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Epic Bears, How to deal with Tragedy: A 7-Step Program

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A skier dies in a tragic accident what do you do?

1. Quickly and forcefully express your opinion before any of the facts are known. If that guy died he might have been using a safety bar. What a tragedy, if not then he should have been. <Link>

2. Pontificate on the victims flawed character and bad choices. Wasn't he using the safety bar? This sort of thing was bound to happen, no one can say he wasn't to blame. <Link>

3. Move on to psychoanalysis of his final moments. He subconsciously chose to fall... only a psycho rides with the bar up.. He had no reguard for his own safety. <Link> <Link2>

4. Recommend a simple blanket solution to avoid future accidents. Everyone ride withe bar down. Don't try and be cool. <Link>

5. Realize that not everyone will make safe choices. Help those people to meet their maker in by making the most of their bad choices. If you don't want to ride with the bar down make sure you jump off instead of falling off. That way you can use your skills to attempt a controlled fall. It's safe to jump from the lift as long as you aim for the powdah. He would have live he just landed on his head don't that and you will be fine. <Link>

6. Try to put this tragedy in the larger context. There are no such thing as accidents or unfortunate events, only unfortunate people. People have free will. Some chose to be losers. They are probably better off dead. <Link>

7. Change the subject. Speaking of Better off dead. Now that was a good movie.<Link>
post #2 of 16
8. Keep my feelings and opinions on this tragic matter to myself.
post #3 of 16
9. Understand that people deal with death and tragic events differently (based on their history and coping skills) and be accepting of my own and other's responses.
post #4 of 16
10. this is pointless.
post #5 of 16
makes sense to me
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post
9. Understand that people deal with death and tragic events differently (based on their history and coping skills) and be accepting of my own and other's responses.
Epic has a problem with bad news threads. Its worth pointing out that just about EVERY time bad news comes to epic about a fellow skier or boarder it seems that the thread briefly focuses on what happened and taking note of it and expressing condolences or actually grieving openly. And by the time everyone comes home from work the discussion transforms into just another hot button issue for general debate with the dead body being used as a football between the various sides of the discussion. As a community we really lose when within a few hours people are forgetting (if they even noted it in the first place) that this is a specific incident in which a real person just died or was seriously injured and with friend and families who might be reading that thread.

I don't think these bad news threads are an appropriate place for this sort of issue discussion and it really ruins epic for me to read this crap. Most of the time its not even considered that maybe they should start a separate peanut gallery thread to discuss these issues or that the discussion could very well be put off till a later time. I don't think the types of responses like I enumerated above are acceptable in any bad news thread. Bottom line: If you think some one dieing is a good opportunity to sound off on whatever issues you think are important then you should shut up because bad news threads are not supposed to be about you and what you think.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Bottom line: If you think some one dieing is a good opportunity to sound off on whatever issues you think are important then you should shut up because bad news threads are not supposed to be about you and what you think.
THIS

/heck, even I restrained myself from making jokes in that thread. and self-restraint from posting inappropriate stuff is not my forte.
post #8 of 16
I agree with tromano.
I made a loosely connected remark on my own experience. Although I don't think the content was disrespectful in itself, I should not have put it in that thread.
post #9 of 16
Going back to 2005, there was a long thread concerning a young woman who was struck by an out of control snowboarder. http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=25078 This was picked up the next year as the prosecution results were announced. http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=41972.

This thread focused on the victim and eventually drifted into general mountain safety and accident prevention, as well as reporting facts; but mostly it avoided the pitfall of condemning the young lady for not wearing a helmet or speculating on what-ifs. I think we have a responsibility to understand that the posts we make can be viewed by family and friends. Insensitive comments on tragic accidents that blame the victim for their own fate, call them stupid, suggest they were asking for by some action they did or didn't take, or a helmet not worn are very bad form. Fatalism posts that imply it was just their time are not likely to be understood either, especially for 19 year old victims.

When a death is brought to the community's attention, its up to those of us that recognize these comments as ignorant and insensitive to post a reminder that its not the time for analyzing the use of helmets, or safety bars, or avalanche gear. That discussion is truly for another time. Imagine a relative reading here. A sensitive thread would encourage them to participate and add details, while the kind of thread we recently saw, would make them sick, angry and withdraw.

Something happened between 2005 and now, and Tromano may have it right. There seems to be a competitive need to sound off on your issue of the day. I agree with him, that if an issue is important enough to debate, it deserves its own thread, just as a tragic accidental death deserves respect not speculate on motives, causes and what-ifs. If a post is wrong, send a PM asking the member to delete it, or remind them, its not the time. It takes just one comment to hijack a thread on an accidental death and make it a debate about a safety issue.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
A skier dies in a tragic accident what do you do?

