This Christmas season feels so heavy. I am listening to a passing couple arguing outside my home. Dear friends have been ill, discovered that they have had cancer, have had their worlds irretrievably alter in various forms. Dear friends have passed away… One friend was a hundred when he shuffled back to whence he came. Another was forty. I am desperate to make a difference to these dear ones. To let them know how much I love them. When you accept help or an overture from a friend, you are giving them a gift. You are taking the burden of feeling powerless from their shoulders. They feel as if they can do something, anything, to assist you at your darkest time. I know it is hard to accept an offer of help. I know.
My beautiful city is in mourning. Darkness descended on Sydney Monday morning. Strangers are saying prayers and laying flowers, writing in condolence books and reaching out to one another. We need to do something, anything. When a friend bakes for your family, minds your children, cleans your home and runs errands, you are giving them a gift. They feel needed, and their children get to witness what a community actually means. When I presented the tributes at Serena’s funeral, I felt as though I was doing something in the midst of the paralysing anguish. I was powerless to stop her leaving this earth, but I could at least ensure she had a beautiful farewell. We need to do something, anything. In this spirit, please ask for help if and when you need it. Take the hand being offered to you. This Christmas, we need magnanimous gestures more than ever. This is the spirit of Christmas.