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It’s been another trying week, I have to admit. This past Saturday marked 4 years since I lost my Mom, which always brings about a number of struggles throughout the day, and usually in the days leading up to it. It’s a tough pill to swallow, no matter how much time has passed.
A few days later, I awoke to a Facebook notification indicating that one of my good friends in Manchester has registered as being “safe” following the Manchester Bombing. You can imagine my confusion at 4 o’clock in the morning while conducting what has now become a routine puppy pee. And, after some quick research I learned about the heartbreaking event that took place the night before in the city I spent one of the best years of my life in.
I can tell you learning this news was unpleasant – it always is. I never want to learn of groups of innocent people being harmed regardless of where it takes place in the world. I remember feeling shocked and saddened about the massive incident in Paris, after being there several months beforehand – being able to place memories with areas reported as being affected. It was close to home, but I was still removed.
Learning about Manchester felt like a punch in the gut. I spent many days (and on rare occasions, nights) in the exact area the incident took place. I used nearby Victoria Station to travel to several parts of the country (including Halifax, UK when my brother came to visit!). I even wrote an entire blog post based on a single class I took during my time at Acadia University, where I followed the footsteps of Friedrich Engels. And with all those memories flooding my head, I quickly began messaging those I knew that were still in the city.
The rest of the day felt kind of like a blur. I just felt sad. I thought of all the families affected – especially those who’s loved ones wouldn’t be coming home again. I thought of the uneasiness of the reality that it was most likely young girls and/or homosexual males that were at the heart of the intended target. It was too close to Death Day1. It was too close to home.
Yet, as I sit here a few days later, still feeling saddened, but unbelievably thankful that all my loved ones are safe and sound, I can’t help by but think of all the other horrific and tragic incidents that take place around the world almost every day. Attacks in Bangkok and Marawi that also occurred within the same 24 hours were also briefly highlighted, but paled in comparison to the media coverage – coverage which usually leaves out the, almost daily, occurrences in other areas, such as Syria, Iraq, and a number of others.
I can’t rectify in my brain how anyone could conduct such acts, nor can I even begin to understand how so many people live with these fears on a daily basis. I fear the future sometimes, especially when similar tragedies seem to be occurring more frequently, with more specifically targeted victims. But then, I focus on the stories of kindness, of strength, that also sometimes follow these incidents. Manchester is an amazing testament to this. It is both inspiring and uplifting to read about the many acts that stemmed from this one tragedy – acts that came without even thinking about it.
Imagine a world where people acted like that towards others not in their hometown, country, or even continent. Imagine if every time these events happened we showed kindness instead of unfounded racism or other misinformed thoughts and opinions. That’s the world I strive for; the one I’m trying to work towards. And I know it’s a hard-fought battle, but I’d rather be fighting for the impossible than doing nothing.
-the Orange Canadian
1Death Day is what I refer to my Mom’s anniversary as. It started kind of as a light-hearted way of looking at it, oddly enough, while living in Manchester, as my friends presented me with Death Day greeting cards, and we made a day of it!