Tributes at the scene of the triple homicide on Queen Street in Timaru.


Tributes at the scene of the triple homicide on Queen Street in Timaru.

Feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and questioning of what’s going on are normal reactions to a tragedy, explains a counselor for Timaru.

The tragic death of three young children in Timaru on Thursday night comes just weeks after the sudden death of a Timaru teenager in a horror car crash that claimed the lives of five teenagers in Washdyke, near Timaru on August 7 , two large wind storms, as well as the region having been in Covid-19 containment for several weeks.

South Canterbury bereavement and loss coordinator Matt Cameron said feeling upset, even if people are not directly involved in an incident, is a very normal reaction.

“This is the heart of humanity – to feel for others when suffering persists – and all kinds of questions arise, like why does this happen? Cameron said.

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Her advice was that while people sometimes felt like they wanted to fix a situation, the best thing was to listen.

“It’s not your job to fix it, be a listening ear. “

He said that amid the sadness, people shouldn’t stop being kind and caring.

“It’s actually a heartwarming story, when you see the kindness – thinking back to earthquakes and mosque shootings – when tragic things happen, these are times when we have seen real love.

“Maybe these things are happening in this city because we can deal with them. We have a caring city, a lot of cool services, a lot of experts, I’m continually amazed at how many great people we have in Timaru.

Cameron also recognized that working through grief and trauma can be difficult at times, but when he hears stories of grief and loss, “I see a superhero in every person I talk to, I watch them when I see them. their strength, and it’s a very different experience than hearing a grieving story. ”

He recommended focusing on what he calls “magical moments” – “notice that sunset or that bird chirp” – which he believes can create an ongoing habit of gratitude.

New Zealand Association of Counselors President Christine Macfarlane.

Bejon Haswell / Tips / Tricks

New Zealand Councilors Association President Christine Macfarlane.

New Zealand Councilors Association president Christine Macfarlane, a former South Canterbury resident, said the events of the past few months have been shocking.

“It will trigger people’s fear, their feeling of being in danger, it will trigger past trauma and grief,” Macfarlane said.

She recommended taking a step back from the coverage and while there was no way to make sense of ” such inexplicable events, ” it was in our nature to try.

“Human beings are meaning-creating creatures – we draw conclusions from things that are not connected.

“You could say that two tragedies happened in Timaru, so it must be like that in Timaru, but it has nothing to do with it.” It’s much harder to say we just don’t know.

She said the way forward was to “take care of ourselves, our families, our communities, to come from a real place of compassion, understanding and acceptance and not blame and shame” .

She also warned of rising tensions online.

A tribute to the five teenagers killed on Seadown Rd in August adorns a post at the crash scene.

Valentina Bellomo / Stuff

A tribute to the five teenagers killed on Seadown Rd in August adorns a post at the crash scene.

Aoraki’s multicultural executive director Katy Houstoun said support services were available to help newcomers to the district.

“Multicultural Aoraki helps connect and help people access these services. We also run programs to help people feel included in our community and help them meet new people.


If it is an emergency Click here to find the number of your local crisis assessment team. In a life-threatening situation, call 111.

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