A year ago today 31 men went into the Pike River mine.
Two survived the explosion which happened that afternoon, the rest died in the mine.
The first anniversary of a death is a big milestone which usually helps families and friends in their journey through the grief maze. They know they have survived all the firsts – birthdays, Christmas, mothers’ and fathers’ days – without the one for whom they are grieving and can realistically hope that the next year will be better.
But the coming year will bring more of the same for the relatives and friends of the Pike River men. They still have to endure the Royal Commission into the disaster and a court case of those being held accountable for it.
And they still wait in hope that the bodies or remains might be recovered.
The Pike River mine disaster is still an unresolved tragedy.
It could take many more months before it is resolved and regardless of how it is resolved it can never bring back those 29 men who went to work a year ago today.