The Razor’s Edge of Now

So I’m home with most of a bottle of Bonny Doon Mourvedre in me.

It’s been a day that I’ll be digesting for a while.

I had meetings up in LA, so rode my motorcycle up for a morning meeting and a lunch. Meetings were great, and I was heading home from Beverly Hills after lunch, riding west on Olympic Blvd. when traffic stopped just past Century City.

I filtered through traffic to the front, where there was a pretty horrific two-vehicle accident. One was an Escalade or other big GM SUV with a smashed front end. The other was a Nissan Altima smashed on the passenger door.

There was no one in the SUV, but several people standing around the Altima; I rode up and asked if everyone was OK. A bystander said “No.”

So I parked, pulled off my gloves and helmet and went to the driver’s door where a woman was crying but seemed OK. Her passenger was sitting still.

I went around to the passenger window, and cut away the side airbag. The passenger was still in his seat, his head to the side in a way that made me pause. I grabbed the back of his head and chin to hold his head steady, and he gasped twice, then was silent. The driver was tugging on his shoulder, calling his name and I pushed her away and told her to sit back and be still.

I held his head with my left hand and felt for a pulse in his throat with my right and got nothing. Wrist, nothing. hand on his chest, nothing.

I took a breath and told myself I was just anxious and tried again. Nothing. hand on his chest, no rise or fall. Eyes half open and rolled back, a line of spittle from the corner of his mouth. I checked my watch, opened my pocket and took out the gloves and CPR shield and opened them and put them on the car roof.

The smashed door wouldn’t open, and I couldn’t get myself far enough into the window to reach him. My motorcycle suit shielded me from the broken glass in the door, but I couldn’t get to him.

I turned to a bystander and asked if they would come hold him while I went in the driver’s door. They came over to help and as we were trying to position ourselves to make the transition, the firetruck pulled up.

I love first responders, but it sure seemed to me that they were taking a long time to get out of the truck, pulling on jackets and picking up gear. I started screaming. “No pulse! No respiration! No pulse! Hustle!” and one fireman heard me and jogged to the car. He opened the driver’s door quickly checked the driver, pulled her from the car, and moved into the driver’s area.

He checked for a pulse and suddenly got much more focused. He turned and yelled for a c-collar, then when no one responded immediately, yelled louder. Someone came over and handed him one and we velcroed it around the passenger’s still neck. I helped lower him as the firemen took him and pulled him out to lay him on the ground.

I had nothing to do to help him, so I walked around the car to the driver, who standing crying while watching them get a respirator bag and defibrillator equipment ready. I pulled her away and sat her down, facing away from the car and the scene on the sidewalk.

“What’s your name, miss?”

She told me.

“What’s your friend’s name?”

She told me. Her boyfriend. He hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt.

I did a 30-second assessment, and other than an airbag burn on her forehead, mild pain in her stomach, and tears she seemed OK. I checked her nails and they pinked up, so if she had internal bleeding, I was guessing it wasn’t urgent enough to interrupt the work on the sidewalk.

We sat and I asked if she needed to call anyone. She gave me her father’s cell number, and I called him, told him his daughter had been in an accident, was upset, but seemed OK. I gave her the phone and she melted down into a torrent of Spanish too fast and too teary for me to follow. She handed me back the phone and said her dad would be right there.

I looked up and saw one fireman doing chest compressions while the others stood by.

Finally, another ambulance showed up and two new EMT came over to help her. I told then what I knew and stepped back. They turned her to get better access to her back and – dammit – faced her back toward her boyfriend, his clothes spread open while another fireman gave him chest compressions and one worked the bag.

I knelt between them, facing her, watching her cry as she talked to the kindly firefighter who was asking her about her pain.

A police officer came up and took her wallet, pulling out her ID and starting to write on his clipboard. He looked at me and I told him I’d stay there, blocking her view, until they lifted him or her onto a gurney. He patted my shoulder and said it was a good idea.

Suddenly I had nothing to do, and all I could do was replay the first moments in my mind. I kept seeing his half-open eyes and hearing his gasps. I kept playing it over and over, trying to think of what I could have done differently. I could have moved the driver and started CPR sooner. I could have put someone in the back seat to hold his head, pulled myself halfway through the window and given him CPR as he sat. A million implausible possibilities.

I held her hand.

And then her dad was there, pushing through the police and firefighters to his daughter’s side, and they were moving her onto a backboard and tying her down with strips of gauze.

