The Fragility of Life

Fragility-of-lifeOver a week has now passed since the devastating death of Mrs. Ann Maguire in Corpus Christi College in Leeds. Stabbed to death by her 15-year-old pupil in front of students as she assisted in preparing the students for their upcoming GCSE exams later this month. She was so dedicated she had come into work on her day off. Having taught at the school for 40 years, she has inspired three generations of pupils. The outpouring of grief following her death is palpable. As a 33-year-old I can not understand it so I can not even comprehend how her 15-year-old students are coming to terms with her death. Although I have had the unfortunate stain of grief forever etched onto my soul, I am grateful that it is not through the hatred and violence of someone else. To say that my thoughts and heart go out to her family and friends goes without saying. How they are coping with this with such composure and dignity is beyond me. There is also the other family to consider here. The family of the killer who now have to live with the knowledge that their loved one was capable of such actions.

Despite this, the death of Ann Maguire is not in vain. At the very least it has proven that teachers do matter and not all teenagers are the uncaring, apathetic species they are made out to be. To think that a teenager organised a fundraiser in her memory to which more than 200 students and their families attended proves that point.


It is only natural to look for answers as to why but there is only one person who can answer and that is the 15-year-old who wielded the knife. It is no good to blame the rock music he listened to, I listen to rock music and have done so throughout my teenage years but that did not possess me to such actions. I was not exactly the most popular student in my school either and violent video games are not the answer. We are all in disbelief at how anyone can commit such an act of hated and violence, let alone a child and it is only natural to point the finger and find blame somewhere.

As I held my daughter in my arms tonight I had a much deeper respect for life. I remember holding my new-born daughter in my arms 17 months ago and swearing that I would protect her from all harm. I knew deep down that would be impossible but the mixed emotions of becoming a mother for the first time convinced me that it was indeed possible. Rocking her to sleep tonight and watching her eyes grow heavy as her little fingers played with the loose strands of my hair made me fear so much for the future. I fear that I will not be able to protect her from hurt and pain. I feel what the mothers of Mrs. Maguire’s students must feel right now.

Life is so desperately fragile and can be taken in an instant. Ann Maguire is an inspiration to all teachers out there. She is a reminder that you all make a difference to lives. She is a reminder that exam results are not always the most important thing. It is how you make people feel. Mrs. Maguire has inspired me to grab life with both hands. To hold my loved ones that little bit tighter and to whisper those three words that little bit louder.

Rest in peace Mrs. Ann Maguire.

Maguire shirts

Opening image: Wendy Alexander
Second image: BBC
Closing image: BBC

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emily Rimmer
    May 08, 2014 @ 21:38:05

    Beautifully written and inspirational. Life is fragile and so easily taken for granted. I am sure the memory of Mrs Maguire will live on for many years in that school and community!

    Love your blogs! X : )


  2. Sarah Majlesi
    May 11, 2014 @ 16:35:58

    RIP Ann Maguire 😦 x


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