This time last week I was sitting on the deck of a beachfront bach at Ōhope Beach enjoying the sun and the view.
It was in Ōhope, looking out at the sometimes steaming, sometimes unassumingly not, Whakaari/White Island, I felt sadness reading about Australian Jesse Langford, who watched a livestream of his mum, dad and sister's funeral from a hospital bed where he is still recovering from burns suffered in the eruption.
It was there I felt a little more mortal knowing the volcano offshore had taken the lives of 17 people just a month earlier.
Some time last week I visited the Ōhope Four Square.
That was the very Four Square Hayden Marshall-Inman frequented. The one where he'd often leave $5 to pay for a portion of the next person's groceries. An act which inspired others to do the same after the eruption.
A month on there was little sign of people leaving $5 for the next shopper but while I was there the attendant greeted a shopper, I'm guessing a local, by name.
It was as if to say that while hundreds of people have flocked to Ōhope and Whakatāne this summer aware of what has happened, only you and I know what it was really like.
It was as if to say "we'll never be the same again".
The disaster overshadowed the trip to Ōhope and those into Whakatāne.
If not for everyone, for me.
It's there in the welcome sign, proudly declaring Whakatāne "the gateway to Whakaari/White Island".
It's there throughout the journey along the Ngā Tapuwae o Toi track during which you can spot New Zealand's only active marine volcano.
It's there in the shopkeeper, greeting locals with a common experience by name.
After the eruption, it was of course big news in the days and weeks following. Then things settled down. For some people, life returned to normal, news moved on, onlookers moved on.
But for those still fighting for their lives in burns units across the Pacific - and their families and loved ones - and others impacted by this tragedy it is impossible to move on.
One month after the eruption the effects are still felt.
It is the moment everything changed.