Mortality and morality

September 22, 2012

I saw a stranger die tonight in a horrific car accident while on the way home from seeing Macbeth. We stopped to render aid, and as Hunter was parking on the side of the road and calling 911, I ran to the scene of the accident found the body. It was about 30-40 feet from where the truck finally stopped. There was no pulse, no breath, and his clothes were torn half off his body. It was bad. For the rest of my life, I will regret that I didn’t have the presence of mind to administer CPR. It’s true, and I feel terrible. All of the blood, the horror of it all, it got to me and I blanked out. I thought I was stronger than that. I will be next time. I was told by several people that it wouldn’t have done any good, but that still doesn’t alleviate me from that guilt.

It was so surreal. We saw the truck flip about 4 times, coming down the hill straight at our truck. We pulled over immediately to assist, but there was nothing to be done. I make no judgements, but there were full bottles of cold Corona lying all around him (I had to move his hand off a full, capped bottle to get to his wrist to try to find a pulse when I couldn’t get one from his neck) and I can’t imagine how a man of his considerable size could have been thrown from the vehicle if he was wearing a seat belt. ::sigh:: I just keep thinking about the frailty of human life and how he’s never going to show up wherever he was going. HIs family has lost him, his friends have lost him, all in the space of a few seconds. Damn.

I was surprised when on of the Sheriffs that showed up said that most people don’t stop to render aid. How could you NOT? It was obvious that anyone in that truck was going to be in bad shape. The accident was like a movie, it flipped over several times, how could you NOT stop to assist? What the hell, people? Really? So you have to fill out an incident report. So you might have to be inconvenienced for an hour or so. It’s a damn person! UGH

So anyway. That’s my day. I come home from seeing Macbeth and witness this. Then I go all Lady Macbeth, washing my hands to get the dead man’s blood off and just not feeling like they’ll ever come clean. The irony is not lost on me. I don’t believe I’ll be watching the Scottish Play again. Bad memories.

As for me, it’s an Ambien and a prayer that I can sleep tonight.

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6 Responses to “Mortality and morality”


  1. omg :-/ wonder if he had a death wish….were there bottles empty near him of beer??

    • Teri Says:

      There were at least 4 full, cold, unopened bottles of Corona lying near him and one broken bottle but I couldn’t say if he’d been drinking or not. The accident did happen at one of the nastier merges on 35 where the slow lane of 35 merges with the fast land on 183 and you can’t really see who’s in what lane until you’re right on it. I hate that section of road, myself.

    • Teri Says:

      All of the bottles that we found were cold and full, still capped. There was one bottle that was broken, but I believe that was from the vehicle flipping over so many times. We didn’t find a single empty beer bottle near him.

  2. Nineteenfifteen Says:

    Once you experience the death of another human being so closely, it changes something about you. The realization is not so romanticized, it becomes a brute fact of existence.

    • Teri Says:

      I agree. I have had the misfortune to be present when two people passed away this year. One was quiet and surrounded by her family members, the other was a stranger on the side of the road. The both affected me for different ways. One thing I do feel, is less invincible and a little more aware that we won’t be here for ever. Maybe not even tomorrow.

      • Nineteenfifteen Says:

        “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker, I personally recommend this book from the bottom of my heart. It’s one of those few great books, a new synthesis.

        He was frankly the most overlooked genius of the last half century.


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