1. Quickly and forcefully express your opinion before any of the facts are known. If that guy died he might have been using a safety bar. What a tragedy, if not then he should have been. <Link>

2. Pontificate on the victims flawed character and bad choices. Wasn't he using the safety bar? This sort of thing was bound to happen, no one can say he wasn't to blame. <Link>

3. Move on to psychoanalysis of his final moments. He subconsciously chose to fall... only a psycho rides with the bar up.. He had no reguard for his own safety. <Link> <Link2>

4. Recommend a simple blanket solution to avoid future accidents. Everyone ride withe bar down. Don't try and be cool. <Link>

5. Realize that not everyone will make safe choices. Help those people to meet their maker in by making the most of their bad choices. If you don't want to ride with the bar down make sure you jump off instead of falling off. That way you can use your skills to attempt a controlled fall. It's safe to jump from the lift as long as you aim for the powdah. He would have live he just landed on his head don't that and you will be fine. <Link>

6. Try to put this tragedy in the larger context. There are no such thing as accidents or unfortunate events, only unfortunate people. People have free will. Some chose to be losers. They are probably better off dead. <Link>

7. Change the subject. Speaking of Better off dead. Now that was a good movie.<Link>
Well, I could start a look-at-me-and-my-appropriate-response thread, condemning people who wrote things other than what I wrote (a sure way to change the subject). :
post #11 of 16
This thread has such an intriguing title I feel I must post in it.

Perhaps people are compelled to draw conclusions from tragic events because they are trying to make sense of it and develop some rules to live by that would prevent that particular tragic outcome happening to themselves. Though we may not admit it, we all like to believe that everything happens for a reason. Just a thought.
post #12 of 16
In my training I was taught to focus on the present while on scene. Is it safe for me being my #1 concern. I was taught that once you say anything it can't be taken back and that what you say will be twisted. I think in most cases people who have accidents didn't mean to die. With avalanches (my interest) some of the victems didn't even know they where at risk. This is the difference between ignorance and stupidity. There are nearly always obvious signs that get overlooked. People see what they want to see. I think that its good to look at accidents and try to play the what if game. It helps us to identify problems and come up with safer protocols and pratices. We need to be sensitive to those who are left behind. Dieing is easy... If I don't come back from skiing it will be my wife and my friends that have to grieve.

There was a reference to the JH Laramie Bowl incident. Really sad. I don't think the victem was doing anything wrong. I give the victems family a lot of credit for allowing a leinient sentence for the young snowboarder who killed her. I talked to the prosecuter about it and think that the judgment was as good as it could have been.

I used to be harsher... The last couple of avalanche accidents that I heard over the radio changed me a bit because they were my friends. In the space of about 30 seconds I went from "who was the idiot who tried to ski Taylor today" to banging my head against the wall because it was Laurel.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
In the space of about 30 seconds I went from "who was the idiot who tried to ski Taylor today" to banging my head against the wall because it was Laurel.
And so it is for the survivors of any one of these "bad news" thread fatalities, which ought to temper the commentary. Nuff said.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
This thread has such an intriguing title I feel I must post in it.

Perhaps people are compelled to draw conclusions from tragic events because they are trying to make sense of it and develop some rules to live by that would prevent that particular tragic outcome happening to themselves. Though we may not admit it, we all like to believe that everything happens for a reason. Just a thought.
That is actually an Aristotlean insight. From "Poetics":
Poetry in general seems to have sprung from two causes, each of them lying deep in our nature. First, the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lessons; and no less universal is the pleasure felt in things imitated. We have evidence of this in the facts of experience. Objects which in themselves we view with pain, we delight to contemplate when reproduced with minute fidelity: such as the forms of the most ignoble animals and of dead bodies. The cause of this again is, that to learn gives the liveliest pleasure, not only to philosophers but to men in general; whose capacity, however, of learning is more limited. Thus the reason why men enjoy seeing a likeness is, that in contemplating it they find themselves learning or inferring, and saying perhaps, 'Ah, that is he.' For if you happen not to have seen the original, the pleasure will be due not to the imitation as such, but to the execution, the coloring, or some such other cause.

. . .

Now, according to our definition Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude; for there may be a whole that is wanting in magnitude. A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles.
Of course, they didn't have Barking Bears in 350 B.C., but if they did, Aeschylus and Sophocles would have had over 1000 posts.
post #15 of 16
What step involves asking his/her surviving family about what they plan to do with the deceased's ski gear?
post #16 of 16
I, too, align with tromano. I don't get what motivates judgment in such cases. The recent, well-publicized case of NFL safety Sean Taylor is a case-in-point. A lot of people made it about his past, when it now appears quite different.

I find it is better to allow time to play its role in such things.
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