I have been more upset than I've let on about the news of Helen Bailey, the children's author, who has been found dead after three months of being missing. I have been thinking about her a lot since a colleague alerted me to her disappearance, wondering where she is.
I didn't know Helen, we never met, but I created her logo and her early Electra Brown book covers, published by Hodder, in 2007. She had a lovely smiling face and her books are delightful. She had received a catastrophic blow in life, but had channelled her grief into creativity via her blog Planet Grief, and gave hope and comfort to countless similarly-bereaved humans.
I just wanted to acknowledge her today. I read some terrible news stories this week; the obvious ones, but also some slightly more under-the-radar stories of women being killed by partners and family members around the world. It sickens me that this still happens, and for a moment I had to shut off the news altogether, as I was boiling with rage that breathtakingly medieval belief systems still exist which allow women to be terminated for daring to live less traditional lives, lives which challenge or are simply different from the traditional paths they were expected to follow. We don't yet know why Helen was killed, we may never, but her death was reported as one of three stories in one day of women killed by men they loved.
Helen's partner has been arrested for her murder. Time will tell if this is the truth, but I am shocked and sad that this should happen, and I am thinking today of women and girls everywhere who have lost their lives at the hands of people they loved and trusted.