Just about two decades back, my wife’s parents were struck by a truck when crossing the street.
Wonderful in that two individuals who were on the verge of death after the accident are still with us (her mom particularly has had a miraculous if imperfect recovery from a shockingly awful head injury) — and also fantastic in the experience brought us closer in some ways. Difficult because not only was the recovery an overwhelming ordeal, but the life we / they’re left with today is fundamentally different, an in some ways, permanently broken.
Life happens quickly and slowly. In cases like this, that one minute, at around 7pm on Sept 29th, 2016, was an inflection point for the household. I believe we still have some quantity of PTSD at this time of year, as it gets colder and dusk comes sooner, and each dark crosswalk feels like a danger zone.
I was speaking to a buddy this week whose family suffered a much more dreadful injury many years ago — a trauma which shook the household and changed the course of their presence and their relationships. In that case too, the longer-term outcome both horribly bad, but with a few silver linings.
Every individual, family and community has small and large variations of life-altering trauma.
I would love to think that in every instance, there’s a chance for a few sudden growth, resiliency, antifragility. And no doubt in some instances there is. However, what I’m sure of is that sometimes awful things happen really fast, and they can change everything. I don’t know that there’s any way to be prepared for this, expect maybe to expect it.