As I stepped away, they were still doing chest compressions, but the lack of intensity in the crowd of yellow turnout coats standing around the prone figure told me the news wasn’t good.

I walked back to the car and took my stuff off the roof. The unused CPR shield and nitrile gloves. My helmet and motorcycle gloves. I’d thrown my earplugs onto the ground, and left them there.

My gear went onto my bike, and I walked over to the police officer who was writing on his clipboard. “Do you need me for anything? I didn’t see the accident, just tried to gave aid.” “No,” he said. “Thank you for helping.”

‘Tried to give aid’ sounded exactly right. I didn’t feel like I’d done much, or done the right thing. I kept cycling through possibilities. There must have been something else to do. I tried this, I tried that, all in my imagination.

Put my helmet on and started my bike and rode away; the loud Ducati exhaust sounding somehow offensive as it echoed off the parked ambulances and fire trucks.

I kept thinking about the razor’s edge of now; one moment they were in their car talking and laughing together, and then suddenly on the other side of the now they were apart forever.

I was two blocks away when I started crying inside my helmet. My fingers on the brake lever remembered the touch of his still, warm, skin. while the sound of the bike drowned out the sounds of his last breath. I stopped at the closest Starbucks and called for help.
-

41 thoughts on “The Razor’s Edge of Now”

  1. One thing I know about you, from reading your writings over the years, is that you’ve done all this training — not just in first responding, but the firearms, all of it — out of a desire to help and protect people in need. A man like you has to be torn up to find that all that training didn’t help, because yours is the kind of heart that wants to help so badly.

    You did all you could, which was more than most people would know to do. This is not your fault. We did not make the rules of the world, and when things are beyond our power, it is because that is how it was meant to be.

    That’s not easy to accept, but if you don’t, it’ll eat you. That’s not fair either, is it? An old Australian friend of mine used to say, “It’s a bad world.” It certainly is a hard one.

    Let us know if there’s anything we can do.

  2. Sir,
    When it’s someone’s time to go, God has the final word. He was dead, and there was not much you could do for him. Your ministry yesterday was to the living. Your kindness and attention to a traumatized young woman, shielding her from what was going on, was your particular heroism. Your calm voice being the one to let a man answering the phone on the other end know his daughter had been in an accident but was okay was more valuable than you’ll know. Your assessment of the woman’s health as you watched her could have made the difference in her outcome if she had been injured worse than was outwardly apparent. You were educated enough to know what to do. If I am ever in an accident, I hope someone like you is one of the first to arrive at the scene. God bless you for caring.

  3. I absolutely agree with DeltaBravo. What you did for the other victim and the way you handled it was right. God wanted this soul, and has final word indeed. People get in such a hurry. Ive seen a guy drive like a maniac weaving in and out. Racing, with his kids in the car. Just to pull into a 7-11. It never makes sense.

  4. Your response was perfect.

    Don’t change anything about yourself because of this. You already have everything right, so there are no improvements to be achieved, there is only the possibility that by over-thinking or tearing yourself up you could be less useful in some future crisis.

    I know that sounds cold, but I also know you want to be the most perfect instrument you can be to help your fellow citizens.

  5. You helped. Full Stop.
    Most folks have neither the compassion nor the training to do so as effectively as you did. Take you cues from the cops and firefighters. You did what was necessary and possible.
    DeltaBravo said it better than I can. God bless

  6. I’m sorry you had to go through that Marc. I can only hope that if, god forbid, something terrible were to happen to me and mine, somebody like you is there to help. I hope I’d have the courage to be there for somebody else.

  7. .
    Mark, hang in there, man; it’s always tough, even here in the civilian world.

    1967, barely eighteen but very well trained (by the standards of the day) in first-response — US-25 through the mountains of North Carolina, I was first-on-scene of a single vehicle wreck. A guy in a pickup and camper had flipped over a turn and into a gully.

    My dad, a 20-year Navy man, said “Go for it. You know this shit way better than I do.” Of course the driver was dead; snapped his neck, and I could feel it. The wife was cut up but otherwise quite coherent. I told her that her man was knocked out and we’d have to wait until a doctor got there. I told my dad they guy’d bought the farm, so let’s get the wife away from the wreck.

    Eventually a doctor pulled up — maybe 20th car — and confirmed my evaluation of the driver. He then went over to the wife and simply said “I’m doctor so-and-so. Your husband is dead.” Whereupon everything went crazy for the next half-hour until the cops and ambulance got there, because there were no cell phones or 911 in that era.

