WE should not rush to reduce tragedy into symbolism, and martyr the dead through media.
Let us mourn before we politicise and make partisan the fact of someone’s murder, remember who has died, before we strive in weakness for a meaning beyond the profundity in any life – in any death.
A mother, and a beloved wife. And, not to define her by love alone, by all accounts an extremely talented democrat.
Jo Cox was slain in the street at 41, savagely, haphazardly and publicly.
The MP for had just conducted her surgery to aid the people she represents, as she had endeavoured to alleviate the distant suffering of so many Syrians.
The reaction to the loss of a fellow citizen, and one seemingly so kind, has been met by the best intentions of a shared humanity.
Condolences, tributes, kind thoughts to her family, and their own moving elegy.
Something equally human has also been born of this barbarism – the demand to know why.
Within spans of time a former generation may have found indecent, the dissection of a tragedy had begun.
The reported cries of Britain First from the killer produced a flurry of condemnations beyond the act itself, spanning the odious political clowns who coined the name, and the fervour of the referendum campaign.
Blame was shipped in from far and wide, to feed a demand crippled, in human weakness, from a lack of supply – a lack of answers to that persistent why.
Amid the conjecture – it could be no more than that so early into an investigation – righteous questions were asked to seek a truth which would at least be comforting, if not examined.
Would this, then, be an act of terrorism? Or merely the act of a lone-wolf? Was this media coverage evidence of a morbid double-standard?
Could the act really be political assassination, not the horrific work of a broken mind? Or would that be a convenient excuse?
Even deranged talk of ‘false-flags’ echoed in the empty corners of the internet where only the truly stupid dwell.
But the nonsense and well-intended speculation stemmed from the same impulse.
The proximity of this bloodshed to the massacre in Orlando adds to the creation a void, a profound emptiness of understanding, and an aching need to fill it. Perhaps people are not built to understand cruelty, but they try.
Names are forgotten. Suffering manipulated and cast aside. It is the pattern of such incidents to be made immediately abstract, emotion stripped away from pure and contested symbolism.
People fight over what death meant, while the dead lie desecrated by the tedium of repeated debate.
This crime, I suppose, could never avoid being politicised. Jo Cox was after all a promising Labour MP. But we can avoid striving so carelessly for meaning while tears are still being shed, and let the memory of a murdered mother be more than a symbol, or rather less.
That is, not a gain for abstraction, but a loss for humanity.