Not saying that it's particularly evidence based, but there are those who have a strong belief in the "ripple effect" of life changing events. The stone drops in, the ripple travels out, rebounds off the bank and comes back to you next time round.
Working in mental health for some years I saw this effect many times and whatever you believe to be the cause(and I personally don't believe that for the vast majority it was a form self indulgance), it certainly seems to happen.
Having an emotional side and empathy for your fellow human beings does not make you a "sissy" (I know you know that). It makes you a good human being, and I'm sure the community he helped appreciate that fact.