Witnessing Tragedy from Afar

April 5th began as a normal day. I drove to work, had fun with my coworkers, made plans for dinner… On my way home, I noticed police activity ahead, and traffic was slowed to a crawl. I had places to go, things to do, and the slow moving traffic was an inconvenience. I’ve learned, however, that sometimes life forces you to slow down for a reason.

The reason this time was a tragic accident. A young man had been struck by another vehicle, killing him instantly. His body, hidden from view by a sheet, lay in the road surrounded by cops and witnesses. It was so startling. You never expect to see such a sight when an accident slows traffic.

It broke my heart. Still does. I won’t go into too many details, but I will simply say it was bad. It stuck with me, sent me into a bit of shock. For the remainder of the evening, I couldn’t get it out of my head, and desperately searched through the news trying to find more information on what happened.

They released his name.

I found him on Facebook. This led me to his family, who hadn’t yet heard the news. Friends who were carrying on like normal. They’d released his name in the early hours of April 6th.

I continued to check his Facebook, and saw when the news of his demise spread to his family and friends. I wanted so badly to reach out and say something, but what could I say?

Nothing I could offer would make the situation better. Witnessing the travesty of the accident was a few moments for me, but will be a life time of pain for them. My heart aches for them, but I have no right to share in their grief.

I can only hope the family is able to find peace, and solice. I can only hope that the death of their friend, their son, their brother, has touched the life of a random stranger.

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