Night Lights

I’ve been running a kids’ advice clinic in The Studio this month. What’s that? A simple concept really – ask kids for their advice. I’ve been given all sorts of nuggets of wisdom. Five-year-old James gave me a handy farming tip: “when you’re bringing in the sheep, fall back and pretend to be a tree.” Maeve reminded me how to behave: “Don’t slam the door! Don’t slam your friend in the door!” Six-year-old Arianna’s advice was perhaps a little more poignant than she could have anticipated though, when she said:

“Be careful not to let the lights go out. When it gets dark you can’t see anymore and things can be scary without a night light.”

It’s been dark in Mid Ulster this week. As a community we have felt the loss of three young people through tragic circumstances in Cookstown. The roads have claimed more victims and a young mum will soon be buried in her wedding dress…it feels like the lights are out.

What has been heart warming amidst all of this is how in the aftermath of such tragedy, there are so many “night lights” within our community. So many individuals and organisations have come forward, offering services and support to our young people, their parents and anyone else who needs it. Albeit at this trying time there is little consolation for the families, nearest and dearest and friends of those who have gained their wings.

And so at a time when there are no words to fathom the hurt, nothing I can write to make it better, I am sending my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost the ones they love. My thoughts and prayers are with you. We are all with you.

It is dark and it is scary but we will try to be your night light.

With love, Ciara

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