Manchester

I’ve written a lot recently, but yesterday words completely failed me. I was completely shaken, unable to function properly. What could I possibly say in the face of such a heartless atrocity? I didn’t want my silence to be seen as a mark of disrespect. I couldn’t just pick up my blog a day or two after, without a mention of the bombing in Manchester, pretending that everything was OK. Because I’m certainly not OK. I’m heartbroken. So, after much thought, I’ve decided to put my thoughts and feelings on paper, as insignificant in the face of such a tragedy as they are.

I went to sleep on Monday night before the news broke. I slept all night without knowing about it, and thinking about that now makes me feel sick. So many people had been killed, and I had no idea. I woke up yesterday to the news all over Twitter, not fully understanding what had happened from people’s tweets. When I read an actual headline, it was as if time froze. 22 people dead. 59 people injured. At the Manchester Arena, after an Ariana Grande concert.

I felt shattered when I saw who the bomber had targeted, after I’d read vague tweets – concert goers. And not only that, young concert goers, mostly female, and parents with their children. Children and teenagers who would have been looking forward to this concert for months – maybe their first concert ever – who would’ve been so excited when the date was announced, and who so tragically lost their lives. Parents who took their children to see an artist they loved, but never came home.

For me, concerts meant leaving the real world at the door and being able to unleash my true personality, and to just have a great time with friends. And that’s something you’ll read from music lovers the world over. Things have changed for me since the time I went to 10 concerts by the same artist in 6 months in 6 different countries in Western Europe, but that period will remain one of the happiest ones of my life. I felt truly free to express who I was, and I loved being able to travel to different countries and meet new people. That was 7 years ago, by now, but I never gave a thought to how safe I was at concerts. I was surrounded by like-minded people, all there to have fun and share our love for the artist, and I knew that there was staff there looking out for our safety. Over the years I’ve been to concerts in London, Milan, Nice, Munich, as well as several other cities and festivals. And I always felt safe. They were places were I felt invincible, where the outside world couldn’t touch me for those few hours that I was in the venue. I write all this to express my anger and disbelief at such a cowardly attack. How is it even possible that people went to a concert and then didn’t come home afterwards? I still can’t believe it.

In November I’ll be going to another concert, this time in Cardiff, which I bought tickets for at the beginning of March. But I can’t let myself be worried about it, because, as everyone rightly says, that would mean that the terrorists have won.

Words can not express how deeply saddened I have felt since yesterday morning. Anything I say can not make the victims’ friends and families feel any better, it will not bring their loved ones back, but my thoughts are with them. My heart is broken for them. We all stand together.

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