Debi Haden

From the blog

Grenfell – Forever in our hearts

Today will be a quietly reflective day for me, as it will be for so many others. Today is the 1-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire and a year since I supported victims and survivors of that terrible event.
Many of you will not know that for the last 14 years I’ve been a member of the British Red Cross Psycho-Social Support team, working alongside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in responding to UK nationals caught up in large-scale crises around the globe, including more recently the UK.
Our team has responded to dozens of crises around the world including earthquakes, hurricanes and terrorist attacks. We are part of the FCO’s rapid deployment teams, offering professional support to survivors, bereaved and members of the local community in the aftermath or during the continuation of a crisis. I myself supported the earthquake in Haiti, the Volcano eruption in Iceland, worked in Zimbabwe, and more recently the Grenfell tower fire.

What always strikes me when I support a disaster of this kind is the way in which life can change in an instant and how we just never know what is around the next corner. I believe my work over these 14 years has given me a very different perspective on every day normal life. It’s made me realise that often the little things that we stress about are not, in the greater scheme of things, a matter of life or death….we just behave as those they are. Every time I feel myself losing context I remind myself of this thought process and reflect on my bigger picture. We as individuals can waste so much time agonising over our past mistakes or worrying about tomorrow, but what if we didn’t, what if we focused on living for today, showing gratitude for what we have, and enjoying every moment that we are given.

On the night of the fire, hundreds of people went to bed in that tower, lives full of promise and hope for the future. By the morning 72 people had lost their lives, and thousands more lives had been changed forever by association with family, friends, firefighters, observers of the night’s horrific events, or supporting those affected. The true impact of this tragic night may never be known…
We can never bring those people back, we cannot mend the emotional wounds of those affected by the event of that night, but what we can do to honour them is to live our own precious lives in gratitude, love and hope for the future.

Forever in our hearts..❤


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