It’s a question I’m sure you have thought about at one time or another. Today I was faced with that question head on.
I work in Oxford a few days a week and on my usual walking route from the train station to where I work today there were police cars and ambulances obscuring my path. I walked to the thin plastic tape used to hold back the masses and was hit by an image that will no doubt haunt me for many years to come. It was of a homeless man receiving CPR.
I had met that man a week or so ago when a colleague didn’t want her sandwich and I gave it to him. He received it with a smile and a nod and that was the length of my relationship with him and yet seeing strangers fighting to keep another stranger alive reminded me of this question.
I have of course faced dying and death before, violently in some cases too, but his death was being played out in front of uncaring commuters. His final moments canvased on a dirty Oxford pavement -his clothes ripped back and rips cracked- dignity lost in those darkening moments.
So the question lingers long after his body has been removed and the pavement returns to it’s mundane role from being a hospital bed. It is a question I don’t want answered or even hinted at, rather something answered in hindsight ’oh so that’s when’ and yet it haunts me.
There is no conclusion to this post because well how do you end something so macabre? But I’ll try though a quote from a book I’ve just finished called the Good Luck of Right Now that I think fits with anyone dealing with this question or with a loss of someone close to them and are struggling for reasons why; “The universe hiccups, and we poor fools try to figure out why”.