How to Cope When Tragedy Strikes Your Hometown

Aymes Sarah
9 min readApr 21, 2020

How to deal when violence hits too close to home

Image courtesy of the Fredericton Police Force

Six years ago, our provinces’ version of a metropolitan, Moncton, New Brunswick, dealt with a terrible tragedy: A young man in army fatigues shot three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers to death and proceeded to hold the city hostage by hiding in the woods. Eventually, he surrendered himself, but the damage had been done.

Fast forward two years and our small, picturesque city of Fredericton, New Brunswick experienced the worst shooting to ever hit our small province. A man shot and killed two city of Fredericton police officers and two civilians outside of an apartment building. Our small city was devastated.

The city of Moncton was there for us like a big brother, supporting us and knowing the pain and fear we all felt.

Drawing courtesy of Michael DeAdder (Halifax Herald)

Yesterday, the worst mass shooting in Canadian history happened in our sister province of Nova Scotia. A man donned a police officer uniform and used his refurbished police car to commit murder. The death toll is not yet confirmed by the RCMP because the shooter had traveled around rural areas, killing and maiming people, but reports say there were at least 17 people who were murdered.

My husband is from Nova Scotia, and I can understand why he and his family are struggling to comprehend what happened and why.

The Facebook posts of anger, confusion, and sadness are all too familiar.

I think all of Canada wants to give the province of Nova Scotia a hug at this point. We know the feeling of tragedy hitting close to home all too well.

No matter where you live, you have probably experienced some form of tragedy in your city, town, or village. These acts perplex us, scare us, and make some of us angry.

Our bubble of safety was compromised and by one of our own. It took a while for our small city to get back to normal, but it was a new normal. I noticed that we were nicer to each other out in public but the air was somber. We were collectively bonded by pain.

Aymes Sarah

Wife, mother, and researcher of a myriad of subjects. I love to write about anything and everything! Writer for The Startup, Better Marketing, & The Ascent👊