I’m not Swedish and have never actually ‘lived’ there but over the past year, I have spent enough time there and interacted with enough Swedes to feel a part of it in some way. By now, most of you must have heard about the attack Friday afternoon. I was talking to Swedes when I heard, my mobile started vibrating instantly, many friends wanted to know if I was there or in Malta and was I ok, I was in Malta so yea safely far away and so far I have not heard of anyone I know being hit so that’s great. But it’s also only selfishly great because people were hit and the beautiful, welcoming city where I have always felt so safe was hit. Those facts can never be erased or eradicated from memory.
My feelings turned to anger and disbelief; ‘why does this continue to happen’ were the angry thoughts, feelings targeted towards those enemies we cannot place, those faces that live amongst us yet are capable of destroying us so easily. Disbelief because we never think it will hit close to home and also because let’s face it Stockholm is not one of those places you think likely to be the victim of terrorist attacks. We tend to associate that with the larger cities so to speak.
So what does this continue to mean for Europe, for our world? Obviously, I don’t have any answers and if you think this post is a bit of a ramble, I totally agree, I don’t have any words of wisdom to offer, any solutions to the problems that probably cannot be fixed. I will however say one thing, I refuse to bow down, to give these enemies what they want, for me to be afraid and live in fear. I will continue to live my life out of the shadows and when I’m next in Stockholm, I will walk past the area, walk into the store which I imagine will be open and refuse to feel afraid.