'She loved life': Michelle Kiss remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

Michelle Kiss, 45, has been remembered by her family at the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Credit: Family Photo

Michelle Kiss has been remembered by her family in the latest 'pen portrait' to be heard at the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

Michelle, from Whalley in Lancashire, was 45 when she was killed waiting to pick up her daughter from the Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

The tributes to Michelle were read by a family friend, Mark Dickson, with statements being heard from her husband, parents, sister, cousins and friends.

Michelle was described as being someone with a "beautiful smile that made her face light up" and as a devoted mother who "loved her children beyond measure".

Her husband's statement spoke of how Michelle went to Manchester Arena many times with their children and how sad it was that a place that brought so much joy to their family was the place that took it all away.

The inquiry also heard how she had married her childhood sweetheart, having met her husband Tony when she was just 15 years old.

  • Tony Kiss' tribute to his wife, read by Mark Dickson

Tony said: "On that fateful night Michelle was just waiting for our daughter. She was just being a mum. Michelle died but somehow my daughter survived amazingly and so, thankfully she was physically unscathed.

"However, the horrors that she must have witnessed in the aftermath of the explosion are fully known only to herself.

"I like to believe though that in their last moments together she brought some comfort to her mum. I also like to think of her at the moment of their parting as her mum's little guardian angel because I know that Michelle became her guardian angel in that same very moment."

Mr Kliss said that Michelle's death had left an "emptiness" in their family.

He added: "I will never stop loving my children or Michelle and I will never stop doing my best for each of them, I will never stop trying. They were always our first priority and they will continue to be mine. I am sorry this has happened to them, to us. It's not fair.

"I will always try to ensure that our children seize the opportunities that life offers just like their mother did. Michelle Kiss. Just saying her name breaks my heart because I know so many beautiful moments from our futures have been taken away from us all.

"The bomb didn't just destroy the lives of 22 people in the arena that night, it changed the lives of every family member that lost a loved one. They know what I mean."

A statement from Michelle's mum and dad, Christine and Mick, was also read to the court by Mr Dickson.

They said that she was a devoted mother who supported her children through everything that they did inside and outside of school.

"On the night of the 22 May 2017 when we were told of the cowardly and evil act and that our precious and beautiful daughter had been taken from us our lives changed, our world fell apart," they said.

Michelle's sister, Nicola, said that she always had a smile on her face and looked for the good in everyone.

Tony Kiss concluded his tribute to his wife by saying: "I take great comfort knowing that my beautiful Michelle's broken body was taken from the arena so respectfully and I know she travelled at funeral pace to the morgue.

"This was a beautiful and important act of love and respect for her and I appreciate that so much, I always will."

He also thanked the people of Manchester for "restoring his faith in humanity" through the way they came together in the aftermath of the attack.

The chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, said to Tony Kiss: "You have described a happy family life now brutally cut short. The effect on your lives has been truly devastating, as you say it is impossible for us to understand the devastation...and you are certainly correct to say it isn't fair."

All the portraits heard by the inquiry so far can be read here.