All week, relatives of those who lost their loved ones when Flight MH17 was blown out of the sky have said the same thing we just want them home.
The horror of losing family in such a terrible way is painful enough, but after a sudden death there is a basic human need to touch and hold the one who is gone only then does it seem real.
We are at our most needy and human when confronted with the harsh reality of death, so we need our age-old rituals to bring us comfort. Instead, the families of those who died have been treated with a terrible lack of care.
To see bodies bundled into a refrigerated train and not to know what was going to happen to them was the stuff of nightmares.
The Australian couple who lost their three young children said, “we are living through Hell”, and we can only imagine how they feel. Everything gone in a moment your family wiped out.
All those fresh-faced little kids who boarded that plane with hope and excitement lost forever.
It is an unspeakable tragedy. Men, women and children from all over the world who had a contribution to make to life on this planet. And now its all over. Gone because of human barbarity and senseless cruelty.
Our planet is a beautiful one, green and full of life, surrounded by deep blue oceans. You only needed to look at the page of photographs of those 80 children who perished with a sparkle in their eyes and all of life waiting to be enjoyed. And now it’s all gone. Hundreds of hopes and dreams wiped out in a moment.
Maxima, the Queen of the Netherlands, couldn’t hide her sorrow as she saw the first of the coffins come home. People lined the streets and threw flowers at the cars.
There is a desperate need in people to express their sorrow and pity at this tragedy. It’s as if we say no, this really is too much. The senselessness of it hurts us all.
Can mankind really be this cruel? Is this a world we have created? And how can we heal it?
Politicians and world leaders will fret and fume, accuse and counter accuse. But for each and every family who have lost a relative, the grief will take fathoms of time to heal.
But the journey towards healing will begin when the deepest plea of their heart is answered we just want our loved one home.
It is fundamental. It is all they have left. They should not be denied the human right to dignity in death.