Patrick Gower: The Christchurch attack story that broke me

OPINION: Lots of people have been asking if I'm okay.

I am okay - I've just been telling the stories, not living them.

But there is no question that this has changed me. It's just the mist of extreme grief that is everywhere in Christchurch.

It started with meeting wives and mothers at the cordon begging for information about their loved ones. Total chaos, it was like a warzone.

Friends and families were looking around everywhere in the next few days. Just waves and waves of people who were hurting.

Bangladeshis, Iraqis, Indians, Indo-Fijians, Pakistanis, Afghanis. Some here for 25 years, some for just months. All of them Kiwis.

But it wasn't until Sunday that it really got me.

A young Somali guy called Abdi walked up and shook my hand. I knew instantly he was a good guy. He started talking about his brother and we began an interview.

I knew his brother had been killed, but when we started talking he told me his brother was three years old.

A boy called Mucad Ibrahim. I didn't even realise there was a boy that young who was killed.

Abdi showed me a photo that is too sensitive to publish of Mucad being cradled.

He then explained what had happened. He had taken his brother to the mosque for prayer, and then he said the words that I'll never forget: "Everybody started running and I just lost the boy."

Think of that. Think of how horrible that is.

That just broke me. It wasn't because it was really sad. It was because for the first time I really comprehended something that was truly evil. I've seen evil before, but that went deeper.

Something truly evil happened to the boy Mucad. And it broke me.

So I want to say that's why I'm okay, because none of this has happened to me. I'm not Mucad's brother. I'm just telling the stories of these people. I don't want to be too heavy, but to be honest I actually feel personally that I was put on this earth to do that.

I want to say one last thing to little Mucad. Rest easy my little Kiwi brother.

Patrick Gower is Newshub's National Correspondent.

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