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When Tragedy Strikes

It’s been an emotional week in these parts. Life seems unfair when someone is taken before their time, and we can’t help but feel sadness over their passing. When tragedy strikes in a small community we all share that loss. We grieve for what we’re forced to accept– that someone we knew is no longer with us, taken away when they should have had many more years to live. There are two losses we’re left to deal with. First, for the person who has passed, but we’re also left with the feelings of how that loss affects us personally.

If you live in a small community, you can bet this person was someone you knew. Someone you shared a laugh with. Someone you came to for help. Someone you offered help to. Someone you worked with. Someone you waved to when you met them on the road. Someone whose children you grew up with. Someone who dipped you up an ice cream at the fair when you were just a kid. Someone who was a member of your family. Someone who did what was needed in the community without being asked. Someone who understood the grieving process a community goes through when tragedy strikes because they’ve done so in the past themselves.

Someone very recently made the comment that you, “Never hear about anything good happening.” I know it’s easy to go down that road when bad things happen. It reminds us then of all the recent tragedies we’ve heard. We don’t have to go in search for proof that bad things are all around. They will find us…. if we let them. And as many times as we go searching we’ll surely find those bad things….

Everyday if we go looking…..

If we look for it, it’s there.

But the secret is to look for good things instead. Accept the bad as a way of life, because it surely is, but seek out as much good as is possible….And it is possible….Maybe not on a particular day, but some other day it will be made possible. I understand why the comment was made. We listen to the news and are bombarded with stories that echo what this person had to say. But life is a balance. Good is all around us. So much good that it gets overlooked, overshadowed by the misfortunes that comes along.

Death comes to all of us. If we’re born, we will die. There’s no getting out of it. Our death will affect those around us–our family and friends, our community, people whose lives we’ve touched and were not even aware of. We don’t get to choose the time or place or circumstances of our passing or someone else’s. If this was so we’d all live forever because there’d never a right time to say goodbye, and we’d never be ready to let go. Quite honestly, the circumstances of someone’s death can sometimes be that hardest to deal with. We all understand that life is fleeting, changeable at a moment’s notice, but somewhere along the way we forget that death does not only come to the old and the sick. It comes also to the young, and the healthy, and to someone who had plans for another day. In this small community we’ve shouldered our share of tragedies. But we face it together, feel it together, mourn together, begin the healing process together.

The sadness will lift. The memories we’re left with will warm us and make us smile as we remember, a father, or a mother, or a sister, or a brother, or a son, or a daughter, or a grandchild or a neighbour.

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  1. suzicate

     /  October 31, 2013

    I’m sorry for your loss and that of your community.
    You’re right if we look long and hard enough we an find good all around us.


  2. I’m so sorry you are feeling the pain of loss. It is never easy, but you are so right that it reminds us of the good we so often overlook.


  3. A comforting characterization.


  4. This is a very thoughtful post and well put. My Dad had that same philosophy: “if you look hard enough you will always find something good.” I’m sorry to hear about the sad event in your community.


  5. I’m sorry for whatever loss has occurred to impact you so much. I think we have memorial services and ‘celebrations of life’ gatherings not just to show respect for the deceased but also to provide opportunities to come together for comfort and support. The coming together is important. “A burden shared is a burden lightened.”


  6. Beautiful post. I write about how small towns are affected by tragedy because I experienced it a lot when I lived in an isolated community. I don’t think people who’ve always lived in cities can truly understand just how devastating one person’s death can be to a tight-knit community.

    I’m sorry for your loss, Laura, but I applaud your positive attitude and the beautiful way you’ve expressed it. Hugs.



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