This week I witnessed a number of near accidents and arrived just after a fender bender in two different parking lots. It is the first time I have seen the signs reading, “Drive as if your children live here.” The delicate balance between everyone who shares the roads was upset this week by the tragic death of a 22-year-old man on a moped; three people in a pick-up were not at fault. My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young man and the loss they all must accept and learn to live with. It took author Darin Strauss having children of his own before he was ready to write Half A Life, about a no-fault car accident in which another student at his high schwas killed and he was driving. Mr. Strauss told Colum McCann in an interview: “I thought the accident was going to be my lifelong secret, the past I wouldn’t let poke into the now. I told almost nobody.”

I hope reading this book can help those three people who were in the pick-up. They did not know the deceased and must now live with this intersection of tragedy in their lives. I have heard that this place in the road is particularly bad, has a history of bad and yet has not been repaired. That a bicyclist went down in the same spot just 24 hours later and was lucky that no one was driving in the oncoming lane. So here we are as a community trying to support those who have suffered unimaginable loss and those who must go on living their lives while they adjust to living with this darkness. If there is something that can be done to avoid future tragedy I hope the powers that be step up and do what is right.

Valerie Sonnenthal