The murder of Michaela McAreavey last week has rightly produced a massive outpouring of public grief and sympathy for her husband John and the couple's families.
No one can fail to have been touched by the sense of profound loss in the violent death of a young woman who had so much to give to her community and who was already such a good role model for all who knew her.
Over the years of the Troubles, grief in tragedy was too often an experience for one section of the community, sometimes in turn.
It should not pass unnoticed that the tragic death of Michaela McAreavey has been the occasion of a quite different experience of grief and perhaps of a further step in our long journey to becoming a genuinely humane community.
We have been particularly moved by expressions of sympathy by politicians of all parties, led in the Assembly by First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson and by people of good will from all quarters.
These are occasions of personal sorrow that transcend political division, but such public gestures offer hope that our common humanity can win the day - even in the face of such terrible murder and tragedy.
Chief executive, Community Relations Council