Not everything has its reason

By Wendel Sloan

Local columnist

Some say everything happens for a reason. That seems simplistic — even cruel.

What possible purpose is there for 239 people to lie on the bottom of the ocean. Whether mechanical failure or deliberate act, the final moments of terror were incomprehensible.

Vanished, ranging in age from 2 to 76, are honeymooners, families with toddler siblings, grandparents, first-time fliers, artists, executives, business owners, teenage sweethearts…

Wendel Sloan

Wendel Sloan

During takeoff, there was a bustle of excitement and anticipation about what awaited — business opportunities, loved ones, sightseeing.

Most, from young to old, were still chasing their dreams. Some may have been attending to sadness.

The trip was the first day of what most assumed was many fulfilling years ahead.

The moment the routine flight became a deathtrap defies comprehension. To go from thinking that bad things only happen to others to it actually happening to you is beyond imagining.

We’ve all had moments of apprehension when an airplane experiences turbulence, but cannot grasp the terror of knowing our life is about to end.

So many irreplaceable people, beautiful on the inside if not out. Not one innocent person, young or old, deserved their fate.

Everyone’s unique talent — music, art, teaching, cooking, building, athleticism, listening, inventing — snuffed out in an instant never to benefit the world again.

Parents and children perishing together — parents who would have sacrificed themselves for their children. Lovers who would have sacrificed themselves for each other.

Like you and me, all had some ego. Yet, not a single one valued life less than us.

They did not choose their birth or death, and had only limited control over the cards dealt them in life.

Whether fate handed them an easier road of good looks and family wealth, or a rockier road of clawing for survival, most lived lives of integrity.

Now, they lie at the bottom of the ocean.

Saying it happened for a reason insults their memories.


Contact Wendel Sloan at

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