Life changes in the time it takes to draw breath. This tragic fact is laced into my being, my work, something I am reminded of always and always it is impossible to bear. It isn’t just the accident, or the fall, or the minute in which life turns, but it is the “after” that is the tragedy. The empty seat at the table, the lifetime of pain, the constant and horrendous reminder that things go wrong, and stay that way.
Our lives, once touched by disaster, cannot easily be mended, if at all. Beyond the physical, beyond the mechanical, the repairs, the therapy, is the imperishable thought that life can and does change, and we are all vulnerable to sudden and unwanted change. It comes without permission, without warning, without so much as a whisper or omen. You can’t unlearn the fear you come to know once you learn this unwelcome message. You have to train yourself to not anticipate the next disaster, but to try again for “normal’, whatever that has become in your life.
Money doesn’t solve the problem, it doesn’t take away the pain, it doesn’t bring people back and it doesn’t turn back time and make people whole again. It is simply a prosthetic that allows a person, a family, to carry on with just one less worry. It eases the lifestyle, not the pain.
Accidents happen, no truer words spoken. But it takes us by surprise. As humans, we expect life to carry on as it has, we lull in a sense of security that is often false. When tragedy hits, it hits hard, and it takes us by force, takes us prisoner. And there is no consolation. But it is a part of the reparation, part of the healing process to know that those who are at fault, those whose recklessness, whose inability, whose poor choices put us in danger, will be held accountable. It is sometimes the only consolation, all we get. It is a principle of life, here in our modern western world, that if you put someone at risk, and they get hurt, you should recompense, pay the fine.