When Tragedy Strikes

when tragedy strikes

What is is about a personal tragedy that draws people out of the woodwork to rally around the victim or victims?

And why does that same crowd disperse, and disappear at some point in the future just as suddenly as it had appeared?

Over the years I’ve noticed that when catastrophes and misfortunes strike all of a sudden friends that you haven’t seen in years are right beside you offering their support.

Family members you haven’t spoken to for months come alongside you to show their love.

Acquaintances that you barely even know also want to get in on the act and make sure you know they care.



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What is it about a tragedy that attracts so much love, support, care and attention from people, even those that you didn’t even realize cared all that much about you?

Gathering together to offer our love and support to victims of tragedy seems to be a natural phenomenon.

Our love offerings to the victim or victims lets them know that they are not alone, that they are loved by many, and gives them hope to carry on in the midst of their tragedy.

Showering them with love and support can get them through even the most horrific of ordeals.

But unfortunately, what so often happens is that once the initial shock and adrenaline wears off,  all the support, care, and attention gradually stops.

Eventually, the crowds of good Samaritans, friends, and even family members slowly drift away and disappear.

Offers of help and support gradually lessen until they once again stop altogether.

That’s because after the initial shock of the tragedy gradually fades away, people…

  • grow weary of keeping vigil.
  • get tired of being on duty.
  • become exhausted investing their time, energy, and emotions into the situation.
  • decide that the victim has been helped enough already.
  • need to get back to focusing attention on their own lives and families.

It’s just a plain old fact of life that at some point after a tragedy strikes people must get back to concentrating on their own, very real lives, dealing with their own issues, problems, and troubles.

And the victim or victims of the tragedy are left all alone to fend for themselves.

I wonder what would happen if…

  • We showed each other such intense love, support, even when there is no tragedy.
  • We all actually helped each other out on a more regular basis.
  • We kept that caring momentum going enough to stick around for the long haul, even after the adrenaline rush is over, all the excitement has died down, and the tragedy has faded into history.

I wonder just how many future tragedies could and would be avoided if we did just that!!

*Please note: A version of this post was first published on 8/12/15
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