Dear Bruce and Denise Morcombe
What can we, other parents and those who care about kids, say to you today, this day that the “evil, evil un-human thing“, as you so aptly described Brett Peter Cowan, was sentenced for your precious child’s murder?
While we know of your tireless work to find your boy and unravel his fate, we know you do not celebrate anything to do with this. We don’t see you as vengeful people. And while this thing deserves to be locked up forever as a bare minimum, we know you are not opening champagne.
You have lived in our hearts for ten years now, since Daniel first went missing. We all know about the boy from Queensland who, while on his way to buy Christmas presents for his family, disappeared with the whoosh of a bus going past him.
We are so so sorry, even if that phrase seems trite.
We are heartbroken, even though it is not our hearts but yours that have been most affected.
We have watched, hands over eyes, as you lived through what we can only imagine as the worst nightmare possible – what should have been a private anguish and mourning for you, took place in public, no doubt adding further to the nightmare.
But you did not give up. You did not resort to blame. We saw you walk through what hell must be, if it indeed exists, and you walked untouched like angels.
I remember seeing you years back then on TV, Mr. Morcombe, standing by a whiteboard sketching diagrams of paedophile rings that may have kidnapped your son. It was such uncomfortable viewing. How, oh how, did you talk about such horrendous things when the subject was your own flesh and blood?
How did you stay so gracious and steadfast? How could you stay so honourable and upright when the world and everything most hold true crashed down around you? We have all wondered from our safe distances how we would deal with this. And so many of us feel that it would only be life’s very insistence on not letting us die that would keep us gasping for air.
You had other children – you had no choice. That’s what people say. But if most of us struggle to feel good about our parenting, how do you provide for kids when you are wracked by grief and fear and the most grotesque uncertainty of all? What do you say to your other children? How do you make them feel safe, much less help them with their homework?
I can’t comprehend how you ever got out of bed at all.
Yet you went so much further. You created the Daniel Morcombe foundation and you travelled around the country educating adults children in schools about safety. You have already transformed so many lives and communities, that you will probably never know how much trauma such as yours has been avoided.
You spent time with people. You spent time with us during honest open interviews that made us wish we could do anything to help you…but there was nothing.
In any case, you did it all. You searched for Daniel. You persisted beyond what we think is humanly possible. And finally he was found, as was the unhuman thing that caused this torment.
And now the jury and judge have agreed it must never see the outside world again.
The moment the sentence came down, the media printed details of the brutalities that the unhuman thing had done in years past to children who had suffered yet survived at its hands. The final arrow’s sling was that it had been freed way too early, too often. If these crimes against children meant something, the thing would have been locked away for good a long time ago.
And so, I say thank you, as do many of us. Thank you for all the good you have done in the unthinkable reality that was your last ten years. Thank you for showing us that even in this horror movie where there is no intermission, that life goes on.
That when there is no avoiding the darkest, bleakest of this world’s hours, there is still room for hope, for help and for bettering society.
You are miracle workers and I thank you – we thank you – for that.
(Ed’s Note – those wishing to give to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation can do so HERE)