Life after ‘our fire’ as the wife of a volunteer fire fighter

January 11th 2020

Here I am again. It’s 10.30pm.
I only just realised I hadn’t eaten dinner (or breakfast).

So I opened one of the cans the Red Cross gave us to have an easy meal and avoid cooking. I hate the smell of food with my gut in knots for days, nothing wants to go down, especially when eating alone.


Another night I’m eating food someone gave me, while I’m staying at someone else’s place, wearing someone else’s clothes and hoping my husband will return from someone else’s place after fighting fires AGAIN since early this morning. No contact all day due to towers being down, no idea where he is and telling the kids ‘ Dad will be fine’ like every other night – even though I’m not sure it is true. Or even if we are.


Dad has hardly been home in 3 weeks, now there’s no home to come home to anymore, and now he can’t even sleep when back here as we’re all haunted by this new everyday nightmare. Waking up at night thinking someone else needs help, thinking there’s smoke in the air, restless, worried, drained.


I haven’t listened to music or watched anything on tv for over a week as it doesn’t feel right in this new survival mode routine.


During the day I pretend life is as normal as it gets – for the kids- brave face, happy strained smile, organising activities all day. Meeting up with my other homeless friends to share the emotional load and distract all our children, talk about this shit and create a new ‘normal’. No end in sight, summer for another 2-3 months, no substantial rain in the near future, and all I want is a normal evening with my husband while we do something as boring as watching cricket and having an argument. Hell how I miss having an argument with him.


Australians, I adore your spirit, go you farm units, awesome volunteer firefighters risking their lives for their friends every day all day while losing or having lost everything already, no income to follow, many obstacles – but you keep rocking it. Go Australia! Beat this beast. #kifires #australiaisburning

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