'DEAR MUM AND DAD’
Written by Miriam to her parents, while she was studying in Nice, 1993, aged 21
I’m so happy to be alive, to be me - that is, living my life. Sometimes I get this big rush of freedom here and it literally makes me tingle all over. But at other times I feel like retreating and doing nothing and I can’t even understand what anything is about, why I’m alive and what the whole deal is. Not in a morbid way but just in a questioning way … every form of pleasure is so temporary. No, everything is temporary and can be gone within a matter of seconds, so that every way we have of getting pleasure can be removed from us very easily and we’re relying upon a system over which we have absolutely no apparent control whatsoever, although many may dispute this.
Sometimes I get freaked out by the concept that I exist in a physical form. Apart from vanity … I have no interest in things physical, i.e. appearances, and sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror I can’t relate the image to the working of my head. Have you ever felt like a complete alien in the world, as if you’re not even really a part of it, or not meant for it or cut out for it, or not even really that bothered? Sometimes when I’m swimming here in the sea, I don’t want to go back to land, I just wan to stay in the sea and get sucked in by it and become part of that.
I’ll never forget the sunsets in Goa and in particular that night when I walked out into the sea on my own. I got a split-second feeling that I was leaving the world behind and I would be there for ever and disintegrate quite happily. But those moments when I was there, time stopped for me and everything fell into place and I was at peace and it was unquestionably the most wonderful experience of my life and the most intense moment I have known.
I really don’t have a problem with the concept of my own death, and in some ways I’m so curious that I’m awaiting just that, to see if I still have a consciousness, and if I don’t, then I’ll just cease to exist. I find that a very attractive thought.
Miriam's friends set up this blog
Edited excerpt from "Book of Tributes: July 7th 2005" created in memory of those killed in the 7/7 London bombings. It is permanently available for public viewing in the Museum of London and at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation & Peace
It seems a great travesty that you lost your life in the bombings of 7 July. You, with your great respect for human life and well-being, your care in making strangers feel at home on your own territory, and your active protest against the war in Iraq.
You used to say, "How lucky am I, that I have so many good friends?" They have well and truly shown their mettle and rallied round us, showing no let-up in their purpose to find you during the four days after the bombings when we had no news of you.
We remember the theme Rabbi Charles Emanuel chose for your funeral service. "Had Miriam been with us today what would she have said?" His final thought was most poignant: "She would have said, 'Support each other, for in support you will find strength'."
For our part we have tried to respond as positively as we know how to what happened on 7th July, so that your life will continue to be a blessing, to those who knew you and to those who have not known you.
Your modesty would make you find it astonishing that some people are remembering your life and emulating your example; choosing personal fulfillment over security and material prosperity.
There is so much we could say, but above all else we are deeply grateful for the thirty-two years we have had together. No one can ever take that away from us. As long as we live we shall love you as deeply as we ever did.
Your loving family
Mavis, John, Esther