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On Tragedy and Loss

Hello loyal readers,

Today’s post will not feature the cavalier attitude I take in most of my entries, though there are many interesting things I could share my thoughts on I can’t help but feel as though they would be trivial and pointless given present circumstances. If you’re lost, let me shed some light.

Yesterday morning, a woman was stabbed to death in a halfway house in Toronto. I don’t feel the particular desire to chronicle the details specifically so if you want to know the full report you can find it here.

While this story is a tragedy in itself, this news was especially jarring for me because this person was the mother of a close friend. I don’t want this to statement imply this is about my anguish or grief over her loss, because it is not and to do so would be incredibly selfish. I simply feel the need to share my thoughts in writing because frankly I am incapable of talking about things like grief.

It is truly profound the impact death has on a community, most especially when it is tragic and unforeseen. There is a ripple effect of emotional turbulence. Speaking personally I am hit hard because it troubles me to think how hard it would hit my friend, and so those I express my feelings to are affected by me albeit much less so, and so on. I am not sure what element of tragedy that makes people stand up and take notice so much, why it pervades every news station and worms its way into seemingly every day of our lives. I like to think it’s because people long to feel connected to one another and a sense of loss does so more than possibly any other emotional sensation. Reading the news coverage online I was touched to see several comments offering condolences to the family (though not all were so respectful but there are always those that seek to deviate). Though on first impression it may seem selfish or even macabre to be so enthralled by such terrible events, I think the motivation is ultimately benevolent at core. I believe most people want to help those that suffer through terrible tragedy.

It is hard for me to be optimistic though, in the face of such a terrible occurrence. Considering the nature of her work for this woman to be killed in such grotesque manner is inconceivable. I can’t help but ask, how could this happen to someone with such kind and compassionate of intentions? Events like this call into question the greater purpose of life and make me wonder just how such awful things can even happen. Given the nature of the circumstances it would seem altogether likely that her killer will also end up with minimized punishment since he was in all likelihood mentally unstable. I ask you though how does that seem right? Regardless of whether it was completely premeditated or in a fit of passion how can we return balance after such an injustice?

I apologize if this isn’t cohesive, a large part of me writing this is purely and simply cathartic. Beyond all else, more important than any of my rants though, is to remember the pain this family is experiencing and to respect the great work this woman had done.

Dmitry, you are a dear friend and my heart goes out to you and your family.


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