onto.