OPINION: Kindness in the face of tragedy
The chainsaws still echo around the valley as the Grand Forks area digs itself out of the debris left by the violent storm last Friday. The community is still a little jumpy after the tragedy that took the life of a young boy, almost twitching with every wind that kicks up.
Driving through the area even a day after the storm it would be hard for someone to understand the fear and chaos that engulfed our world with the force of nature that hit for only half an hour. That’s all it took to wreck homes, down power lines and take a life.
It’s a time of reflection for everyone, and for a writer a curious time to contemplate what exactly can be said. I didn’t know Richard Fehr, but his life has now crossed that of thousands of people around B.C. And, if only for a moment, we all felt the pain of the loss his family is facing with a life forever gone.
As news writers we could talk about the storm and how our changing climate may be bringing more of this kind of devastation our way. We can write the stories of how to cope with loss, and how the other campers are struggling with their pain. We can even try to find a meaning in the events that played out.
In the end there is no way to soften the collective pain of a community after tragedy.
But on the other side of devastation is the caring outreach of neighbours. Stories abound of neighbours who took their tractors and chainsaws out to clear roads for others, sharing of water, giving rides to friends whose home was without power and were low on food, and even sharing information on social media to keep each other in touch.
With every face of tragedy there is a face of kindness. Thankfully that face of kindness is what we have seen for the many days since the storm hit. For a half hour of devastation there have been days of caring for others around our communities and perhaps that is what the real story is.
Condolences from the Boundary Sentinel to the family of Richard Fehr, may his journey onward be peaceful.