Last Sunday a friend’s parents were in an auto accident and her mom was killed. I don’t usually refer to a crash as an accident, but this one appears to have been. Having researched a number of crashes and talked to many highway patrol, county sheriffs, and city cops it is clear that the vast majority of crashes are not accidents – they are caused by driver inattention. They are not caused by speeding. They are not caused by mechanical failures of the vehicle. They are caused by inattention. A crash caused by inattention is NOT an accident. Some of these weren’t paying attention because they were drunk, most though were not drunk. They were simply stupid. They were stone cold sober but not paying attention to what they were doing.
Back to my friend. Her parents were friends of mine as well and it obviously came as a shock to a large number of us. Something that was really interesting to me is that over the past week it was my friend’s husband who seemed the most shook up. My friend’s dad was clearly sad, but handling things as well as can be expected. They’d been married for 37 years and were just beginning their retirement. They truly loved being together and had looked forward to an active retirement. My friend was sad over the loss of her mother and the grandmother of her 3 young children but she was mostly concerned about her dad and how he would manage. My friend’s husband? He was about as close to his mother-in-law as anyone I’ve ever known and while he was sad about loosing her, he too was concerned about his father-in-law but he was also hugely concerned about his wife and about his children’s loss of their grandmother. Just an interesting observation.
The saddest sight of the week for me was my friend’s father sitting by the coffin saying his final good-bye to his wife before they closed it for the funeral. I’ve never been one to get very choked up about things, but that sight got me.