    I convey this to tell you you’ll never forget it. Nearly half a century later it remains with me. You and I did what we could. Accept it. And pray — I mean that — for the guys in A’stan and elsewhere who have to deal with far worse, again and again.

    We are reminded in Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth that God will comfort us in “all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received.” 2Cor 1:4

    Please accept my comfort as one who has been there, and may we each pass that comfort on to the younger ones of our military, especially, who must deal with things like this far more often than any of us wish.

  8. A couple of things;
    First, thanks for stepping up to the plate.
    Second, There was nothing you (or anyone) could have done. Traumatic arrests in the field are monotonously unsalvageable. To recover someone, they need an underlying pathology that is at least temporizable. So, even a trauma surgeon with an OR that could have magically wrapped itself around the vehicle in the field would not have saved this guy.
    Third, Strong Work.
    You did well, and you did the important things, including protecting yourself.
    You were dealt a losing hand, but you played it well.
    Fourth; do not beat yourself up. Take a drink to get the nerves settled, but then return to your life.
    You did well.

  9. Marc, I’m sorry you had to experience that and thank you for sharing it with everyone. I hope it was cathartic for you. As others have already said, you’re already one in a million for stopping and rendering aid. It sounds like you did your triage correctly and focused on the person who could survive with your help. You helped her tremendously with the softest science there is, psychology, and you also helped her family.

    It’s a shame that the deceased made the choice he made to not wear a seatbelt, thus cutting such a young life short. It’s a shame that you had deal with the results of that bad decision. But, you should hold your head up high and know that you’re one in a million and you made a bad situation better.

  10. You done good, my friend. More important than what you couldn’t do for the one who passed on, is what you did for the loved one who remained. She may remember your kindness. Her dad may remember your call. And they both may find some comfort in the knowledge that good caring people are still out there helping each other in tragic times.

  11. You’ll always remember, and you will fruitlessly question what you did and didn’t do for a long time. You stopped, you did the best that you could (and that appears to have been the best that anyone could have done), you helped the survivors in a time of chaos. No more was humanly possible. If you were a God … but you’re not, so don’t go there.

    Most very well done, sir.

  12. When you’re ready to talk about it, put down the Old Telegraph and call me.

    You did the right thing throughout that whole episode and you made difference in someone’s life. Someday, maybe she’ll remember the stranger on the motorcycle that protected her and maybe it will cause her to do something good. The hardest part of the other side of now is moving on. I’m the last guy who should preach about that, but as someone who has depended on you for a lot of advice over the years, I’m going to give it a shot anyway.

    You did the best anyone could. You helped a lady in need. That’s the end of it.

    Well, except that you are a man of immense strength, integrity and honor. So this isn’t the end. You’ll be ready for the next time this happens. Keep moving.

    ~Matt

  13. Take it easy on yourself. Just the fact you carry your CPR gear with you on the bike is evidence of your commitment to serve. You made a difference. I’m sure the girl driving was much better off with you helping than just waiting out the firetruck. Like Blackfive said, she’ll look back and remember someone tried.
    We’re all on that razor’s edge every day. You were ready. You did the best you could. Thanks for being there.

  14. It makes sense that this affected you. It’s a reminder that life is fragile, and can change instantaneously.

    A kid was shot in my high school. I didn’t know him, or his family, but I felt the loss in everyone around me. We instantly realize life is precious, and feel loss even among those we don’t know.

    You did the best you could. You cared enough to help. Deal with your feelings the best you can, and then move on.

  15. You know we’ve taken a lot of the same training. You not only stepped up and used the protocols, but went the extra mile out of compassion for the living. So when the tape replays, remember it was a ‘good shot’ – you did the right thing when surprised and on your own.

    Somewhere down the road, it may be worth sharing the experience. When we took our emergency responder training, one of the biggest motivators was testimony from both professionals and civilians who had dealt with similar circumstances. Just knowing that you can cope is a gift worth passing along.

  16. You stepped up, you did your best. Stop.

    Sometimes, there just isn’t anything else to be done. It’s great when you come up on the scene and there is no need to do anything, or that you can treat and see an immediate response. It is, as Grim noted, a hard world and there is absolutely nothing you can do.

    I can’t tell you I know what you’re feeling, as it was not my hands on him and my eyes viewing him. I can say that seeing a life pass right in front of your eyes has a strong impact.

