I recently had a surreal experience. A friend of mine was taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning (she’s totally fine!) and I went with a couple friends to keep her company and then take her home.
While we were there, an unconscious man was wheeled into the room directly next to where we were waiting. (We were in a hallway because my friend wasn’t a serious case, and under normal circumstances probably would have been in and out of the ER pretty quickly). On the other side of us was a sitting room, and it began filling up with the man’s family. None of them spoke English, but it was easy enough to gather that his wife, baby daughter, and 6 or 7 year old son were there with a handful of other loved ones.
Long story short, the man died. We were there when he died. We were there to hear the way his family reacted to the news. We heard his son asking why this had happened.
We witnessed what will undoubtedly be a defining moment in that little boy’s life. We were bystanders to their grief, unable to offer comfort, trying as hard as we could to blend into the walls.
In a weird way, I felt like I was watching a hospital drama on TV. By proximity I was closely involved in what was happening, and could hear it and feel it, but was still utterly removed. It also felt totally unreal.
So that was five days ago now. I’m still kind of reeling from it.
I ordered Chinese food last night, which isn’t that remarkable, except I usually only do that when I’m STARVING or am celebrating something. But I had a taste for it and suddenly dieting just seems silly. I’ve also had impulses to tell people I love and appreciate them because it seems silly to be afraid of that as well.
I know these feelings will pass – not the love necessarily but the sense of urgency to declare it. I’m still processing what I saw. And when I was thinking of what to write tonight this event was the only thing filling my brain.
So. I’m not sure what message I want to end on here. If you’re reading this – thank you. Sorry I’ve been too busy to write. And I know it sounds corny, but just take a moment this week to not take something for granted, if that makes sense.
And in case this worries any of you, I promise I’m fine. I’m living life normally and not walking around in a traumatized state or anything. I didn’t know that man or his family, and as much as my heart ached for them, I would never try to claim part of their grief. But writing this all down is a relief because it’s impossible to witness any human suffering and not be affected. It’s impossible not to look at your own life from a new perspective after something like that. But I’m happy and well, and have a lot of exciting things to look forward to, for which I’m so, so grateful.
Anyway. Love to you. I will try to make my next post more fun.