Did you see what happened?

30/03/09 | Posted by Poppy

I saw an accident today. As I stood waiting for my youngest to come out of school, a group of children ran past us shouting and laughing and then one of them was lying flat out on the floor and not moving. Two parents went over straight away to see if the girl was conscious and there was horrible couple of minutes when she didn’t respond.

 Accident scene

It turned out that she wasn’t hurt, but she was badly shaken by finding herself running one minute and slipping and falling on her face the next. She was being helped back home by her mum when I left.

It was amazing how many people saw the same accident and saw different things. Some people thought she had been pushed; others thought she had tripped. I thought she had skidded on some gravel and lost her footing but I could be wrong. I heard her go down rather than saw it. I’ve never had to give a statement for a crime that I’ve witnessed, or an accident that I’ve seen, and I hope I never have to as it is so hard to work out what is really seen and how much the mind puts things together to fill in the blanks. I really did think that I’d seen the girl fall but I hadn’t. I saw her run past with all her friends, but I was watching out for my youngest and couldn’t say with absolute clarity what happened.

As we get closer to Easter it is worth remembering that memory is an odd thing and that people can be part of the same event and remember it very differently. One sees a trip; another sees a shove. One of things I like about the Easter story in the different gospels is that each account is slightly different. There is honesty about that which I really appreciate. The picture that emerges is of people trying to make sense of something that just doesn’t make sense to them at all. Of trying to find words to describe an event that is unique in history.

You don’t have to be a believer to read the Easter accounts and wonder what it would be like to be there. What it would be like to meet someone who you had seen die and be buried and then see them again walking and talking and eating? In our world of video games and CGI effects we are used to seeing the impossible on the screen, but in real life we know how the world works. Some things are just not supposed to happen. Dead people stay dead. Is it any wonder that the accounts that come down to us don’t tally in every detail?

So I’m looking forward to Easter and to reading the stories again and wondering how it felt to be in Jerusalem 2000 odd years ago and seeing what happened. I’m also going to be trying to find out how the youngster is who took a tumble is, and hope that she really is as ok as she looked, as shock can be a very odd thing. 

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This is so true.  It also highlights the fact that at such an event, there will be people whose immediate response is to help; others stand and watch and others just walk on by.
Which one are you?

#1. By Pam on March 31, 2009

What I found very helpful was to have attended a first aid course which meant that I knew what to do and then get on and do it.

#2. By poppy on March 31, 2009




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