There's no blueprint for dealing with tragedy, and there's certainly no proper way to react when tragedy is relentlessly showing up on your doorstep.
During the past four months, the hockey world has been overwhelmed by a near-constant wave of horrific news that began with the shocking death of Derek Boogaard in May and ended -- hopefully -- with the deaths of 43 people when the team plane of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL crashed in Russia on Wednesday.
In between, 27-year-old Rick Rypien was found dead at his Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, home on Aug. 15 and the recently retired Wade Belak, a father of two, died in a Toronto hotel 16 days later.
When one mourning period was ending, it seemed another was beginning.
"The whole summer," Tampa Bay Lightning star Martin St. Louis said, "we really haven't had a chance to catch our breath with one thing after another."