The Silence After the Storm…Friday Fictioneers.

The police found Mandi McDonald’s Commodore Stationwagon 500 metres downstream. She and the two children aged eight and six were deceased. The storm had hit Toowoomba with such fury. Mandi had been driving the kids home from school, and the car was swept away in the surging currents. Her husband was distraught. Lost all his family in an instant. No one knew how he was going to get through it. Or, even if he could. They all came to the funeral, and didn’t mean to stay away.  They just couldn’t find the words and didn’t know what to say.


This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Best wishes,



14 thoughts on “The Silence After the Storm…Friday Fictioneers.

  1. Rowena Post author

    Dale, last week I read an incredible book by Australian journalist Leigh Sales: “Any Ordinary Day”. Her life dramatically changed after her uterus burst during her second pregnancy. They were both okay in the end but that along with a few events she covered as a journo, really shook her and she went in search of answers the way writers do. She wrote a book. Probably the person who has got me thinking the most was her interview with Walter Mikac who lost his wife and two young daughters in the Port Arthur Massacre and he joined up with then Prime Minister John Howard to change our gun laws. Afterwards, people found it almost impossible to talk to him. One day he saw his friend Doug from his cricket team and he saw Doug turn and walk the other way. Walter made a split second decision to go after him and by the time he caught up, Doug was almost running. However, he put his hand on his shoulder and as he turned around Doug had tears streaming down his face and Walter said:”It’s okay, Doug. You don’t have to say anything.”
    That rips my heart out, Dale and no doubt you’ve experienced some of this yourself. We need lessons in responding to grief and loss.
    Best wishes,

  2. Rowena Post author

    I had a very intense time about 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with fibrosis in my lungs as a complication from my auto-immune disease. My kids were 7 and 5 at the time and the thought of dying and leaving the behind was excruciating. I had some really good people behind me…my Pastor, even the Pink Ladies at the hospital when I burst into tears in their shop. Maybe it’s just a matter of taking those really really small baby steps and they add up over time. In my case, my pain was temporary. When I got in to see the lung specialist, it turns out it wasn’t imminently life threatening and could lie dormant. That must be seven years ago and it hasn’t been smooth sailing all that time, but it wasn’t as bad as we thought. I hope I am becoming more of that person who can support and encourage people through those dreadful times.
    Best wishes,

  3. Dale

    Absolutely. I, more than once, told people there are not wrong words. I never took offense when their words seemed trite. I told them that no matter how hard it was to say anything, I appreciated every little word they managed.
    It’s all in how much heart is put into the said words.
    Have a fabulous day!

  4. Rowena Post author

    That’s fantastic, dale and I guess many people need to lead those around them and help them work through it too. It’s ironic too that our love and concern for someone can be too strong for us to reach out to them.

  5. jillyfunnell

    Rowena, your exchanges with Dale here have been a necessary reminder to me to make sure I don’t avoid anyone in the kind of circumstances (hopefully rare but it happens) that you describe. For certain people today will be life-changing. There is no such thing as an ordinary day. Just a day lying ahead that, if we’re lucky, we will survive. Best warmest wishes to your and your family, Jilly.

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