THE family of Michelle Kiss, a mother-of-three from Whalley who was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing, paid an emotional tribute to her during the public inquiry into the tragic event. 

In a pen portrait to Michelle, husband Tony described how his wife’s smile would ‘light up her face’ and how the events of that evening in May 2017 had left a huge hole in their family’s lives.

Twenty-two people died when a bomb was detonated as people left the arena.
Describing how a friend played cupid for the couple when Michelle was just 15, Tony spoke of their first date, their first home, which they bought in 1994, their marriage, and the birth of their three children.

Lancashire Telegraph:

He said: “She has always been my guiding light, from the very first moment I met her - her beautiful smile always made her face light up.

“She loved life and wanted to make every day count.

“On that fateful night Michelle was just waiting for our daughter; she was just being a mum.

“Michelle died, but amazingly my daughter survived unscathed. I would like to believe that in their last moments she brought some comfort to her mum - I like to think of her as her mum’s guardian angel as I know Michelle became her guardian angel in that very same moment.

“This episode has left our family with an emptiness, a place where Michelle should be. This is an emptiness that Michelle could actually fill but we know she can’t.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Explaining how it was impossible for anyone to imagine the unwanted reality that took over his life after the sudden tragic and shocking loss of someone he loved so much, someone who played a pivotal part in his life for 30 years, Tony called Michelle his ‘girlfriend, childhood sweetheart, wife, friend, and soulmate’.

He continued: “Memories we created will be treasured and help us all in our darkest moments; the sadness comes when we realise there can be no more with Michelle.”

Michelle was born in Chorley and grew up in Leyland, before her family - mum and dad, Christine and Mick, and sister Nicola - moved to the Lammack area of Blackburn in 1981.

Following their marriage in Barbados in 1995, Michelle and Tony went on to have three children - two boys and a girl.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Tony added: “I am now mum and dad. And I am trying my best but worry that it can’t ever be good enough without Michelle.

“They were always her first priority and I’m sorry this has happened to them, to us. It’s not fair. We have all lost so much. Michelle’s memory will always live within our hearts.

“A day doesn’t pass by when I don't think about Michelle, or the children about their mum. We wish she was here today. There’s a hole deep inside my heart as I know I will never see her again.

“I miss her smile, I miss her presence and warm embrace. I miss everything about her and this is my biggest loss.

“The bomb didn’t just destroy the lives of 22 people in the Arena that night - it changed the lives of every family member who lost a loved one.”

Michelle’s parents spoke of how their daughter was a happy baby and how her and sister Nicola were ‘inseparable’.

Lancashire Telegraph:

In a statement read out by family friend Mark Dickson, they said: “When we were told of the cowardly evil act and that our precious and beautiful daughter had been taken from us, our lives changed forever and our whole world fell apart. The grief and sorrow is unbearable. We will never come to terms with her loss.”

Michelle’s sister Nicola described her as the ‘best friend, sister and auntie that anyone could wish for’ and ‘always had a smile on her face’

She said: “Her kind heart and caring nature was noticed by everyone who met her.”

Finishing his tribute, Tony said that following the horrific events, the community of Manchester demonstrated that choosing love could be the most powerful force.

He said: “Thank you to the people of Manchester for restoring my faith in humanity during the hardest time of my life.”