A while back I obtained the coroner’s report relating to my Dad’s death and the car accident which was the.. contributing factor to that event.
Several reasons. One, I had kind of been hoping for pictures. Crash scene pictures or autopsy pictures. There were no pictures. What is annoying though is that one of the expert reports mentions photos, which I definitely didn’t get, but also, going by the page numbers on all of the things I did get, there are I think about 5 or 6 pages missing, which I suspect are probably the pages with the pictures. I’d enquire, but.. well, it took me something like 25 years to get the report in the first place. By the time I work around to being able to ask why they didn’t send me the gory pictures of dead bodies and smashed up cars, I’ll probably be a grandmother.
There were quite a few ‘eyewitness’ statements from other people who’d been on the road that day too, or who’d gone past the scene of the accident. It was interesting the way they described some things, which I’m sure were completely normal but quite emphasised the difference in technology between then and now – primarily, I guess, communication technology. They talked about driving along trying to find a house where the people had a phone that could be used to call an ambulance or if they would have to go to the closest town to find a payphone. I know there are a lot of people who think we rely too much on mobile phones and such devices, but in that kind of situation they’re certainly a great invention. Not that they would have made any difference for me, as my Dad was dead instantly and the rest of us didn’t have life-threatening injuries; but in lots of accidents people do have injuries that become more threatening the longer they have to wait for treatment.
Then there was what the people were actually saying. That was a bit of a surprise to me. Pretty much all of the people concurred that he was being a dickhead (paraphrasing) and not adequately adjusting his driving habits to account for the conditions on the day, namely that it was raining and the road was wet with reduced visibility. Because he was running late and in a hurry.
Oh, right. Well, fuck you too.
On the one hand you have pretty much everyone I ever met that knew him says that he was absolutely taken by me, that I was the sun and the moon and everything else, that he was the proudest father and completely wrapped around his little girl’s finger.
… but not so much that he could slow the hell down and take a little care with my life, his life, and the lives of his nieces and step-daughter as well.
I know he’s not the first parent to drive dangerously, or maybe stupidly is a better word, with children in the car, and definitely won’t be the last. But I didn’t think that my parent would do that. I didn’t think that my parent, who as a person professionally dedicated to protecting people and the law who should absolutely know better, would do that. It makes me wonder if he thought about his actions and the effect they would have on the people his life intersected with. Or was he one of those “but it won’t happen to me” types? It makes me angry that he didn’t think far enough ahead to consider the responsibilities he had.. to me, mostly, but to other people too. When you have a child you have a responsibility to be there for them and to take care of yourself so that you are able to fulfill that responsibility. Even when I’ve felt at my worst, lowest points, one of the things that forces me to try and to keep going is that I have three children and a husband who rely on me, and I don’t want to let them down. Even when I don’t care about myself, I care about them and I know that I have a role in their lives which I need to fill. Why didn’t he feel that way?
Cause and effect, fixed points in time, chains of events… That event led to other things led to other things led to other things which ultimately led to Daniel and our children. My beliefs tell me that big things like this are planned, ahead of time, by our higher selves; so that we might all learn the lessons we need to learn in order to evolve and grow as spiritual beings. I definitely wouldn’t want to change anything that might lead to me not having aligned with Daniel in the place and time that I did. So maybe my father could have chosen to not follow the script we planned out, but if he’d done that.. What if this event caused by his stupidity – and undoubtably one of the focal causal points in my life – is the one thing that could not change while preserving all of the people and things I love about the life I have now? How can I feel anger at his lack of forethought and at his carelessness if in fact those traits were designed and planned on a higher level to put everyone affected in the right places for other important connections and lessons?
So I’m essentially of two minds about it all. There’s the whole ‘screw you, asshole’ sentiment that comes from knowing that your parent knowingly and non-essentially endangered your life; and then there’s the more enlightened acceptance that things happen for a reason that some part of me knows and understands as essential.. even if that part of me is not consciously accessible right now.
On a more scientifically curious note, though.. I already know that my memories of the day are in many ways less than factually accurate. I wanted to compare the few visual memories with actual evidence to see how they are similar and/or different, to see how the images recorded in my brain may have changed over time, to see if there is any other data inside my head that I have just not had the right triggering stimulus to unlock. So I’m still annoyed about not getting pictures.