It is comforting to know that, in cases of personal tragedy and extreme adversity, not only family and friends but also complete strangers are more than willing to help you.
Three recent local tragedies come to mind.
On June 1, Jasvinder Singh Riar, age 31, died at work, at the Canadian National Railway’s Thornton Yard in North Surrey, leaving behind his wife, his nine-month-old son, and his mother, paternal grandmother and sister. That was one mighty responsibility he shouldered, being the sole provider for his family.
This past Sunday, which happened to be Father’s Day, tragedy struck another local family when Surrey realtor Kashif Sheikh, 46, drowned while trying to save his daughter who had slipped into a creek near a waterfall in the Okanagan.
Sheikh leaves behind a wife and four children.
By Wednesday morning, 939 donors to a GoFundMe campaign had raised $95,230 to help Sheikh’s family.
Of course, no amount of money will ever replace these two men. But the money being raised in their memory will surely help take some of the burden off their survivors, who are undoubtedly suffering from the shock, confusion and grief that is particular to sudden and unexpected deaths.
Now, a third local fundraising initiative has been launched to help a Surrey family of seven whose home was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday in Whalley.
The fact that strangers, some of whom can ill afford it, will help others in times of need serves to remind us that ultimately none of us are really alone.
And we can all take some comfort in that.