Tragedy and Humanity


Today is a day that as a city we grieve. I can’t imagine anyone who wasn’t touched, if not heartbroken by the news of little three-year-old Elijah. Dressed only in a light t-shirt, pull-ups and winter boots, in his beautiful innocence he decided to go for a walk at 4:30 in the morning. It was minus 25-degree weather and, sadly, the outcome was tragic.

I’m sure that most of the city was holding its collective breath, praying for good news every hour of the day. When the news of his death came, many of us cried.

The family is devastated and in shock. Their hell has just started and they will continue to need our support, not just now, but for a long time to come.

It will stir up old grief within some who have experienced the tragic death of a child. It will frighten new parents of young children and steal the confidence of many for some time to come.

My partner and I were among the many who searched for Elijah today. It was terribly sad and the feeling of utter helplessness was overwhelming.

Yet, as with all tragedies, it brought out the best in so many people. Many times we can become disillusioned with the state of society as a whole. It seems that there is never any good news, that we are becoming more and more egocentric and self-serving.

But today, we witnessed the complete opposite. People from near and far came to help. It was an incredibly humbling, uniting force. The beauty in the outpouring of support was unprecedented. One might expect it in a small town or community but this is a city of three million united by one common goal—to help a family bring their baby boy home.

For those of us not directly affected, we have the luxury of reflection and thanksgiving for the abundance of goodness that was present today.

Although my heart aches with a deep sadness, it is also warmed by the knowledge that when it truly matters we are a people united by a love that transcends all else.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Elijah’s family.


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