Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Always in Our Hearts and Minds

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Always in Our Hearts and Minds

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sophie Doughty

It is a book of condolence for the internet generation.

Trawling through the pages of the Gone Too Soon website brings a tear to the eye.

The site has been set up so grieving loved-ones can leave touching tributes to the people they have lost.

But it is also a sad reminder of the heartbreaking tragedies that have hit Tyneside.

Gonetoosoon.co.uk is a haven for the grieving.

Everyone who logs on to the site is united by one thing ( grief.

Proving that the website is a much-needed outlet for grieving young people, friends of tragic Tatum and Demi-Jade Spence, 14 and 11, who were killed in a house fire in South Shields last Wednesday, created a site within days of their death.

Many of the scores of teenagers who laid flowers at the scene, at Lisle Road, also logged on to leave online tributes, as have the girls' mother Anita and brother Shane.

While older generations might send flowers or cards, teenagers use the message board to speak to their departed friends.

One said: "Tatum, can't believe you're gone. When you think about it, it doesn't seem real, but it is. Why did it have to happen to two young girls? We all miss you."

One of the pages was set-up by the girls' cousin Cheryl, who wrote: "I have made this memorial site for you Tatum so everyone can say their goodbyes to a wonderful cousin that anyone could ever have. Can't belive you have gone."

When loving mum Sharon Bell, of Elswick, Newcastle, was stabbed to death last year she left three children behind. Her friends and family have also found comfort in the site.

A message reads: "Mam, we think about you every day. We miss you so much. Life isn't the same without you. Everything seems so empty now that you are not here with us. We keep expecting you to walk through the door and start dancing, just like you used to".

When Ben Stirland, 13, of Consett, died after choking on a pen top, his young friends at Moorside Community Technology College used the site to communicate their feelings.

His mother Nathalie Hodgson now reads their messages regularly. …

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