It's hard enough wrapping one's mind around the tragedy that befell this year for the people aboard Malaysia Airlines flights. One plane goes missing; the next gets shot down by a missile -- it's almost too surreal to believe. It would be devastating enough to know that one family member or friend lost their lives on one of these flights, but imagine if you lost relatives on both flights.
That's the sad story of one Australian woman. Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and her sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on Flight 370 when it disappeared in March and still hasn't been found. On Friday, poor Mann then discovered that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
What are the chances of that? Her brother and stepdaughter both killed in the same year when flying the same airline. So devastating.
"It's just brought everyone, everything back," said Greg Burrows, Mann's brother, to the Associated Press. "It's just ... ripped our guts again."
But still, despite everything that happened, the family apparently holds nothing against Malaysia Airlines.
"Nobody could predict they were going to get shot down," he said. "That was out of their hands."
That's a pretty clear, healthy outlook when you come right down to the sad stories surrounding both of these flights. The Boeing 777 was carrying 298 people when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Everyone perished. It must have been one thing for Mann to discover that her brother and sister-in-law were on a flight that seemingly vanished out of thin air, prompting a massive international search and tons of conspiracy theories. Then to find out, just months later, that her stepdaughter was shot down out of the sky by a missile? It's almost too insane to even begin to comprehend.
Hopefully Mann can look to her other loved ones to get her through what must be such a traumatic time in her life. To think she would have to experience this once, let alone yet again in an equally shocking loss of another relative -- seriously, what are the chances?!
Details are still emerging about the identities of the victims aboard Flight 17. Several prominent AIDS researchers also perished, as the International AIDS Conference was scheduled to begin on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia. Such heartbreaking news all around. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone, especially Mann, affected by this senseless catastrophe.
What would pull you through if something this bizarre and tragic were to happen to your family?
Image via Craig/Wikimedia