Tuesday, November 22, 2022

In a Prince Rupert tragedy, word travels fast; not in a spotlight, but by small remembrances

An image projected on the wall on the McBride Street side
of the Lester Centre of the Arts reflects the sadness in Prince Rupert
in the wake of Monday's tragic events at the Ocean Centre

It's been close to 36 hours now since word of an unfathomable horror from a downtown office building spread out across the city, the region and indeed a province. 

The early unofficial details of the Monday morning incident murky ones, a fair bit of it wrong, much of it relayed through a range of social media posts.

The modern day version of an old telegraph line that binds a community together in shared news; but also an instrument of communication which can serve to lose sight of a compassionate voice when required the most.

The initial shock of the tragedy of Monday morning which claimed the life of a young Prince Rupert woman by way of horrific violence has faded some. The accounts of the day now replaced by remembrances of a mother, co-worker, singer/performer and friend to many near and far. 

That same social media now serving as a place of shared grief and support.  

The official notes on Monday's incident came from the local detachment of the RCMP, fact based documentation of an evolving situation. 

The most recent update released Tuesday afternoon, for the most part tying together much of the investigative side of the murder-suicide that has shocked the community.  

The RCMP policy in support of the families that now mourn was to leave the time and place for identification to them.

That information came with a number of Social Media posts from family and friends through the course of the day, a shared  remembrance of Patty Forman, who has now been identified as the victim of Monday's senseless murder-suicide shooting

Something that was known fairly early on in the early hours of Monday's incident as phone calls or texts were exchanged across the city. Though in a small town respectful way, few would mention that knowledge through public forums. 

Ms. Forman's own Social media page on Facebook has become a forum for some of the grieving process today, friends stopping by it to share  their memories of times spent in her company, their loss, one of many that are being felt in the community.

With such a vast diaspora of residents from Prince Rupert found in every corner of the province, the Monday incident has made for wide news coverage, from the major television stations, radio broadcasts and newspapers large and small.

This from Victoria, a sample of how word of the tragedy has been shared by journalists province wide.

Mayor Herb Pond noted of that far reaching interest in his remarks at City Council on Monday evening, his comments also providing for some valuable guidance to remain gracious and aware of the impact of words during a difficult time for the community.

The days ahead will be hard, burdensome ones for the family, the many friends, co-workers and all that were touched by Ms. Forman's life and now try to make sense of the unfathomable.  

As the plans for memorials move forward they will have a strong support of community to help them on the path ahead. 

We've created an archive of the far reaching coverage of Monday's tragedy which you can review here.

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