A child struck by a car

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

Very sad story:

I’d been praying that maybe it wasn’t as bad as it looked, that maybe he would be OK. I remember just leaning over and crying, and then trying very hard to get hold of myself.

The police agreed to let me wait in one of the neighbour’s houses. She was so kind. She had a daughter just a few years younger than me and I think she knew that her daughter could just as easily have been the perpetrator, like me, or the victim – Brian was his name.

The lead officer came and told me that they were not arresting me – there was no indication that I was negligent or distracted or impaired in any way – but he gave me a little lecture saying, “This child died, that’s a terrible thing, you need to make sure that you never do this again.”

I was pretty angry because the idea that I would do it again was just beyond comprehension.

I called my parents in New York City and I told my mother what had happened. I was crying and I said, “It was an accident, it was an accident.” And my mom said, “Of course it was an accident.”

My father came out the next day. He made a condolence call to the family that had lost their child which must have been unbelievably painful. He stopped by the neighbour’s house to thank them for being so kind to me. He dealt with the car which had to go to a body shop. He got a lawyer so that if there was going to be any legal action I would have protection.

I was deeply worried at a very unconscious level about whether I was a good person or whether I was a bad person
He just tried to make sure that everything that could be taken care of was taken care of.

I spent the first night at a friend’s house, compulsively telling the story of what happened, and then I went back to my apartment, the one that was all packed up and not a very cheerful place, and basically hid there for about a week.

I’d very much been a good girl who worked hard to get good grades and fulfil the expectations of my parents and my professors, but I think I grew up feeling like I always came up a little short and so after the accident I think I was deeply worried at a very unconscious level about whether I was a good person or whether I was a bad person.

There’s a belief system that many people adhere to that we create the condition of our lives – so an angry person perceives an angry or hostile world, and a loving person experiences a kind, giving world. So I thought, “What kind of a person has this experience? I must be a very dangerous person.”

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