A British man scouring through the streets of Colombo in search of his family is a heart-breaking sight. What’s more heart-breaking to know is the fact that Ben Nicholson a lawyer from the U.K. came to Colombo with his wife and two children, but returned as a father who lost his family in the heinous Sri Lanka blasts.
Life is never going to be the same for Ben, whose family was among the 310 victims of a wave of explosions that took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Ben, his wife Anita, and their kids—Alex (14-years old) and Annabel (11-years old) had come to Colombo from Singapore on a vacation. They were staying over at the Shangri-La Hotel, which is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the whole of Sri Lanka.
But, not in their wildest dreams would they have imagined that while they gathered at a table in the hotel going about their holiday, terror would strike. Post this gruesome attack, Ben was seen wandering the streets of Colombo in search of his family.
Ben said he was “deeply distressed” with his loss; however, “mercifully, all three of them died instantly and with no pain or suffering”.
The British survivor added that his wife, a lawyer, “was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant, loving and inspirational mother to our two wonderful children. Alex and Annabel were the most amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful children.”
“They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy to the lives of all they came into contact with”, said Ben.
As a father who lost his family, we cannot even begin to imagine the grief that he must be going through.
Another father, Sudesh Kolonne lost his wife and 10-year old daughter Alexendria Kolonne at St. Sebastian Church in Negombo. While the two attended the Easter mass at the church, Sudhesh waited outside as the church was packed.
Who would have thought in their wildest dreams that a pious day like Easter, where people gather together to pray for peace would turn out to be one of the most devastating memories of this day. Hundreds of innocent lives are lost due to the cowardly acts of some men who do such heinous crimes in the name of God and religion.
Apart from Ben and Sudesh, there are countless families who have lost their loved ones in these blasts. While many of us would express disbelief, condemn this attack, but then go on about our lives. It’s impossible for those families who have lost their loved ones in the terror attacks to get back to their routine lives.
Although we feel a sense of loss and a feeling of distraught when listening to such news, there is also pent up anger that arises within our hearts. Every day, when we or any of our family members leave our home, we have no guarantee if we’ll return home safe and sound. Yes, that’s how unsafe and unsure such terror attacks have made us.
Those who lost family cannot even mourn in peace since the fear that there might be some explosions similar to the Sri Lanka blasts at mass gatherings happening somewhere else in the near future.