    I hope that you will take the right lesson from this, that life is fragile and is a thing to be enjoyed and cherished because it is on the razor’s edge. That you did more than 99 percent of the world will do, and stepped up. You did what you could, the best you could, under circumstances that — as doc Russia notes — would have defied the best efforts of trained doctors. You are a well-trained and good person, but not to that level.

    You did good. You did what you could, and you showed care and compassion to the other victim. You truly stood out with that, and showed a care and compassion more than 99 percent would never have thought of.

    Morn the life that was lost, and celebrate that such life was lived and that life continues. Life may be hard, but there is no need for you to be. Move forward, celebrate life, and know that you did your best. Don’t let that which you could not change hold you back, now or in the future — particularly at the next emergency.

  17. 37 years ago I was in an accident, hit broadside while in the middle of an intersection, and I was 6 months pregnant. With all the chaos, 3 other cars were hit, the only thing I remember is one very kind man. He spoke to me in a calm voice, held my hand, helped me to find a place to sit and stayed with me while we waited for the first responders to arrive. I think it was his calmness that kept me from losing my child. Every year on my son’s birthday I think of that good man, wondering how his life has gone, and say a prayer of thanks for him.
    Thank you for being there, that man in the car did not die alone, you were there and his girlfriend was tenderly cared about… for him… and a dad received his daughter from out of the accident. Again, thank you.

  18. Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts. Woke up late to an empty house and sat and drank my tea.

    There’s this chorus of conflicting voices in my head, and the tears are still here.

    But the person I called yesterday was a close friend and a cop who patrols near the scene. She met me at Starbucks and sat with me and told me that my blessing was that I didn’t need to go back to the station house and hold it all in until the shift ended and I could just sit in Starbucks and be a tearful goober and not care who stared.

    She knows better than me and she says that’s how you get past this stuff.

    So, as your tearful goober, with voices in my head telling me I did all I could and voices demanding to know why I didn’t do more…thanks again.

    Marc

  19. Something similar happened to me a few years ago. It never leaves you.
    I wrote about it here: http://mysideofthepuddle.blogspot.com/2007/01/father-of-5-boys-and-1-fine-daughter.html

    Perhaps some day you’ll have the chance to speak to the driver again, or the boyfriend’s family, as I had the chance. It helps- both you, and them.

    I’m so sorry this didn’t turn out better. You did a great job both at the scene and recalling it here. It took me back to the ice accident, seeing the passenger’s head hanging low, blood dripping, door jammed, etc. But it also gave me the chance to remember the grateful family members I got to meet later. I wish you the same peace we brought each other after Dr. Tickel’s death.

  20. Marc,

    I only met you once, briefly, here in NYC, and was impressed by your general kindness and conviviality. Now, I’m impressed by something deeper.

    Your reactions of doubt and sorrow after the fact are normal. Your actions at the scene were not, they were exceptional. Your preparations prior to the fact speak a great deal about your character.

    I can understand your wishing you could have done more & I can understand the tears that flow because you couldn’t. I’m sure those tears mix with others caused by the inherent sadness and grief in what you witnessed. Let them flow. Let yourself doubt. But know you did right and know you did good.

    And for what it’s worth–not a lot in these circumstances — that was a hell of piece of writing.

    mark

  21. So for some reason, after I got my wilderness EMT I came upon three serious MVA scenes in a year and a half, as an initial civilian responder. As well, a student of mine died of an MI underneath my hands after lowering from his first-ever rock climb on a toprope.
    What I experienced in the wake of all of these events was this:
    1) my EMT anatomy/neurophys helped me understand how in these cases I was powerless, medically, to engender a different result, but in the immediate aftermath, that understanding didn’t help.
    2) many professional responders often seemed less than observant or compassionate
    3) I responded calmly and capably when the shit was going down, and emotionally processed the event much later, in a manner just as you described
    4) once the professional responders arrived, I felt both relieved and like a fifth wheel, nameless and faceless with no means of closure. I’d contained the enormity of the scene physically, mentally and emotionally and then suddenly, it was over.
    5) I had the same feelings and thoughts as you are having now.
    You are experiencing post-event stress. Your brain will tell you that you didn’t do enough, and that somehow you could have done more, and even that if you had done something differently maybe you could have saved a life. This is what the brain does to deal with the enormous feeling of helplessness, which is a big part of the human experience during traumatic events. Our brains try to rationalize lack of control over an outcome by telling us we could have done something different, that we were in charge after all.
    It will get better and at some point you will come to peace with it all. Keep talking to your friends. The people on your blog are right – you did a great job on scene.

