Tragedy

Tragedy…it’s a word used often but rarely used correctly. Take a moment and think of all the times you’ve said something was “tragic”. Was it really? In the last 3 days, we here in the Boston area have experienced true tragedy.

Just after noon on Christmas Day, a 40 year old woman drove to the top of a 7 story parking garage and “allegedly” threw her 4 year old daughter, her 16 month old son and herself off the roof of this garage to their death. I can not imagine the layers of this tragedy. Let’s stop and think about it for a moment…

One can suggest that the 4 year old woke on Christmas morning to the magic of Santa and all that comes with that. Can you see her wide eyes as she looked at the tree and saw all the things she asked for? Can you hear her shriek with joy over the Frozen toys, Minnie Mouse, the princess dress she wanted? And what about the little boy. Was he really understanding the magic of the morning or was the box with the flashy truck what caught and kept his attention? Or maybe there was nothing….

At this point, we really don’t know what happened here. We don’t know the life this woman was living. But what we do know is she had to be so seriously mentally ill to think that this action was the ONLY thing she could do to end the pain…and it pains me to think this is what happened. In my time, I have been sad, unhappy, distraught…and at the end of my rope. But NEVER did I think throwing myself off the roof of a parking garage was the best thing to do. But I am not her and I am not judging. I am simply sad that this was the only way out for her. And I’m hoping that her decision and the tragic results will be a wake up call to anyone feeling hopeless. There is always hope and there is help out there.

But this woman and her children are not the only victims of this tragedy. There is a father and husband. There are family members and friends. And then there are the first responders who raced to the scene to try and help. Let’s think of them for a moment…

Imagine working on Christmas Day. Many first responders work this day so that their co-workers with young kids can have the day off to be home with their families. Many of them work for the extra money earned for working on a holiday. Whatever the motivation, always know they work for the love of taking care of people. So when the radio tones went off and they raced to the scene, imagine how they felt on arrival to see this family splattered on the sidewalk. I know the paramedics and emergency medical technicians did EVERYTHING they could to try and save these children. I know that in the back of their minds, they knew these people were beyond help but they tried and continued to try as they raced to the trauma center, only to have them all pronounced dead. I know that the police officers and investigators who arrived on scene put aside their gut reaction to begin the process of determining what happened here. And I know that when they went home at the end of a very long day, they will never be able to get past what they saw. Some things can never be unseen. But there is hope for them. Because there are teams of trauma experts that will be there to help these people work through this tragedy as best they can. It will be a long and painful process. And it will forever change the lives of these people. Never forgot that.

And then today…we had another “tragedy”. A mansion in the town of Concord Ma burned to the ground. The home was built in 1897 and was a 13 room, 5 bedroom, 6800 square foot mansion. It had a massive in ground pool, tennis courts and a lawn/yard that meandered down to the Sudbury River. Rumor has it that relatives of President John Quincy Adams lived here back in colonial times.

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The home belonged to a prominent malpractice attorney and his wife, also an attorney. They were not home at the time of the fire. Nobody was home except a caretaker who did get out of the home. Hopefully no firefighters were injured. The home is on a very remote road, on top of a hill. There are no fire hydrants nearby. This made fighting the fire impossible. The only was to get water to this fire was for numerous fire engines to relay pump water into cisterns (look it up) for the firefighters to draw from. Many people commented on how negligent the town was not to have hydrants…but really, when they built this home in 1897, there was no such thing as a hydrant. And for the town or the property owners to install one, the cost would be astronomical. But as they watched this home disintegrate, would the cost of installing water mains and hydrants have been worth it? We can not know. And we can not judge this town and these owners for not having a hydrant system on this remote road.

So what makes this fire “tragic”?

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Photos are courtesy of @jenyp (capturegirl) from Boston25News.

The tragedy here is the loss of an exceptionally beautiful home. Imagine the contents…imagine the family heirlooms, the antiques, the history. Sure, there is no doubt this property was insured. But no amount of money can replace what has been lost here. So this wealthy family that would appear to have it all, now has nothing. And that is tragic in it’s own way.

Two different tragedies, very different in scope. But still tragic. What an awful few days this has been. If you are suffering, seek out help. And with loss comes the memories you had of the place you called home. Nothing can take those memories away. Be thankful nobody died in this fire. Walls can be rebuilt. From the ashes of these two events, people will rise. There is always hope.

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