Maybe if I’d just…you’d still be alive.

WARNING: Some of the content below is graphic…and very sad. 

I thought it would be a memory by now, a horrific, tragic memory that happened two years ago…two years ago tonight at exactly 7:33 pm.

The accident, when my car collided into theirs…and they all died.

Most days it is a memory. Until I hear a loud crash and my body convulses, or an ambulance goes by and I can’t catch my breath, or at night, when I can’t sleep- trying to piece together how the hell I let everything get this bad- I see their contorted bodies, I see the blood…all of it, every detail.

Those days, it isn’t just a memory. It is what gutted me to the core. It’s what I fear made something snap, something I cannot fix.

I know I should be grateful. I lived. And I am. Of course, I am.

But then this day approaches, and I can’t help going back there, sitting on my knees,

…watching, pulling cold, wet blades of grass out of the ground. I watched the policeman approach the car to access the damage. I watched the fire department arrive and begin to cut them out of the car. I watched them put the boys on the stretchers and push them into the ambulance. I watched the ambulance drive away.

And there I am, here I am, trying to imagine what I could have done to prevent it. And I go there, the place I know I shouldn’t go.

Maybe if I’d just…

Run a little slower, showered a little longer, left the coffee shop a little earlier…faced going home to my empty apartment.

Maybe if I’d never moved to that wretched city, to be with him, someone I loved who did everything he could to destroy me.

Or maybe if I would have had enough strength to leave him the first time he left me, or the second or third…

Maybe if I’d stayed married to my sweet husband in our beautiful house with our precious puppy.

Or I’d stayed in Paris, never gotten married, never hurt my sweet husband or moved to that wretched city…

Where I ran too fast, showered too quickly, left later than I should have…to go back to an empty apartment where I knew he wouldn’t be, the one who almost destroyed me. 

Maybe if I’d just…

You would all still be alive.

I know this does no good. I know it wasn’t my fault. They were reckless. They put so many lives at risk. And I know if it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else who might not have walked away. And I know this night won’t always haunt me, just like he can no longer hurt me.

And I know that, maybe, next year will be different, happier, and I’ll have finally put this all behind me.





26 thoughts on “Maybe if I’d just…you’d still be alive.

  1. My heart aches for you. None of us know what this life will bring yet still the “maybes” weave their way into our core, don’t they? And “If only”. The fact remains that you did survive and perhaps you’re simple meant to be here. A second chance maybe? I’m no expert but grab it, hold on and look ahead. I send you love and peace from down under. 🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Brooke, I hadn’t realized that it has been a year. A year since I read about this before. A year after so many years of you remembering. For what it is worth, though, you’ve made it another year. And touched so many in the year, it is time to feel us touching back.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You know I wish I had magic words to take away your pain. Unfortunately, I do not, and I’m not certain I’m supposed to have them. I do believe you survived for a reason, and I pray that one day you will feel that reason and the pain will finally go away. Love you, dear one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You, Brooke, are here. ‘What if’ you weren’t? God, I shudder at the thought of that. This post is heartbreaking and it rips me to my core. But it is also pure brilliance. A rare insightful genius is what you possess. And, well…you are on a level that is all your own. I am looking up, and I am in awe. For so many reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Brooke, my heart hurts for you. Even when things like this aren’t your fault, it’s crushing. I just had to deal with a student who was traumatized when the car he was a passenger in was T-boned by another car and one of its passengers was killed. He’s been in therapy since then even though it had nothing to do with the poor kid. Much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, love. It is crushing. I’m so glad your student is okay and getting therapy. I could’ve definitely used a session or two…still could, clearly.
      I’ve heard so many similar stories that were far worse than mine, and I just don’t know how they recover. I wasn’t born with skin thick enough to rebound like some, I suppose…
      Much love and a huge hug back to you, my girl.

      Liked by 1 person

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