Spread Love, Not Hate

I don’t usually like to comment on events like those that happened yesterday in Manchester.  I’m definitely one of those people that tries to keep a positive mind, and the way I do that is to not think about events like this in too much detail, not think about the families it involves, or the terror that has been caused.  That might make me sound heartless, but it’s just a way to cope with an awful situation.

When the Westminster attacks happened a few months ago, I was at work in London, just about to leave the office. Whilst it was worrying, I wasn’t close to the attacks, and I managed to leave London safely, and returned to work safely the next day.  I spent the evening reading reports on the attacks and the devastating results of what happened.  As someone who has family members in the police, the death of PC Keith Palmer was a personal shock, and a real reality check as to the dangers they face everyday doing their job.  I felt awful for the other innocent victims who had been going about their everyday business: Aysha Frade who had been on her way to pick her kids up from school; Kurt Cochran who was a tourist celebrating his wedding anniversary; Leslie Rhodes who was visiting a nearby hospital – all gone in a matter of moments because of one person’s selfish act.

But as horrific as this attack was, I still went about my daily activities. I said a prayer for the victims, but I didn’t really think about it too much or feel scared.  As callous as it sounds, it was starting to be something “normal” that happened in London – at least, those were my initial thoughts when I first heard the news.  Likewise, my husband wasn’t overly worried, he was glad I was on the train home, but hadn’t really given me a second thought as he knew the incident wasn’t close to my office.

But today is different.  Today has been hard.

The attack in Manchester has really hit me, and when something worries or scares me, I do what I do best – I write about it.  I’ve been sitting at work but can’t concentrate on the million and one things I have to do because of what has happened today.  Maybe it’s because I’m a mum and it seems this terrible attack has for some reason been aimed at children.  News reports are starting to flood through about the victims and people are being named, which makes it even more real.  Talking to my online friends who live up near Manchester and hearing them talk about how that area is part or was part of their everyday life makes it seem thaglt bit more real. Hearing how they know people, or know of people who were at the concert, or who were close by when it happened, is frightening.  Reading the stories throughout the day have just made me feel even more emotional.  I can’t begin to imagine what the parents, friends and family of the victims, and those still missing, are feeling.

Alfie woke me early this morning, which is unusual for him.  It was like he needed a cuddle, and when I checked my phone at 5.15 this morning and saw the news, I really needed that cuddle.  At the time I wrote that I have no words.  I couldn’t comprehend what had happened.

Now I have a few words.  Firstly:

Fuck You.

To anyone who thinks they have the right to destroy lives like this.  I don’t know what goes through people’s minds when these attacks happen, but it just needs to stop.  I’m not going to waste my time ranting about how wrong and sick these people are, because we all know.

Secondly:

Thank you and well done.

Well done to all those amazing people in Manchester who reached out and helped those who needed.  Who did their jobs as police officers and ambulance people and hospital workers.  Who offered lifts home to stranded people.  Who offered beds to those in need.  Who went and donated blood when the hospital was running out.  Who helped desperate parents look for their loved ones.  Who held strangers as they were injured or dying.

Thank you and well done for just coming together and supporting everyone in this horrific attack.

I wish I was closer and could do more to help.  But know that you are all in my thoughts, and I will hugging my gorgeous boy that bit tighter tonight.  I will continue to think of those affected, but I refuse to let this get me down any longer.  We must be strong and fight back – I don’t know exactly how we will do that, but I trust those who can help, will help and do more to try to stop these awful happenings in the world.

I for one will try to help by teaching my son to love, not hate.  To help, not attack. To be kind and respectful, not angry and hateful.  To be a good person.  That is all I can do for now.

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