While most Canadians were heading home from work or school last Friday, they were excitedly thinking about the weekend and what the upcoming days had in store. Ditto for the young men – kids, some of them – who were eager to compete in the sport they love: hockey.
By now you know the tragic story out of Saskatchewan. I don’t need to rehash the details. In short, we lost fellow Canadians and it’s a loss that stung from coast to coast to coast, a sting that will be felt for weeks, months, even a lifetime for some.
Admittedly, I have never played hockey. My brothers played hockey when they were younger, I’ve been to a few NHL games and even watched my nephews take to the ice, but never have I laced up, put on a jersey and played the game. Therefore I can’t say I am part of the so-called hockey family or community we heard so much about last weekend. But, in a way, maybe I am.
It doesn’t matter that I don’t know anybody on the team. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know any of the families. It doesn’t matter that I have never been to Humboldt or Nipawin or any of the other rural Saskatchewan communities dealing with the tragedy. It matters that I am a Canadian and we have compassion.
Who or what I know isn’t a factor in being moved by the images of devastated families experiencing one of the greatest losses in their lives. Who or what I know isn’t a factor in shedding a tear when I think about how long those people will take to heal.
Then again, maybe it is what I know.
I know that it is right to listen to the people memorialize their departed loved ones. I know that it is right to offer whatever assistance I can from afar. I know that it is right to take that extra moment and realize life isn’t always about me and my selfish little world.
Hearing how many millions of dollars were raised by Canadians to help the families get through the trying time made me see that when tragedy strikes, we’re in it together.
True, money doesn’t solve everything. All the money in the world won’t bring back the young men lost in the bus crash. I get that. What it does do is show those who are grieving that total strangers can feel like family at a time like this.
#PrayersForHumboldt shouldn’t be trending, but it is. It symbolizes what we’ve lost as a country but what we’ve gained as being compassionate Canadians.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.