Reflection on the events at Manchester Arena

24th May 2017

A poignant reflection by Paul Gallagher on the terrible events at Manchester Arena.

Paul writes 'One way of helping the victims and survivors of the bombing in Manchester is to provide love, kindness, empathy and compassion.

Giving these gifts in the initial stages of such a traumatic event will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

The simple gesture of a nurse holding your hand when you wake up in Intensive Care. A kind smile. A kind word or two. This all matters.

These little nuggets of love will help provide the basis for the resilience they will need on their journey to recovery. 
Acts of kindness become building blocks of recovery.

They will also need the love and support of their family, their community and wider society.

This has already been seen in the first responders and in how the people of Manchester opened their doors to the victims and survivors.

There will be a lot of anger, fear and thoughts of revenge. Understandable emotions in the aftermath of violence.

However, such emotions are futile as the journey goes on. The attacker is gone. There is nobody to direct these emotions at.

Instead the emotions focus inward and attack you. They hold you back on your journey of rebuilding your life.

These emotions need to be thought through and integrated into the 'new' you. Such life changing events change 'you'.

However, you get to decide the 'new' you that you become.

This will not happen overnight but with love support and compassion of those around you, you may actually begin to grow and thrive.

This should be the way that we talk about such horrific events. Abandon the hate and fear. Look for the nuggets of hope and love.

Nothing can change what happened. But you can change the way it affects you'.