Monday, 29 May 2017


To Manchester and met up with a friend from my town (who had gone there early to shop.) Meal out and nice company. On the way back, I visited St Ann's Square which was filled with flowers, balloons, cards, candles and chalked tributes. I saw a balloon which said "You will be missed" which made me cry- but that's not been difficult these last eight months. Walking back to the train I passed so many people clutching bunches of flowers and carrying balloons, some crying. It was moving but a part of me felt concerned it might be self indulgent.I've become acutely aware of the utter anguish of bereavement, and worry that in a just a few weeks those poor families will most likely feel a fickle world has moved on when they are in it for the long run and  face a long, hard and truly torturous struggle ahead. It is important we recognise and  mark such atrocities but we should beware of sentiment and manufactured grief which can be an insult given the harrowing nature of real loss and grief. I've thought the same reading facebook posts and tweets this last week.
I leave you to make your own minds up.


  1. Someone recommended that I read your blog as my husband died suddenly last year. So I shall be doing so over the coming days. Thank you for your words.

  2. Hi Josie,
    I've had a read through your blog, how heartbreaking. It seems you also lost your husband suddenly and unexpectedly just a few weeks after I lost mine. I do feel for you, it is a long, hard road isn't it- and only those who have been through it really seem to understand. With kindest thoughts, Sue.

  3. I can agree with you, Suem, because you speak from the inside. Eight months already? And still just a few steps along the way.
    I think we have lost contact with our deepest emotions, life is spent in short flashes. But we need them so when we have an opportunity, we grab it. It can be wild and crazy like at football games or concerts, and then there is the space that opens up when evil strikes and death comes close but not too close. If we write all those messages and leave all these balloons, roses and teddybears for our own sake, for the sake of empathy and support, for the manifestation of "we won't give in" or because we actually need and want to show that we do get hurt and we do care and we won't let it just pass unnoticed but we don't really know how to express it, it's almost impossible to tell. I think we balance between all of these options.
    But I think for those who actually have experienced the horror of loss or the pain of violence, there will always be a point where you are alone, there will always be the time when as you say, people have moved on and you are still there. Everyone want's to be the one that understands and can give comfort, but very few walks the entire mile.
    The pictures, roses, balloons and teddybears are manifestations of our despair, hope and deeply felt sorrow that things like this actually happends to people in our own neighbourhood, people like ourselves.
    It's not bad in itself, it does make people stronger and braver, it brings people together, it sends out a signal that we are not beaten even if we are afraid. But it doesn't help the mourners in the long run, no, and maybe it isn't suppose to. No Suem, we can't fully understand, but we can pray for you and that we do. Thank you for bringing this up, we need to think about what we actually do and say!!

  4. I am just touching base and trying to catch up. I feel so sad that I have been so isolated at this time when you are going through the loss of your special person. I know I don't need to say, "Forgive me'" but I wanted you to know how sorry I am to have been so wrapped up in myself and my own troubles. In a strange kind of way, writing this is helping. This has been such a hard summer for the whole country, and I am sorry for your own troubles. Blessings from Dalamory

    1. Hi Freda,
      There is no need to apologise and nothing to forgive. I am just sorry you have had your own difficulties at this time, life really is very hard sometimes :( Hope you do have people you can share with.