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Reaction to Tragedy

27 Jul
Life goes by too fast and can be taken away so easily, that has been all too evident over this past week.  When major news event regarding death occur I find myself almost subconscious taking stock of all I have and re assessing what I am still to achieve. After the heartbreak of 9/11 I began thinking about life and what the world I was about to become an adult in was really like.  I realised that my university place I was applying for wasn’t for me, I wanted to see the world and try my hand at all opportunities that I had to offer. As cliché as it was, I felt at 17 that life was too short to spend three more years studying right now. I took a gap year, worked and travelled, and if you will excuse another cliché, I found myself.
With the tragic events of the past 7 days my time of reflection has begun again.  The innocent lives being taken indiscriminately in Norway shock me to the core. Being so brutally reminded how easily everything can be taken away from you in an instant lead me to question how much I would leave behind if I were not here anymore and how many things there are I still wish to do or achieve with my life. 
Then within almost 24 hours the world’s attention turned to the untimely death of Amy Winehouse. I was standing in the middle of Clapham Common dancing away to the Fun Loving Criminals when word came through of her passing.  As a friend shared with me the news he’d just received in a text, the story was spreading like wildfire through the crowds.  Before long there were chimes of ‘a legend has been lost’ and ‘what a waste of a young life’ closely followed by ‘she bought it on herself’. These comments all washed over me really because, as with any celebrity death, I feel sad that a life has been lost but ultimately don’t feel real grief as I did not know them.  Then began the talk of the ’27 club’ and my feelings changed.  It hit me. She was my age. She was my age and she was dead. At 27 I still feel like I’m finding my feet in the world, 27 is no age to die. 
I’m happy with my life. I have a loving husband, wonderful daughter, beautiful home and second child on the way. I feel as far as family life and motherhood goes I couldn’t ask for any more, but what about me as a person?  Away from my family, for my personal growth, there is still so much I’m sure I am yet to achieve.  From the small things, restaurants I’ve always said I must visit but never got around to, to the very large, changing my career and pursuing my passion for writing and journalism, I have a lot going round in my head that I want to do.
I’m a practical person, I know that nothing I can say or do can bring back the lives that have been lost this week, and I know that I cannot prevent tragedies like this ever happing again, but I can make changes to my life and make sure that, in the wake of these shocking events, I make the most of all I have and once again true to the cliché – live my life to the fullest.