This morning, we woke up to the tragic news none of us wanted to hear. The body of 7-year-old Australian boy Julian Cadman has been found in Barcelona.
He was a victim of a cowardly terror attack that killed more than a dozen people.
All weekend, I had one eye on the news. While I played puzzles with my kids and made them sandwiches for lunch, I glanced at my phone, hoping for a positive outcome for the Cadman family.
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My heart sank this morning when I saw that hope was dashed, and that the little boy hadn’t made it. I hugged my kids closer. I cried. I didn’t even react when my four-year-old had an epic tantrum instead of cleaning up her toys.
Running through my mind on loop was the same thought: How do you possibly survive the loss of your child like this?
I have no answers. There are no words to comfort his grieving parents, or his family, or his friends in grade 2 at St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School in Sydney.
It has made me contemplative, and today I wonder: is the world getting worse? Are we becoming more violent? Is the world more dangerous than ever before? When a family on holidays in Spain has their life destroyed in such a devastating way, these questions ring true.
I don’t know if the world is getting crueller, or whether we’re just becoming more aware of it all, thanks to rapid media sharing and global communication.
Terrorism is nothing new. Hate has always existed and terrorists have always tried to trade in fear. Nearly very single day, for decades (if not centuries) in various parts of the world, families have had their lives destroyed at the hands of terrorists. Each and every one of these people affected has the same devastating story of loss.
We can feel buried under the weight of this tragedy, as I did today. And, we can also try to feel grateful for everything we have. We are so blessed to live on the Gold Coast, in relative safety and stability.
We can also focus on the heroes in this story – like the elite police officer who shot and killed four of the terrorists responsible, and Fouad Bakkali, a pharmacist, who locked up his shop with 50 terrified tourists inside, including Julian’s seriously injured mother.
It was the news none of us wanted to wake up to today. Rest in peace little Julian.