Are there any idioms or phrases to describe a continuous occurrence of bad things, but after a lapse of time. For instance, a man was killed, leaving his wife and son. Few months later, the wife was diagnosed with cancer. And after a year, her son passed away.

I am thinking of using the idiom it never rains but it pours. But i have also read on stackexchange that this idiom is better suiting a scenario where bad things happen one after the other in a quick succession

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    There is a saying "bad things happen in threes" which would work in this particular case.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 9 at 9:16
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    Family curse.
    – Void
    Jan 9 at 11:06

This chain of bad things is called "a series of unfortunate events" or you can say "that person is dogged by misfortune".

be dogged by misfortune (=have a lot of bad luck over a period of time)

The project seemed dogged by misfortune.

Longman Dictionary

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    Yes, this is excellent. +1 Jan 9 at 11:16
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    @chasly-supportsMonica Yours is good too. I learned a new idiom "a run of bad luck"! (always love learning new things)
    – Sphinx
    Jan 9 at 11:17

The family had a terrible run of bad luck.

The Johnson's suffered a disastrous run of bad luck.

a run of bad luck A period of continuous misfortune. I've just had a run of bad luck lately. After losing my job, I found out that I won't be entitled to any social welfare payments while I look for work. She broke up with him? Wow, the poor guy's run of bad luck continues. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/run+of+bad+luck

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