Exactly one year ago, on May 22, 2017, a terrorist bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England killed 22 and injured 139. Shortly after, Grande wrote on Twitter that she was "broken" by the attack — but returned weeks later to the city for the triumphant One Love Manchester benefit show, where she also spent time visiting with victims in the hospital.
On Tuesday (May 22), Grande took to social media once again to commemorate the anniversary of the attack with a hopeful and loving message for fans, including those affected by the attack.
"[T]hinking of you all today and every day," she wrote, adding a 🐝 bee emoji as well. "I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day."
The bee is "the symbol of the Industrial Revolution in Manchester," tattoo artist Dan Leicester told MTV News in 2017. After the attack, dozens of Mancunians got inked with that very symbol for a fundraising initiative aimed at helping the victims.
Grande recently opened up about the attack in Time magazine as one of its "next generation leaders." "I don't want to give it that much power," she said. "Something so negative. It's the absolute worst of humanity. That's why I did my best to react the way I did. The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen and think it won."
It's not hard to imagine that's at least partly why her upcoming fourth album, due out this summer, is called Sweetener. Last month, Grande released its first single, "No Tears Left to Cry," and its accompanying dizzying videos.
As the song's resilient chorus goes, "Ain't got no tears left to cry / So I'm pickin' it up, pickin' it up / I'm lovin', I'm livin', I'm pickin' it up." Fitting words to try to get past anything.