Manchester 22/05/17 In Memoriam

You never think it would ever happen to you. Sure, you hear about it in the news, but that’s happening to other people. The likelihood of it ever happening to you is exceptionally small and yet, one day, it does. The odds, on that day, are not in your favour.

Monday 22 May 2017, my sister, with two of her friends, went to the Ariana Grande concert. She loved it, had a great time. At the end, they stayed behind a little bit, chatting and letting other people go ahead. They heard the explosion, someone had thought a balloon popped, and then people were running and screaming.

The three of them were lucky, others were not. It was this small act of kindness, of letting others pass, that had saved them, because if they had left immediately they would have been caught up in the explosion and could have died or been injured.

They got out and found the train station was closed. The little girls who they allowed to go passed them first, they found out were dead or injured. They managed to get off the streets, hanging out in the lobby of a hotel and, after a while, my sister’s friend’s brother came and picked them up.

It’s interesting how the mind works whilst asleep. How open we are to receiving insights.

Moments before my sister arrived home, I had been dreaming. I was in a building, there were all sorts of people there and there was this one guy, a fictional character from one of the TV series I enjoy watching, and he was urgently pleading with me to leave the building. Something terrible was about to happen and he couldn’t bear the thought of losing me. I had no idea what was happening, but intuitively I felt like an explosion could happen at any moment and soon I woke up. I thought nothing of it. It was only a dream. Nothing unusual about its content.

My sister got home around 2am, woke mum up, telling her she was home, and then started to cry. Lying in bed, I heard my sister crying and could hear bits and pieces. I misheard various things and all I could hear was something terrible had happened. I got out of bed, went into mum’s room and was told what had happened. My sister didn’t want to go to sleep, so we went downstairs and watched Tangled instead, cuddled up on the sofa with the dogs. The next day, we hung out in Starbucks, because that is her favourite place outside of our home and it helped to calm her down.

As the sister of someone who had survived physically unscathed, I can only imagine what it must be like for those whose loved ones have passed on. I can only imagine the tragedy of losing someone you care about most, especially when that someone is so very young.

On this day, do something special just for you and your loved ones. Celebrate the fact that you are still so very much alive. Tend to your mental health, take a day off work or school, whether you are allowed to or not, you need it. Find something that you can be grateful for and do something you enjoy doing that will help keep your mind off things.

Don’t let this experience reduce you to hatred and violence. But instead, rise above the flames, soar higher than ever before and unleash your inner phoenix, because you survived the ashes and you are still so very much alive.

Here is a poem I wrote to mark this occasion:

Manchester Bombing 22/05/17 In Memoriam

A year to the day, 22 lives were lost

A year to the day, many others were not

 

Those who live on, memories still remain

Those who live on, never to be the same again

With broken hearts and damaged minds

To slowly heal with love and time

 

Those who pass on are never truly gone

Their spirits have only returned home

They still reside in hearts and minds

And there they stay until our time

Until one day we too return

To a loving Heavenly Father but not too soon

 

Those who are gone are in safe hands now

Never to be forgotten and always in our hearts

And to all those who remain on Earth
Let this event mark a rebirth

As we who remain have work to do

Let’s make this world a better place

One where all is accepting of every race

And love is our only weapon of war

To destroy hate forever more

 

Peace and love to all of you

We have only one work to do

We’ll stand up for truth and right

We’ll be a beacon in God’s sight

We’ll be a sanctuary to those in need

In our thoughts, words and in our every deed

 

That one day we can truly say

There is peace on Earth until the end of days

Respond with compassion and kindness. Learn to love and forgive others, in doing so you will heal, and learn to let go of the emotional hold it undoubtedly still has over you. Realise and be aware that healing takes time. It will be slow, it will be painful, but it will be so worth it, if only for your peace of mind. Don’t criticise yourself for how long it takes. Don’t focus on the length of time it takes. Instead focus on one small thing you can do in each moment to heal your heart, mind and soul. And never take life or time spent with your loved ones for granted ever again.

‘If You Could Hie to Kolob’ is one of my favourite church songs. Read / download it here.

Verse 5 I think is of particular importance:
“There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.
There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.”
Our loved ones live on in spirit and, so will we, and one day we will all rise again in immortality.

Whatever happens, don’t forget to smile!

Becky xx

Any thoughts? Add them to the comments below!