Perspective: Sense of grief unites us

THE  death of Jill Meagher has touched us all.

Instinct suggested this crime was different: she wasn’t the victim of a domestic, or gang-related violence — acts of violence we seem to have become accustomed to.

There was no comments of ‘‘oh, the husband did it’’ around the water cooler.

Memories reminiscent of Anita Cobby and Janine Balding were ringing in my head.

I hoped for the opposite and  it was horrific to hear the truth.

To see the chilling footage of her last moments outside the bridal boutique affected everyone, not just in Melbourne but across the country.

It could have been anyone: this random act of violence made us feel vulnerable again.

We are all united in grief for a woman most of us didn’t know.

It was comforting to hear the huge number of people, about 30,000, reportedly turn up on Sunday to pay their respects in a vigil to Jill.

The image of the throng of people walking down Sydney Road was empowering — a symbolic way for those close to home and touched by her murder to ‘‘take back the streets’’. 

Much like us here in this office, they were all asking the same questions: What if her husband had received that text message to meet her at the pub? What if she’d accepted the walk home with her friend? What if she had walked another way home?

Unfortunately it’s a reminder we still have to think smartly: it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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