Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I agreed to meet with the bereaved husband today (see earlier post for back story). We set up a lunch time meeting in a quiet local bar. There was no sign of anyone matching his description when I arrived so I ordered a wine and found a booth where I had a good view of the door. I was starving but didn’t want to be in the middle of my lunch when he arrived so I didn’t order anything. I was nervous as all hell. I spotted him the second he walked in, he was dishevelled and looking shell shocked. He looked around, spotted me and I beckoned him over.

It was one of the most difficult conversations of my life.

The poor man is still understandably raw with emotion and was obviously convinced that whatever I had to say would bring him comfort.  I told him everything that happened on Thursday night, from the second I pulled over until I finished with the cops nearly an hour later.

I wish I could say I helped him but I don’t think I did – I had nothing to offer that was going to bring him any tangible relief. I told him everything she’d said hoping that things that hadn’t made any sense to me may make some to him but he seemed as confused as I’d been at the time – she was obviously incoherent due to her injuries.  I hope that sometime later he’ll be able to draw some comfort from the fact that she wasn’t alone and I held her hand and talked to her soothingly until the ambo’s took over. According to him, by the time she was loaded in the ambulance she was pretty much fully unconscious. Her heart failed repeatedly on the way to the hospital and she couldn’t be revived the last time. She died before he could even get to her. Tragic.

I am totally drained by the whole experience. I have cried more than once during the afternoon at work. I feel so sorry for him.

And now I’m weeping again……need sleep………goodnight.


  1. Wow, Lou. You are undoubtedly the kindest person I have ever known. What an extraordinary act of compassion this was.

    Please believe that not only have you done what you could to help this man, you have gone above and beyond what so many others would do.

    Hopefully, you'll reach a point soon where the sadness you feel right now will turn to a warm remembrance of helping another person.

    Be well, dear. And take care of yourself.

  2. Ditto what DuPree said. You are very compassionate, kind. You did all you could at the scene of the accident, and all you could for the husband. I hope this brings some closure for him, and that you can take comfort in knowing that you helped two people during a difficult situation. Hang in there, Sweetie. Hugs.

  3. My Mum passed away nearly 7 years ago. She was only 53 and she had a heart attack in her sleep. my father woke up as she was taking her last breaths. He called 111 and tried CPR and heart massage. Was distraught.

    A few days later the man who took the 111 call knocked on the door. Apparently this is against protocol and I guess he took a bit of a personal risk but the health service being what it is in Dunedin, he had worked with Mum in the past. He just wanted Dad to know that he had done everything right, to let go of any guilt or worry that he could have done anything.

    I often think about the kindness of that man. That he took time out of his day, to talk through what happened.

    You will have brought great comfort to a distraught and shocked person. He won't forget you.

  4. So many people look for answers when someone passes, and for this man you were the last face his wife saw, the last voice she heard. So I think he wanted to share one last memory with his wife, to see you and hear you. And I do think that helped in ways none of us may ever know.
    I agree with everyone, Lou, you are a remarkable woman...person. Not many would answer that call of his; not many would stop and hold the hand of a dying woman; not many at all.

  5. God bless you, Lou. I wish there was something, anything, I could say to bring you some comfort, but I know there isn't.

    {Bear Hug} xoxox

  6. wow I can't imagine how hard this must of been... hang in there.

  7. You did a really good thing - and I hope that today is a far better day for you

  8. Wow. That was a big one. You will feel the effects for a long time.
    Take care.

  9. DuPree: Much better today thanks.
    Xanadu: I hope so too. Terrible time for the poor guy.
    sas: That's very sad, you must miss her. My mum's 70 now and I will miss her horribly when she's gone.
    bob: I don't actually think that's true but it's sweet of you to say. Most would react the same way if thrown in.
    Tim: Hiya. Much better today - hope things good with you.
    Greg: Thanks Greg, welcome back
    L: Much better today cheers
    Lori: Thanks for dropping by. Not too long hopefully :-)


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