God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.
I never had a conscious fear of death, but I did have a conscious fear of sickness. By the time I completed medical school, that fear was gone.
Sherwin B. Nuland
Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.
Saint Teresa of Avila
I know that in life there will be sickness, devastation, disappointments, heartache - it's a given. What's not a given is the way you choose to get through it all. If you look hard enough, you can always find the bright side.
Life is difficult for everyone; everyone has bad days. Everyone has trouble in their life, because it doesn't matter how rich you are: Sickness and trouble and worry and love, these things will mess with you at every level of life.
The three touchstones that woke Buddha up - sickness, old age, and death - are a pretty good place to start when crafting a tragic tale. And if we need to get more specific: heartbreak, destruction, miscomprehension, natural disasters, betrayal, and the waste of human potential.