When Tragedy Strikes

Confession: I cringe every time a tragedy occurs, and not just because of the tragedy itself.

As if the loss of life isn’t devastating enough, what makes it worse is the aftermath. The speculation, the debate, the blaming. In the blink of an eye, people’s deaths become a case study, supporting evidence for any number of agendas. People die, and the world explodes with theories of why it happened and how it could have been prevented.

I’m not saying that’s not a worthwhile discussion. It’s absolutely necessary to study tragedies to figure out how to prevent them.

But I’m saying, people died.

People.

Human beings.

Can we just take a moment to mourn them before we jump into opinions and theories? Can we acknowledge the human beings who are no longer here?

Daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, parents, spouse, friends.

People who had plans for tomorrow, and next week, and next year, who were looking for the opportunity to learn and grow. They had ideas of what they wanted to be and do with their lives. But those lives are now gone, cut short. They expected to have a tomorrow. But tomorrow was taken from them.

Today there are nine families who are forever changed. From now on, something will be missing for them. Someone. They will feel an ache for the rest of their lives, a burden of grief that will eventually lighten but never completely fade.

Their loved ones are not a statistic to them.

Every time a tragedy occurs, I read about the victims. I learn who they were. I guess I feel like I owe it to them to learn their names, see their faces, so they don’t get lost in the noise, buried by a mountain of opinions and political maneuvers.

I’m all for solving problems. I’m all for preventing tragedy. But let’s not lose our humanity in the process.

Today I acknowledge the lives of Lucero Alcaraz, Treven Anspach, Rebecka Carnes, Quinn Cooper, Kim Dietz, Lucas Eibel, Jason Johnson, Lawrence Levine, and Sarena Moore. (You can read more about them here.) My prayers are with their families.