This book has been nine years in the writing. I wondered why it was taking me so long to finish. Then I realised I was unwittingly waiting for some definitive end to come to my grieving. I was waiting to wake up one morning and be able to say, it’s over, now I can resume my life.

Now I know it can never be over. There can never be any going back to the life we lived before Ciara’s death. Life has changed now. It has lost its innocence. This is not like a movie where I can temporarily be shocked and repulsed by the horror and evil in the world, be moved to tears by the sadness, then the movie ends and I go home and get on with life. This is life and it is my life now. I have tasted the woundedness, the evil and the horror of the world in a way that has changed me forever.

Life is not meant to be static. We are meant to change and grow. Through my encounter with man’s inhumanity to man I have experienced deep grief but also, and paradoxically, tremendous growth. But the movie never ends.