A woman whose 29-year-old sister Fiona was murdered in the July 7 London atrocity in 2005 has expressed sympathy for other devastated families following last night’s terrorist attack on Manchester Arena.
Andrea Watson was living in Elmwood Avenue, Hoole , when her only sibling Fiona Stevenson, a talented lawyer, was killed as she made her way to work on the London underground.
In a cruel waiting game it was several days before her death was confirmed and the full horror revealed. The 7/7 bombings eventually claimed 52 lives, including seven in the Aldgate tube blast that killed Fiona.
Andrea, who today lives in Rossett with husband Ian and their two daughters Sofia, seven, and Natasha, five, told The Chronicle: “All I can say is that my sympathies are with those that have been affected at this awful time.
"Those that are in hospital, searching, waiting, hoping, scouring all sources to find their loved ones or have the heartbreaking news that they have passed away – there are no words to give in situations like this, it is just so terribly, earth shatteringly sad.”
The couple decided to give their first born daughter Sofia the middle name of ‘Fiona’ in memory of Andrea’s beloved sister.
While life has moved on, those tragic days of 2005 are frozen in time with Fiona’s absence at key milestones a constant reminder of how her loss has left a sad trail as the human journey continues.
“We were really really close,” said Andrea previously, who grew up in Essex with her sibling.
Remembering Fiona, she said: “She was funny, happy, generous and a bit clumsy. I have got that trait as well! And she was always up for a laugh.
“She believed in the balance of the law, not to ‘get someone off’ but to make sure justice was done fairly. She wanted to become a human rights lawyer. She would always defend the weak and talked about injustice.”
Like Fiona, Andrea is blessed with a positive outlook, but can never forgive those who inflicted pain on her family or other families.
“I admire people that can, I really do, but no, there is no way, especially because I’ve got to explain to my children why their aunt is not here. I am angry someone placed me in this position.
“It is hard to explain why their beautiful young aunt died and is not here for family celebrations, to watch their nativity play or to be there for birthday parties when others in the family are. These events are bitter-sweet as it is obvious there is someone missing.
“It is something no one should have to attempt to explain whilst also dealing with the grief themselves. We tell them stories about her so that they know who she was and her memory and importance in the family in order to keep her alive.”