On Monday night, I was having a quick scroll through Twitter before bed, when suddenly some trending tweets made my heart skip a beat. It didn’t seem real, and I had to search for confirmation that it was true.
The tweets were desperate. News channels hadn’t quite reported anything substantial yet. My heart was in my throat. Videos of mostly young girls desperately trying to scramble out of an arena. People tweeting trying to find their children, friends, etc. And later, a video of the bomb sounds. The Manchester Arena attack hit me harder than any other ever has. I’m not sure if it’s because I saw it all unfold not long after it happened, or if it’s because it’s so close to me, or if it’s because I can’t believe this has happened again, and so soon. It was likely a combination, but either way, it shook me more than any other news story has ever managed to.
Seeing the faces of actual people who were missing at the time broke my heart. I can’t imagine ever having to do that. You never think it’s something you’d have to do. Seeing responses first hand from the people who are now having to mourn the death of their child is like some surreal horror story.
Trying to think of ways I could help without actually being able to go there, I sat up until 5am retweeting information, finding phone numbers, lifts and places to stay and connecting Facebook users who don’t have Twitter. It probably didn’t help, but it was something. I couldn’t bare the thought of closing my eyes and falling asleep while some people were up wondering where their children, friends and family were. So at least I could try to be useful in some way.
Of course it would never be enough. We all say our thoughts are with those affected, but our thoughts are not enough, or at least they’ll never feel it, and we are all affected.
I’m not really the crying type when it comes to things like this. I’m more the person who tries to take action somehow or gets angry. But my heart overflowed this time and poured out through my eyes. I couldn’t get my head around it. I couldn’t get the images out of my head.
I couldn’t face social media properly this last few days, and paused almost all action there and on the blog. Not to make a point, but because posting about cocktails or skincare just doesn’t matter at the moment.
I didn’t want to post about Manchester before, because who cares about my thoughts on this? I don’t even care about my thoughts on this, but I thought it might offer some explanation for me going quiet and also let you know that I acknowledge it before I post out what seems like trivial content now. I don’t want to talk about the aftermath or associated reactions by others yet. There are some things I’m going to save for another post, when it feels more appropriate. I’m finding it difficult to put my thoughts into words, because it all feels so selfish.
I just hope that you’re all doing okay out there. I hope you’re finding hope or have something to keep you going. I hope that by writing this, it might at least show you that you are not alone, and that we all feel the same. Heavy hearted and horrified.
My thoughts are of course with Manchester. I wish that felt like enough.