Tuesday, 23 May 2017


We are feeling stunned this morning - the bombing in Manchester Arena and the needless deaths of all the victims are too close to home.

Our son lives in Manchester, as does another good friend, and our grandsons spend time there with their dad.

It is beyond me how to express the horror and fear that event brings into my heart, and indeed, I expect, into the hearts of every parent or grandparent, brother or sister who considers themselves lucky not to be facing that unutterable grief, the rage at the unfairness, the callousness, the supreme thoughtlessness of the person or people who conceived and carried out that bombing.

While we feel that relief that it wasn't one of our own, we cannot shuck off the horror when we consider how other parents, grandparents, family and friends are suffering.

David and I lost a granddaughter to cot death several years ago - we still remember the agony we felt, as grandparents at losing her, but even harder to feel was the helplessness at the suffering of our son and daughter in law, knowing we could do and say nothing that would help ease their pain.

So, we stand beside you, parents and families, friends and neighbours; that is all we can do, and we do it.

In Maori, the word for all that we can offer is awhi - loving support.

Awhi, awhi, awhi.

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