I don’t often read the news, but every now and then I scroll through and get sucked in to clicking on headlines. I came across this story today, and my immediate reaction piqued my interest, so I did some further delving into the depths of my mind, and here’s what I came up with.
In my opinion, It matters how people die.
For those playing at home, the article is about the Good Samaritan in Melbourne who stopped to help a motorcyclist who had been hit by a car, and she was hit by another car while assisting, and she died. This in itself is an absolute tragedy. Had it been five minutes earlier or later, she would most likely still be alive right now. Just one of those horrendous “wrong place at the wrong time” moments.
What I read today, was that the motorcyclist who she was trying to save, and who also died, was a “career criminal” and had been arrested for speeding and other driving charges.
My initial thought was “he wasn’t even worth saving!”
I don’t know if it’s the shite year I have had that prompted that graceless response, but even I was shocked by the harshness of it. I guess unconsciously, momentarily, I put myself if her family’s shoes for just a second. She was 27 and left behind a seven and five year old. The injustice of it stung me. The what-ifs are deafening.
Then I wondered, would it be easier for the family if she was saving an upstanding citizen, with no criminal record, who left behind a loving spouse and kids of his/her own? Or does that fact that she was selflessly trying to save a fellow human being, because that’s what we should do matter the most? It’s easier to want to save people who are just like us, but what about the unsavoury characters?
That’s what Christian grace is I suppose. Loving those who have done nothing to earn it.
And yes, this has to do with Frith and Etienne as well.
For the past 8+ months, with a select few, I have been continuously discussing the lead up to Frith’s death; what was he thinking? What could we have done? When did this start? How was he feeling? Why didn’t he reach out? And the aftermath; what do we all do now without him around?
When Etienne died, of a suspected cardiac episode, there was no place for those conversations. It was just a horribly tragedy.
It does matter.
The heartache that we are enduring, that the boys’ family are living every second of every day, is monumentally unfair. We/they don’t deserve this, but no one does. No one “deserves” anything in this life, good or bad. Some people work hard and get to grand places, but they are no more or less deserving than someone else who works just as hard and can never catch a break.
So what do we do with this unfairness? Do we let bitterness creep in, and take over our lives? Do we continue with the what-ifs? Do we acknowledge that other people have a rough deal as well, and we are just part of the unlucky bunch who drew the short straw? Do we keep asking the “why” and “how” questions until we are driven to the brink?
Do we accept that we will never have answers in this life? And that the only way forward is to keep putting one foot in front of the other?
Maybe we need to play the hand we get given, and accessorise the life we have.
I don’t know. I just know that, to me, it matters how we live this life, and how we leave it.