Memorial set up at the site where Kim McGregor was killed in a hit-and-run incident. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Memorial set up at the site where Kim McGregor was killed in a hit-and-run incident. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Opinion: Tragedy is when community shines through

Tough times can be a reminder we really are in this together

No community is immune from tragedy. Size doesn’t matter.

In the Chemainus area, we’ve seen our fair share of devastating losses from accidents and incidents that have impacted so many families over the years.

The recent hit-and-run resulting in the death of Kim McGregor and the murder of Chemainus Secondary School 2020 grad Wayne Allen in Ontario are reminders of how the community can be hit hard again with horrific news at a moment’s notice. Those who knew the two are grieving and trying to make sense of it all.

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There really is no rhyme or reason for these occurrences. It’s a sad fact of life how people we’re close to, family members, casual acquaintances or even someone in our midst we don’t know at all but are familiar with the name can be the sudden victims of unfortunate circumstances.

Five years ago in 2016 was a particularly difficult time with the death of two prominent young people in the community – Paige Whitelaw and Derek Descoteau. Whitelaw was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident during March of that year, with an outcome totally out of her control, and Descoteau the victim of a homicide only a couple of months later in May.

But when tragedy strikes, this is where a smaller community shines. The support network immediately launches into place to help out emotionally and even financially these days with the opportunity afforded through GoFundMe pages.

Obviously, the people closest to those lost will never forget them but there’s also a desire from the public to create some good from an otherwise bad situation.

This is where memorial scholarships and bursaries, commemorative benches or assistance for a particular cause in the name of a person are valuable.

All of this is not even to mention those affected by a health crisis or in today’s world of ever-changing challenges such things as cyberbullying.

To borrow the phrase that’s become common during COVID, ‘we’re all in this together’ and that certainly applies when an entire community knows people who are hurting and what’s required to provide comfort that might aid in the healing process.

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