Trying to Make Sense of Tragedy

Trying to Make Sense of Tragedy

I have been struggling for the past two weeks to understand a tragedy that happened very close to home. So often we hear of these things happening and they are so far removed from our lives, that while we feel empathy, they never really touch us other than as a passing moment of sympathy for those affected.

On Sunday May 3, a lone gunman shot and killed three people on a walking trail in a town near where I live (see http://www.postcrescent.com/story/news/local/2015/05/06/witness-saw-gunman-standing-bridge-long-time/70894592/) and then he killed himself. Two of the people shot and killed were a father and his 11 year old daughter. The mother of the girl was shot three times but survived while saving her two five year old children. When I heard the news all I could think was that could have been my family. I have a daughter the same age and all I wanted to do was grab her and hold her being so grateful that we were not on that trail that day, but feeling so much pain and sadness for the victims of this tragedy.

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain this mother must be feeling today. I wish that I could go to her and remove her pain. I wish that I could return her husband and her daughter to her. I wish I could have been at that bridge able to stop the killer. I wish I was brave enough to be able to withstand the pain that this women is most assuredly going through.

We will never know why this individual felt the need to go on that trail and kill indiscriminately, perhaps he did not even know why he was doing it other than he was sick and deranged. If there is any positive in times like this it is the outpouring of love and support that follows from the community at large. It is wonderful to be out in the community and see people come together to support one another in times like these. It gives one hope in humanity to see the overwhelming good in people.

One lone nut should not poison us into believing that all of society is bad or that we need to pass laws or take away people’s freedoms. One lone nut is one lone nut. As tragic as this incident is it really is a small anomaly in the overall experience of society if one considers the millions of peaceful interactions that take place between human beings in a single day.

My heart aches for this family. I wish them nothing but goodwill and peace. If I could I would remove their pain. But life is still good, people do more good than bad when given the chance, and peace and love will always win out over evil and hate.

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