I live in the centre of Manchester, UK and I’ve really struggled to find the words to describe how I have felt following the horrific attack at the arena on Monday evening.
On Monday evening, after a long and hard day at work, me and my partner fell asleep, lights on, unaware of the event happening down the road from us.
Around 12:30/1am, we woke up subconsciously aware of the constant sirens passing by and the helicoter circling the area. Now sirens and helicopters in the city isn’t unusual but we both knew something had happened. Simultaneously we both checked our phone, me the news, my partner twitter, and both gasped.
We sat shocked and horrified as we watched BBC news, trying to figure out what had happened and why.
On Tuesday I felt numb. The attack was horrific, 22 dead and so many injured including children. The atmosphere as I drive to work had the feeling of caution and shock. There wasn’t the usual traffic or horns or idiotic drivers, people were concentrating on driving. On functioning. Struggling to comes to terms what had happened to our lovely city.
My phone was filled with messages of concerns, family members and friends hearing the Manchester on the news and panicking. The words of my mum echoed in my mind from when I went to Paris just after the attack at the airport;
‘I am fearful as I never know exactly where you are’
So many people must have felt that on Monday evening/Tuesday morning.
Even today as I write this I am still feel numb, I didn’t know any of the victims but I feel like I am in mourning. I still feel fear and anxious when I hear more than one siren. I can’t even start to imagine how those who were there or affected by this attack are feeling.
As I took my hard hat off and held a minute silence on my site, I was nearly in tears remembering the victims faces and the scenes on Tuesday morning when we heard the news. The thought that my partner works round the corner from the arena in the city centre. I felt that fear my mum had about me, if something happened, I wouldn’t know where you were.
But I do feel proud of our city. We have demonstrated how strong we are as a community. We have demonstrated our strength as a nation. We have demonstrated our compassion, our love and our bravery.
As I went into the centre yesterday for the first time since the attack, there was an odd atmosphere. It is one still of caution but it was still busy. People were not fearful. They were out to enjoy life, appreciate life, embrace life.
We as a city and a nation can not live in fear otherwise we would never live. It is events like this which remind us how precious life is and how at any moment we could lose the ones we love and care for. Our soulmates, our siblings, our parents, our children or our best friends. It is now we should be creating memories with them, reminding them we love them and staying together.
My thoughts are with the victims families and friends, and with all those who attended with event on Monday evening and please donate and support those affected by this cowardly attack: