A 31-year-old Cirque du Soleil performer and mother of two has fallen 50 feet to her death during the finale of a show called Ka at the Las Vegas MGM Grand. At first audience members thought Sarah "Sassoon" Guyard's fall was part of the show until they heard screaming, groaning, and someone sobbing. It's just such an unbelievably shocking tragedy.
Cirque du Soleil performances may seem death defying and dangerous when you see them. After all, acrobats twirling on ribbons high above your head, swinging around, and contorting their bodies with nothing but hands and a bit of wire holding them up SEEM to be performing shocking, death-tempting acts. But, in fact, the show has never had a death in its 30 years of existence. Until now.
It's hard to imagine what that audience must have felt and even more hard to imagine the comments some self righteous people have been making about the mother of two young children.
It has been suggested (in comments sections) that perhaps her job was too dangerous and that she was somehow at risk for this. That is just hogwash and such a judgmental (and wrong) thing to say. Do people blame firefighters or police officers killed in the line of duty who also happen to be parents?
The reality is she was performing a carefully choreographed routine that she probably had been performing for years. This was something she had trained for decades to do, and it's no more dangerous than anything else done by well-trained and practiced professionals.
This is a tragedy, plain and simple. If there is anyone to blame, let's blame those who didn't keep the wires safe enough. Some speculation is that her foot slipped out of the wire. That shouldn't have happened.
Freak accidents happen on any job. People fall into meat grinders or slip and hit their heads on factory floors. Just because Guyard's line of work was performing arts doesn't mean she was inviting this to happen.
This is a senseless, horrible tragedy and filling it with platitudes like "she died doing what she loved" won't help, either. She did die doing what she loved, but it could have (and should have) been prevented. My heart goes out to her family and I hope that people will remember them when making online comments and remember that this job is no more dangerous than many others people perform every day.
Do you think mothers should avoid "dangerous" jobs?
Image via Fotos GOVBA/Flickr