EastEnders fans have been moved to tears by a haunting and devastating ending to the special funeral episode which saw real life families of knife crime victims hold up photographs of the person they have lost while Shakil was take from the church with the procession to be buried.
During the episode, contributors had been telling their stories to the soaps audience and discussing the senselessness of knife crime and the devastation that rips apart whole families and communites forever.
As the mourners, led by Carmel and Kush, walked somberly from the church after an emotional service, they were joined and surrounded by members of the public touched by the crime – and while the quantity of those present for the scene was shocking, it remains the tip of the iceberg for a terrifyingly prevalent issue.
With a rendition of Abide By Me playing over the scene, which lasted several minutes, Shakil was laid to rest but the issue of knife crime and the impact on those affected continued while the credits rolled as the stories of some of the contributors replaced the usual theme tune.
And viewers watching at home were devastated but impressed by the moving scenes:
#Eastenders may have just saved lives with that episode. So moving.
— Lou (@Lou_Lou90Moor) July 6, 2018
Oh my goodness #EastEnders was so sad tonight but brilliant that they have highlighted knife crime. It's a horrible problem that stems through society through hatred to others. Love one another life's too short
— F.C. Mean Machine (@fcmm_uk) July 6, 2018
#EastEnders out of every storyline they have done this is the most hard hitting well done for showing what these knife crimes can do.
— Rãï Šun (@Sahadatu77) July 6, 2018
An incredibly moving episode tonight #EastEnders praise to those families affected by knife crime who were involved in this very poignant episode
— Lauren Opie (@LaurenOpie94) July 6, 2018