We're coming up on the first anniversary of the Manchester bombing that killed 22 people after Ariana Grande's concert. Naturally, people are paying attention to how Grande – back in the spotlight with new music – has been handling and addressing the tragedy. In a cover story for Time published online Thursday, Grande shows that there's nothing simple about recovering from something like that.
"There are so many people who have suffered such loss and pain," she told Time, after breaking down into sobs before the writer even asked a question about what happened on May 22, 2017. "The processing part is going to take forever."
While she wants to point to how much others lost on that night, there's no doubt Grande suffered some trauma herself. While she had the energy and determination to plan the One Love Manchester concert last June and went on to complete her extensive world tour through the fall, she had to recharge after that.
Grande hasn't done many interviews in recent months, save for one she gave to Coveteur while promoting her Reebok partnership in October. She took time off from social media from January 1 to April 17. But she wasn't just sitting around that whole time. Apparently she went to therapy, and cowrote the music for her upcoming, fourth studio album, Sweetener.
"I felt more inclined to tap into my feelings because I was spending more time with them," she told Time of her music. Still, she said she doesn't really want to talk about the attacks.
"I don’t want to give it that much power," she said. "I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come, and it’s still very painful."
As such, the music on her new album isn't full of mournful ballads or anti-terrorism anthems— see the upbeat dance vibe of "No Tears Left to Cry." While she tearfully said the attack is "still so heavy on my heart every single day" in the Time interview, she also described herself as "happy." Recovering from trauma is a complicated roller coaster indeed.