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Editorial: Trying to manage a Labrador tragedy

Editorial. - 123RF Stock Photo




Enough time has passed by now that the news side of this Labrador tragedy is over. The horrific crash in the fog on our coastal road of Labrador that claimed instantly, the lives of four of our Labrador people, for us as Labradorians, will never be over.

As I write this, I have decided that the exact location, the date, and the names of our lost folks, don’t need to be told again. We all know, when, where and who. We know this because in spite of the size of this place, this Labrador, we are all connected, connected tightly, in spite of our geographical size and our differences individually.

In this day and age of instant communications and our ability to watch one tragedy after the next, almost as it happens, it somehow leaves us numb to so much sadness and tragedy.

We seem to find ourselves in front of the tube or the computer screen daily, watching, as another flood or earthquake devours another group of innocent people. We watch as a shooter walks into a school somewhere and randomly kills a bunch of children. Just recently, the City of Fredericton, sees the rest of Canada stand with them in another senseless act of madness. It’s a constant exposure too, in many cases, the madness of the world and the uncertainty of life, in and of itself.

Many of us shrug our shoulders, acknowledge the event and switch channels and check the weather, the madness, and the death all but forgotten in minutes. The enemy of this knee jerk reaction is the constant exposure that creates this numbness.

We as Labradorians however, have the capacity to weigh and measure this recent loss of four of our own in a different way. This is a burden that we all carry as a heavy load. A load not focused on us, but a shared grief for those closest, those that were left behind as the result of this incredible loss.

We all share a piece of this loss. The harsh reality is, that life is uncertain. There is no better example of this than this recent tragedy. The communities of Labrador West and the community of West St. Modeste are at the shared epicenter of this tragedy.

We as Labradorians have the responsibility and more importantly the desire to take ownership of this senseless tragedy. We as one, will, and have shared in the grief of those closest to these lost souls.

With this loss to us all, it is a reminder of how uncertain life can be and how quickly it can change for any one of us, in a moment’s time. It is a reminder to us all that we should tell those closest to us that we love them that they matter to us. We will never know when the opportunity to do this will be taken away from us. Do it now, do it often.

Along with the families of our lost people and those closest to this tragedy, we will stand as one. We will hold them closely in our prayers. We will hold them and support the needs of those left behind solidly in our grip, now, and as time passes.

Can these family members left behind ever get over this catastrophic event, never? The best they can do is hope that they can find a spot in their mind, their heart, and their souls that will allow them to somehow manage their new normal, as they move forward.

What they can do however is rest assured, that they have the prayers and whatever support that may be necessary from each and every one of us as time passes. They only have to ask.

It’s what we do, we are Labradorians.

Gary Shaw 

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