  22. Been there, slightly different perspective. Hit a woman running across a freeway, probably trying to commit suicide. Happy to say she didn’t succeed, but I didn’t know that for what seemed like an eternity. Scads of witnesses, the first patrolman on the scene, and the crash team all assured me I had done everything I possibly could to avoid the accident, but it wasn’t for months until I was able to believe that–just possibly–they knew more about it than me. I kept thinking there was something else I could have done, done better, done faster. What you are experiencing isn’t logical, so logic will not really help you cope I’m afraid ;-) Eventually I was able to accept that I *had* done the right things, and if she hadn’t wanted to get hit she should have stuck to places with crosswalks — but it took time.

  23. All of us wonder how we would react in an emergency. Such an event manifested itself, and your response was to “do your best.”

    There are some things we can’t control (the man dying). But, what we do have control over is whether to be engaged or disengaged. You chose the former, attempting to help the passenger, and showing empathy and calmness to the driver.

    I would only hope that I would have the tools and the mindfulness to perform as graciously and courageously as you did.

    May you be able to process this experience with peace and fairness to yourself, reflecting more on what you did do rather than what you could have done.

  24. I found this post via BlackFive. Godspeed to you, brother. I cried for and with you as I read this. The world can always use more heroes, and yes, you are one.

  25. Good Sir,
    As a long time EMT, military First Aid/Battlefield Aid Instructor, and RN the one area that we (Medicine in general) are way behind in is post traumatic care of the rescuer. Many above have said most of what I could: guts to act, training to know what to do, compassion and situational awareness to help the lady. Now take care of yourself. Talk to your friends who can relate. Talk to your family. Let the process work its way through. Analyze your actions and those of the other people present, accept what can’t be changed, and accept the fact that all we can do is give people a chance that they might otherwise not have had.
    You did good Sir, now, talk it out and carry on. (Please note that I did not say be done with it, the accident and your actions are a part of you, and they always will be.)

    William sends (Thank you for doing what you could, many wouldn’t. You made a difference in at least two people’s lives that day)

  26. As I wrote before on WoC when AL wrote about motorcycle helmets and face guards…..

    I think it is entirely reasonable to wear a light, wide viewfield helmet while sitting in a car traveling at highway speeds.

    Sure, ‘everyone will laugh at you’. People will think you are strange.

    At the same time :

    40,000 deaths and 2 million injuries happen each year via auto accidents. TWO Million. These injuries include permanent life-ruiners like losing the use of your legs, or getting bits of glass in your face and eyes.

    A light, strong helmet with a wide field of view, is a worthwhile idea. Racecar drivers wear helmets. Why not us?

    To be even safer, a shock absorbing kevlar jacket with spinal cord cushioning like motorcycle riders wear would be even more precautious at least for people in the front seat, but is not as crucial as a helmet.

    Others may laugh. But when you are the only one who survives a major crash, then you will be glad you took precautions.

    If the thought of your head hitting the glass windshield at 60 mph or even 30 mph sounds undesirable, I don’t think the helmet idea should be dismissed.

  27. Thanks for sharing your story. I understand your feelings of being powerless to affect the passenger’s outcome, and the hindsight of things that you “could’ve/should’ve” done differently. I have the privilege of working with some of the most skilled and professional people I’ve ever known, as an RN in the ICU of a Level 2 Trauma Center. For what it’s worth, 2 things stand out to me. First, you took ownership while others stood by. You were the “man in the arena”. The world is in dire need of more of this. Second, the fact that you feel the way you do about the incident, speaks volumes about your character. You are the person that’s always going to give everything instead of a half-assed effort. It bothers you, and for that, you have my utmost respect. The second guessing and what-ifs are difficult to bear, but do serve a purpose for future situations. Most people will never know what it feels like, but some of us do. Great job.

  28. You gave that young man the gift of a human touch at the moment he drew his last breath. You gave the young lady the gift of your time and concern. What more could you have done?
    God bless you for your willingness to give aid and comfort in a difficult situation.

  29. Everyone has said much of what I would say. As an EMT, I, too, understand what you are going through. It’s worse with the young ones, but still hard with the older ones. You will be remembered as the stranger who was kind to her- not as the one who was there when her loved one died. Because of you, she will not remember watching CPR done on her loved one. The accident will always be a bad memory for her, but your actions will have, perhaps, prevented her from remembering it as a horrifying event. I’ve lived it and done it. It’s VERY hard and it does stay with you. The most important thing was that you HELPED. All those “looky loos” did nothing, but you did. Thank you.

