Chris' Corner: Death in Monday Morning News - Part Two

Death in Monday Morning News - Part Two

Watching Breakfast Television (a Toronto CITY TV network news/variety morning show) on Monday morning, we were told that a young foreign student fell into the Niagara River and went over the falls.  They were about to search for her body with helicopters as daylight came...

As regular readers know, Niagara Falls and surrounding areas are a frequent mini-vacation destination for Helen, Alec and I. We will visit two or three times a year.

I know exactly where that spot is... Apparently she was on the railing posing for a picture when she lost her balance and fell into the river.

My immediate reactions were varied... how stupid... how sad that a happy occasion can turn tragic so quickly... Could this have been prevented?...  I thought of the people she was with, how they must have felt at that instant... I thought about her parents and family.

It is easy to criticize her actions after the fact... the truth is, at that age, sometimes we feel invincible, and I recall car accidents and other "stupid" actions of my youth that could easily have changed forever the course of my life and others, perhaps just as tragically.

In general, I was perceived by most to be a good kid, one whom most parents felt was trustworthy and responsible.  But thinking back, I can recall many actions that were made in the moment that could have ended so differently.

What can we do?

Can we "bubble wrap" the world to protect everyone?

There are warnings, in words and in pictures of the dangers. 

I can remember visiting both ridges of the Grand Canyon a few years ago.  There are many places with no railings.  At some point, we must take responsibility of our actions and understand possible consequences before we act.

As a parent of a precocious seven year old, I realize that this is my duty.  To ensure that Alec is well grounded in assessing a situation, trying to understand the risk, and possible consequences to himself and to others of his actions.  To ensure he understands that there are events and substances that can affect his ability to reasonably assess a situation and to make better choices.

I am thinking that this is a lesson we can all always keep on learning, I know I can.

This was a tragedy, a seemingly vital person's life snuffed out for no reason.  I offer my sympathy to her friends and family. 

Death is a certainty and will visit us all.  Even though in many instances there is little or nothing we can or could do to prevent a tragic event, our actions and choices can play a part in preventing many of them.

I share the news of this tragedy in the hopes that we can learn from it and make better and safer choices ourselves and teach our young the lessons they need to learn to equip themselves for life.

Chris Smith CSSBB
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Comment balloon 11 commentsChris Smith • August 17 2011 12:46PM

Comments

HI Chris,

When tragegy strikes it reaches so many people and in so many ways, and your observations and lessons are really the only way we can find any form of rational solice from this type of tragic event....

A split second decision can and often will change everything ........... that is it, and it is all different from now on.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) almost 9 years ago

Thinking of my son has altered my perception of these events.  Offering condolences to those touched by this tragedy and trying to take lessons forward to help him and others in their lives is the best we can do.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Cris - So sad for all concerned ..... unfortunately it sometimes takes a tragedy to open our eyes ..... Children are like a sponge they pick up what we do and say and it comes back out in what they do and say ..... it is this sponge that we must feed ..... you may not be able to teach common sense but you can teach cause and effect ..... we can teach them to evaluate the what if's

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Chris, I hear of such accidents throughout the year and still, despite warnings and signs, tragedy still takes these young lives. I would have been devastated even as a bystander but even moreso had I known her, sad indeed! Prayers of comfort to her family.

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Kathy, we have to teach them, trust them, and let go and be there for them...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Wanda, I witnessed someone die so needlessly as a pre-teen.  The memory still haunts me.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Chris. I agree with the others. Sometimes it takes adverse situations to open our eyes. And like Wanda said, prayers to the family...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) almost 9 years ago

Hi Chris, tragedy sometimes allows us to reflect on our own lives and of our families and perhaps take on a new perspective.

Well done

Ty

Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) almost 9 years ago

Michael, it is so easy for us to sit back and say "What was she doing?"... when many of us did so much worse when we were young and felt invincible...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, not knowing hurts so much more... when I was young a girl disappeared from my home town.  I saw what her brother and parents went through.  No trace of her was ever found.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Ty, that is the most we can hope for...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

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