I had great intentions of sharing a regular, book related post today but it doesn't seem right. Something so horrific has happened that hits very close to home for me in so many ways, I need to talk about that.
Just over 24 hours ago, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in the foyer of Manchester Arena, a place in which I have had some of my best moments, mere seconds after the end of an Ariana Grande concert. As of now, 22 people have been killed and another 59 have been seriously injured, with one victim being just 8 years old. The majority of that audience will have been children and young people, it sickens me just thinking about that! Obviously being from the UK, just a couple of hours drive from Manchester, this has had a profound affect on me. I love this city and have had some incredible times there. However, it's impact on me is far more than just geographical.
(Manchester Arena, 2016)
Concerts are a major part of my life. So far this year I have attended 9, with at least another 10 planned for the rest of the year. I travel around the UK and Ireland to support my favourite acts and enjoy their shows. Just this year I have attended shows in London and Birmingham, as well as some more local to me. They are my happy place, my escape from reality, the one place I can truly be myself without a care in the world. For so many people, that happy place has been destroyed and their escape from reality became a nightmare. To think that this crowd of mostly young girls were having the time of their lives, enjoying their idol performing without a care in the world, creating memories they should be able to treasure, not realising the complete devastation to follow, it's heartbreaking. No-one should go to a concert and not return home. Concerts should never be an unsafe, scary place to be. They should be full of joy and memories that will be treasured forever.
My heart breaks for those whose best night became their worst nightmare. For those who sang their heart out and danced all night, not knowing it was their last. For those who are fighting for their lives and those working their absolute hardest to make them better. For those who lost loved ones and for those whose loved ones are still missing. For Ariana, her family and her team. For fangirls like myself around the world. For the world in general.
I will not let this murderer steal my happy place. I will not let hate, fear and terror win. I will attend every concert I want to, where I will sing a little louder and dance a little more for those who never will again.
I know this isn't my usual post but it is something I felt I needed to talk about. Bookish posts will resume tomorrow. For tonight though, hug your loved ones a little tighter.