One doesn’t really know how to feel, when events unfold so close to home, such as the horrific attacks that recently hit 2 of the UK’s most vibrant cities: Manchester, 2 weeks ago, and London last weekend.
My reactions and those of the people I have spoken to seem to go a little like this:
First, anger. Who could do such a hateful thing, kill so many innocent people?
Second, pain. It hurts to think about how terrifying this was. These were people out enjoying a fun night out in their cities where you would hope they would feel safe.
Third, grief. Think of all those affected: the dead, the injured, their families and friends and loved ones, the emergency services, the witnesses, the people who had a lucky escape. This is so unfair. So many lives changed forever, in the blink of an eye.
Foruth, fear. Is this really how things are going to be? Where are we safe? Where does this end? The police were amazingly fast but not fast enough to save everyone. Could this happen anywhere?
Fifth, gratitude. All you can do in the end, is thank God so much that it wasn’t you, your family, your friends. That you are all safe. You can feel this gratitude, with no sense of shame, while still mourning for those that were hurt.
Sixth, defiance. Realising that you are lucky to have love, connections, and joy in your life. That you live in a place where people from all different backgrounds will come together and stand defiantly against acts of hate. That you will not live your life in fear.
As terrifying as it is, the overwhelming feeling that resonates after these events is that we must appreciate what we have, right now – all the love and the goodness and the beauty that surrounds us in our every day life.
The sense of community that is so strongly felt and observed after these attacks is proof of our humanity and the importance of connections and togetherness in this confusing world.
Because these tragic losses of life serve to remind us that we can never be sure just how quickly, how unfairly, that feeling might be taken from us.