In “The Little Prince” Antoine de Saint-Exupery writes: “It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”
In the context of over 3,700 violent deaths in our Troubles, many relatives have been in that place, and only they know what it is truly like. 
I don’t; I did not lose anyone dear to me in such a horrible way and like many others I can say that we should be grateful.
In my role as a journalist over decades, I have seen the grief and hurt close up of many relatives bereaved so cruelly. I stood in far too many cold, windy graveyards watching the anguish of people laying loved ones to rest and have been welcomed graciously into homes to interview family members in their darkest hour. 
So, I’ve seen the grief, but seeing it is one thing, experiencing it inside your heart is another.
I have often wondered how I would have reacted. With forgiveness? Anger? Bitterness? Dignity? A mixture of emotions, probably, to a hurt that never goes away.
How any victim feels and reacts is very personal to them and we have no right to tell them how they should feel; as a society we should give them the space and respect they need to remember. It is when remembrance expands out into an impact on the wider community that conflicting views can cause problems.
I am genuinely saddened to see the controversy over a proposed memorial for the victims of the Enniskillen Remembrance Sunday bombing, particularly when my home town became a beacon of dignity in the face of the horror in 1987. A few months ago when the 30th anniversary was being commemorated, that dignity was evident again, but my heart sank that evening when television pictures showed a memorial being carried away to be stored in the Enniskillen TA Centre for several months.
It has emerged recently that the Catholic Church’s Diocesan Trust which owns the land where the bomb exploded has turned down the siting of this particular memorial due to the nature of it and the placing of it on health and safety grounds. Have a look at the front of the Clinton Centre building and decide for yourself if it is a safe space.
Heaven forbid if the memorial proved a hazard, and worse a target for vandalism.
This is an extremely sensitive issue for me to write about, and I want to make clear that I do fully support a memorial being built to mark something that should not have happened. 
But I do have concerns. One relative of someone killed by the IRA wrote to me expressing the view that this particular memorial was like a tombstone and not suitable. While this person was not a relative of anyone killed on Remembrance Sunday, I also understand that some of the Enniskillen relatives are uneasy about the nature of the memorial.
I’ve heard it said that families were aware of the design and there were “no formal objections.” 
That’s not enough, in my view. All victims of Enniskillen should feel completely at ease with what is being planned and I don’t think they are. Nobody’s grief is more important that somebody else’s.
While the relatives should be at the front and centre of this debate, the community at large should also feel comfortable with the memorial. I do fear that the people who planned it come from a particular section of the victims community and I would urge them to be more open to dialogue and bringing others with them to achieve consensus.
I don’t feel they approached this in the right way to begin with. I understand there was some informal dialogue locally by a relative, but not enough and the idea that St. Michael’s Diocesan Trust were aware of because of a planning application isn’t enough either.
Unfortunately, therefore, in some quarters this is being portrayed as a row between the Catholic Church and victims of the IRA. It all seems a far cry from the positivity of the visit to Enniskillen by the Queen a few years ago when she walked across from St. Macartin’s Church of Ireland and was warmly welcomed at St. Michael’s.
I was pleased to hear the DUP leader, Arlene Foster say this week that the issue of the memorial should not be politicised. I hope everyone agrees that point scoring or forcing one view on everyone is not the way forward, and agrees too that nobody’s memory would be served by letting the right and proper building of a memorial become a cause of community division. So, the fundamental question must be asked as to what the purpose of any memorial is.
The subject of memorialisation, particularly in Northern Ireland where years of strife is still causing raw division, is a difficult subject to get right, Especially, as I wrote last week, when it enters the bearpit of claiming “our” victims loss is more important. 
It is my personal opinion that memorials are important, but any of them should be constructed in a sensitive, discreet and dignified way. I thought that the plaque on the actual War Memorial with the victims names on was a good idea in achieving that. But I respect that some feel it is not appropriate because of the nature of the Cenotaph as remembering the dead of World War. (Though why have the Poppy on the one planned by the Ely Centre?)
So, where do we go from here. The whole controversy has been unfortunate and doesn’t do anyone any favours. We are where we are; I think it should be said that many people have no objections to a permanent memorial.
 I say many people because there will always be objections. And how awful, too, to see some of the keyboard warriors with an agenda of bitterness spewing out vitriol against those engaged in reconciliation.
Anyway, the point is there are too many people of goodwill who want to get Enniskillen over this and move forward; both with getting an appropriate memorial and building a better place for us all.