I think the saddest sight I’ve ever seen was the look in my Aunt’s eyes at the funeral of her youngest son. Last Thursday was the 16th annual memorial in Soho, London, – the first I have been to, and the first one my Aunt wasn’t at – she sadly died last summer. Nik brought happiness and fun wherever he went, as well as a real concern for others. But he was killed, along with his friends John, and Andrea, and her unborn baby, in one of 3 “hate attacks” – racist, and against the gay community – by a young man seemingly driven by fear, misdirected revenge, and a quest to be remembered for what he had done. Instead, the ripples of suffering have left scars unimaginably far more than the physical scars alone of the dozens injured, and losses even greater than those reported. It is not my place to share others’ deeply personal stories, but the shock, anger and grief for the needless loss are still palpable. But so is the sense that our shared humanity and an unconditional, compassionate love bring us together. And that is why we must keep remembering, keep supporting, keep speaking out and reminding. Fear breeds hate. But perfect love drives out fear.
Last week also saw the family celebrating love with a joyful wedding. And last week, I was also at a thanksgiving service for the life of Arthur, a testimony to the wonderful, much loved octogenarian, whose gentle but unashamed faith and genuine loving care for all will remain an inspiration I shall remember too.