  30. Marc:

    No matter how we try, we cannot always see all ends.

    You did the right thing. What you may never know is that the example you provided may someday give someone else the courage to get involved; to act before it’s too late.

    We don’t control the outcome of all our actions. All we can do is to try and live up to our ideals and hope for the best. But I believe good actions have a ripple effect.

    You may never see the ripples that spread out from what you did this day, but they are there nonetheless. May God bless you for stepping up, and may he soothe your spirit.

  31. Welcome to the brotherhood that I’d never wish for anyone to join.

    As one of those Firefighter/EMTs that responds to scenes like this on a regular basis, I know exactly how you feel. It never gets easier. You muddle through it, and when it’s over, you console yourself to the fact that it’s “G*d’s will”, and you pray for them on Sunday in church.

    I could tell you all the gory stories about the people that have died while I was working my hardest to keep them alive, but that won’t make you feel better or bring anyone back. Go and hug your kids, wife, girlfriend, all of the above, and be glad that you still have them to hold.

  32. My sympathies. I know, like many of the people who’ve left comments here, what it’s like to be on your side of this equation. I also, unfortunately, know the other side too well. I can’t tell you how much, as a father, I appreciated hearing that others tried their best to help. As a doctor, and the father of a beautiful, young woman who was cut down in her prime, I can surely thank you and the many others like you who do every you know to save lives.

    David Jacobson
    Cleveland Heights, OH

  33. I could glibly say “don’t beat yourself up, you did a great job,” but the reality is that good people look inward when contemplating tragedy. I started a career in law enforcement twenty years ago and have had a front seat to a lot of nasty things. This summer was particularly bad, I dealt with eleven fatalities in one week in June. I thought about a what happened that week a lot even though everyone of those people had passed prior to my arrival on scene.

    You simply can not help but ask yourself personal questions about what you dealt with. Its normal. Were the circumstances of the accident and subsequent death beyond your control? Yep, but that won’t matter until you find a little peace and understanding with yourself.

    I applaud you for the many decisions you made. To stop, to check on the welfare of the people at the accident, to be prepared to take action, to help, to comfort, to share.

    Your greatest contribution may to have one person who read your story to buckle up from now on and survive a crash years from now.

  34. No second-guessing yourself on this one; stop any of that.. and I mean right now.

    Doc Russia has it exactly right. Blunt trauma arrest in the field is virtually always a death sentence. There is nothing else you could have done.

    The spirit of wanting to help, and actually making an effort are what counts.

    Well done.

  35. Thanks again for all the support and comments.

    As I’ve been thinking about this – more clearly – two things are front and center. Just as Doc Russia said, my trauma instructor John Holschen didn’t teach CPR as a part of the field trauma course I took from him. His comment was that if someone arrested because of trauma, you weren’t likely to bring them back without an OR. So sometimes there’s just not much you can do.

    The other is that I could have done a few things better. I should have mobilized the standers-around faster, and had one of them get the driver out of the car. I should have completely cut away the side air bag so I would have had better access the whole time.

    I’m also looking for a c-collar that folds flat and isn’t too bulky. I’ve got a big flat pocket on the back of my riding suit in back of the back protector. If such a thing exists, it would have been handy Thursday, and I can think of lots of other circumstances where it’d be handy.

    Again, I can’t tell you all how much the kind words and thoughts and shared stories meant on a day when I was kicking myself pretty hard.

    Marc

  36. You held a stranger’s hand and helped her through a horrible experience. You stood between her and the sight of a loved one dying. You helped her connect with her father when she needed him.

    You were there for her in a way that the trained professionals weren’t. Thank you for that.

  37. FWIW, I work as a Trooper in a New England state and have for 12 years. At least three people have died with the last words they heard coming from me. I have not and will not ever forget the circumstances under which they died or how they looked when it happened. You did the best you could under trying circumstances. Sounds too me like there was not much anyone could have done anyway. Their ultimate fate was not in your hands.

    The train rolls on down the track. God speed

    E. Shirley
    NH

  38. Jesus. I’ve never been through anything like that, and never hope to, so I didn’t think I had anything useful to say.

    But now, I remember, I have been through something that, but for a half a second difference in reaction time, could have had me with a broken neck or similar injury. Two good Samaritans stopped to help me, too.

    Marc: It matters. It matters that
    you stopped and tried even if no one could have succeeded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>