I have, within the last couple of days, read words elsewhere, in which the writer compared the death of Amy Winehouse with the dystopia in Norway, and in which the writer had no sympathy for Amy, because "she had a choice", whereas all those youngsters in Norway didn't.
As a parent, I have heart-felt sympathy and empathy for the close families of the victims of both these tragic events, but let me say, it is a cruel world that allows children to die before their parents.
Yes, it may have been difficult at times during her life for some of us to sympathise with her antics, sometimes over-publicised by the press, but there is no doubt that she left us with a significant legacy of her talent. My thoughts for days and weeks to come are with the parents and close families of all those youngsters, who died at the hands of evil forces, be they drugs barons and pushers or extremist political groups.
If you'll pardon my use of poetic metaphor here - and I mean metaphor; I'm not advocating that we should actually use any physical weapons, other than the pen and the civilised word - we should never let our swords sleep in our hands in bringing to account those forces and whoever supports them, by word or deed.
None of these young lives, lives that were once filled with promise and potential, can suffer anymore. None of them will feel pain, can be the recipients of our praise or admonishment, can hear our words of love and sympathy. But their parents, close family and best friends can. So spare a thought or prayer, if you will, for all of those, who have to live on and cope with this loss; try to understand the cutting pain of deprivation that losing a child will bring; a pain that, for most parents at least, will probably never go away.