Belfast Telegraph

After the horrors John McAreavey's been through, he deserves this happiness

By Lindy McDowell

In that most touching of tributes to his new wife John McAreavey says: "Tara has shown me the beauty of life again, all the good things about life..."

And behind those few gentle words lies the story of God knows how much courage it must have taken for this inspiring young man to rebuild his life.

And of the young woman who came into his life and helped him find love again.

The photograph of the pair of them on their wedding day - Tara stunning in her white lace gown and John in his three-piece suit - is a study of joy and love and a picture to lift the heart. When someone you love dies, your own life goes on hold for a time.

Stop all the clocks...

But the shocking circumstances of the murder of John's first wife Michaela and the subsequent, shameful failure to bring her killers to justice was horror beyond imagining.

Not only were John and Michaela's family so terribly bereaved, they were now, through no fault of their own, thrust into the public eye.

There are many things that divide us in this country but the awful nature of that young girl's death was something that touched every heart here.

It was one of those stories that had a powerful and concerted impact on us all.

We grieved with John and the family. Right across the community.

We could only imagine how those who loved her most were suffering. Those old cliches come to mind ... time heals, life goes on. Easier said than done when your life and your heart have been ripped apart.

John and Michaela's family threw themselves into creating the Michaela Foundation, the charitable organisation which perpetuates the memory of that lovely, public-spirited young girl.

But maybe the bravest and best tribute to her memory was how, together, they all just got on with life again.

John in particular has spoken of how in his darkest days his faith sustained him. With grace and dignity they have accepted that there will always be a public interest in Michaela's story.

Some months back when they got engaged, it was confirmed that John had found new love with Tara.

Beautiful and elegant with that great infectious smile, this is the girl who has, as he says, helped him see the beauty in life again.

How gorgeous she looks in that wedding photograph.

How happy the pair of them.

And how very many of us wish them the very best for the future; health and happiness and a long, long life together.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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