In the wake of a tragedy, there are no words.
"Tragedy" - "an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime or natural disaster."
It can also refer to "a play dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, especially one concerning the downfall of the main character." Most people think of Greek tragedies, but more modern versions in movies include "Love Story," "Titanic," and "The Notebook."
I feel like I should turn in my "girly card" until I see "The Notebook," because it seems like every woman I've ever met has seen it. There are jokes about women forcing their men to see it. There have been parodies, spoofs, and 119 stories of fan fiction written about it on fanfiction.net. The movie is almost a decade old and I feel maybe I have missed that boat on that one. Plus, I just can't bring myself to watch something I know is going to make me sob. There's just something so exhausting about it, especially if I know it's coming, that makes me decide not to watch it and turn on a mindless action movie instead. An emotional ending, like you find in most of the saddest movies of all time (courtesy of IMDB) can leave you feeling speechless, lost, and emotionally spent.
I feel that way about my writing too. It's a struggle for me to make bad things happen to the main character. I've read my fair share of resource books that instruct a writer to surprise the audience...kill off the main character...throw readers a curve ball...the female main character is really a man!...do the unexpected...bring a character back from the dead...great more zombie stories, just what we need. I have a tough time when it comes to making drastic things happen to my character, but I get it. Sometimes, you have to incorporate realities of life into fiction. Sometimes, characters die, lose their jobs, get cancer, fall in love with the wrong person.
The good thing about the genre of romance, which is what I write mostly, is that typically there will be a happy ending. You crack the book open, you meet the characters you know are going to end up together, you watch them fight against it, and in the end, oh look, they're in love. Despite a few bumps along the way, the two characters find happiness. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?
Because honestly, there is just enough real sadness in the world.