I am sitting in my new clinic over Portobella road. I sit on the window ledge to take in the sun. I feel at peace and thoughtful. I look to my left and lose myself in the distance of the city’s view. I think about my future, and where my writing will take me tomorrow. I glance to my right, and there in plain sight is the remainder of Grenfell Tower. It looms in the sky as a beacon of loss.
I have not seen it in person, and before I know what I am doing, I am walking out of the building towards it. Ten minutes later I am standing in front of Grenfell Tower. It is a surreal moment. The tower is opposite a shiny elegant looking leisure centre. It doesn’t seem to be placed in the right place, where individuals walk past it as though not realising it is there in a land so beautiful. It sits there looking depressed and alone.
Part of the building looks wide awake, bright and clean, and then suddenly you are taken to the other side almost like a creature of death. The windows are vanished, there is darkness of black surrounding the building. It is a desolate looking. I suddenly become overwhelmed with the pain that must have been caused by those directly in the fire and those that have known a loss. I imagine the fire that must have engulfed life, like the Satan’s mouth closing in on sleeping children, and I feel a knot in my stomach.
I will be meeting a patient today that saw the entire fire happen from start to finish. My mouth feels dry. A fire so powerful, that you have seen at a distance on the news is now standing in front of me with the after effects.
How a family’s life can be turned upside in a split moment. How your brushing your teeth before bed might be your last, how your final kiss on your partners cheek will disappear in the nights fire, how fragile life can be in a few precious seconds.
I feel grateful to be alive whilst staring at Grenfell, and I say a quick prayer for those that have lost their life. It’s not just soldiers that should be awarded medals for bravery; it is also families from Grenfell Tower, for being brave to have sacrificed their life against their will in something so monstrous that should never in 2017 happen in a bustling London city.
I hope we all remember we are mortal, and that we should never take our loved ones for granted. Tell your family you love them, and please smile. You want every moment to count.