In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6-8 TNIV)
So when tragedy strikes, it hits both the great and the small. There are no exceptions. Tragedy, as nothing else can do, opens our eyes to our weakness, fragility, and utter defenselessness. At times, we all need this awareness. It can help us be more humble, more in touch, and more sensitive.
In addition, tragedy in our own lives prepares us to minister to the lives of others who suffer as well:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)