The more I watch the news, the more I feel enveloped into an all-penetrating, stifling sadness interspersed with muted anger, pent-up emotions and an awful feeling of helplessness. This is a background sadness, the type that just will not go away, that resolutely stays put – somewhere there in the background – simmering, about to overflow but never quite reaching the edge. This is a sadness that is impossible to shake off. This is a sadness that has permanently settled down in the heart as I watched with disbelief and shock the horrific atrocity unfolding in Manchester: the slaughter of innocent children, young lives forever changed, maimed, scarred physically and mentally, families torn apart, hopes ripped to shreds, futures stolen.

The physical scars might one day heal but can the same be said about the mental scarring that this traumatic experience will undoubtedly leave on the vulnerable minds of the children?

As a fun, joyful evening at Manchester Arena turned into a slaughter house of the innocent young lives by a twisted terrorist, the horror, shock and disbelief at the sheer evil of the perpetrator’s intentions slowly and irrevocably turned into a slow-burning, deep anger. It was a ruthless attack on children – the most precious presence in our lives, the nation’s future generation.

Children who lost their lives in Manchester Arena terrorist attack are now everybody’s children. They are the nation’s children simply because an attack on one of them is an attack on all.

As expected, following this atrocity there have been calls for calm; perhaps, those who urge to ‘carry on as normal’ are right: they are the sensible ones who don’t let their raw emotions get the better of them. Who am I to judge?

I can only speak for myself: I cannot carry on as normal and I refuse to accept a slaughter of children by terrorists as the new normal.

There is nothing normal about children – whether British or of any other nationality – being a target for evil terrorising murderers.

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