Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.

~ William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) ~

When Tragedy Strikes

December 15th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 43 secs

Nothing prepares you for tragedy.

Tragedy strikes with overwhelming force. As the world now knows, a little town in Connecticut, USA, has borne the brunt of disaster with the massacre of 20 of their dear children and 6 brave teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the last couple of days, too, a cyclone ripped through Samoa, causing death and destruction. While, just ten days ago, Typhoon Pablo brought catastrophe to Mindanao, in The Philippines, killing over a thousand people.

At the neighbourhood school in Connecticut, the young gunman opened fire on little children and teachers, killing indiscriminately before shooting himself. Suddenly, sleepy Newtown has become one more place suffering the unspeakable horror of mass murder.

Back in April 1996, on a beautiful Autumn Sunday, a young gunman opened fire on tourists in the Broad Arrow Café at Port Arthur, Tasmania, before heading out and murdering more people in the vicinity. All told, 35 adults and children were killed that day and, although time helps, the scars stay.

Forget preparation and glib tips on how to handle tragedy. Nothing prepares you for disasters like these. Whether perpetrated at the hands of some evil or demented individual, or through natural disaster, the shock and grief strikes with relentless force. You feel pummelled, overwhelmed, and shocked.

These are the times when we need to draw close. When tenderness and practical compassion matter most. Though grief draws us inwards, it is in the company of those who know that we find ways to cope. In tragedy, nobody walks away unscathed.

Our hearts go out to everyone hurt by these events and their pain hits home. They don’t deserve these traumas. But tragedy, often senselessly random, strikes where it will. That means trying to make sense of it remains a confounding and excruciating process.

For everyone who knows tragedy at such close quarters we know there is no happiness. At least, not in these times. But if we could, all the people of the world who care, would want to put our arms around those hurting and say we are deeply troubled by what you’re going through. In a world where the work of a few deranged individuals can cause so much loss, there is also a huge community of people who care.

Tonight, as this side of the world goes to sleep, we think of those who are overcome with grief over these tragedies and we want to say that our prayers are with you.

Right Royal Radio Tragedy

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