We’re all still shaken by the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena, but Ariana Grande was especially broken by it. 22 people, many of whom were children, were killed after suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s explosive went off inside the venue. The singer left the stage when the bombings occurred, although it has been reported that her mother actually helped fans escape backstage.
Grande suffered from an emotional breakdown following the attack, especially after hearing the victim count. The singer also subsequently suspended her tour. Grande said that she was feeling “broken” after the attack and there have been rumors that the singer might end her music career because of the experience.
Twitter users are divided in their replies. Some reacted in anger and quickly shoved the blame towards terrorism and Islamophobia. Others wanted to focus on sending prayers to those in hospitals, as well as the families that lost loved ones. This is a time for grief, but one father of three decided that Grande needed some help. Patrick Millsaps, a film producer from Georgia, wrote her a touching letter that was later shared on Twitter.
He began his letter as any father would begin a stern, yet comforting, lecture:
“Dear Miss Grande,
I am the father of three daughters – ages 13, 12 and 12. So, you have been a part of our family for years. On occasion, your songs may have stayed on the radio AFTER I have dropped the girls off at school. I can neither confirm nor deny that I have personally seen every episode of Sam & Kat.
Since you are a part of our family and after reading a tweet you posted on the Twitter the other night; I’m afraid I need to set you straight girl. So listen up and receive some redneck love from a daddy of daughters.”
At this point, I can already tell I’m going to need some tissues. Throughout the letter, Millsaps repeatedly reassures Grande that the bombing was not her fault and that doesn’t have to apologize for someone else’s horrid actions.
“You are no more responsible for the actions of an insane coward who committed an evil act in your proximity than you would be for a devastation natural disaster or acts of morons near your hotel,” he wrote. “Your text was some stinkin’ thinkin’ in that regard.”
This is the right way to respond to respond to such a traumatizing event. Don’t point fingers at a community. Don’t shift the blame somewhere else. Yes, we are all free to express our opinions by law and by right, but what good does blaming others do? It won’t bring the dead back to life and it won’t heal the injured. The best thing we can do is comfort those that are most hurt by this tragedy.
At the end of his letter, Millsaps urges Grande to continue singing again when she’s ready. He tries to tell her just how beautiful her “God-given gift” is and that it serves as an “international language of peace.” This father needs to get an award for Best Dad of the Year. Twitter can finally agree on this, at least. The greatest reassurance in the whole letter was telling Grande that she’s allowed to take time for taking care of herself and that we’ll all be patiently waiting for her return.
“Take care of you first,” he wrote. “Your fans aren’t going anywhere.”
Beautifully said, sir.