On a cold and miserable Melbourne day, not unlike a Harry Potter opening scene, a young man received some desolating news: his wife's life had been taken away by an unfortunate soul she had encountered on the street.
The anguish of the young man, Tom, over the loss of his Jill was palpable nationwide; his humility as he contemplated the loss of his mate before her lifeless body was found, his assurance that the majority of Aussies had been a comfort to him at this time, heartened us all as we watched the tragedy unfold.
Though we did feel guilty, didn't we, that it had not been us but his Jill. And grateful, too, as we hugged our loved ones a little closer, hummed the tune of of John Mayer's "Daughters" and resolved to 'love thy neighbour' despite the crime, because a community should not be upended by the wrongdoing of a single person prowling the streets looking to cause harm to distract from his wretched humanity.
We lay flowers in the place of fallen soldiers.
A little more cautiously, and by the grace of God we go (as Mia Freedman put it so well), back out into a world that can so often be uncertain and harsh and awful, where girls are indeed vulnerable, but where a child's laughter, a husband's hug, a smile from a stranger, a helping hand can melt the hardest of hearts.
These collective awakenings, rest assured, are not without their purpose for us all, so long as we resolve to make something a bit better in this life. What thing ought we have done, which can now be put right? What phone call needs to be made? Bless you, Jill, and may you be at peace as your lovely family carries on without you, albeit much less brightly.
"If you want to cry, I am here to dry your eyes," sang Sade. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted," said He.
Girl With a Satchel