dear lovely man on the motorcycle

i heard the crash and turned to see you land. i ran out of my car as fast as i could and got to you within seconds, already on the phone to 911. i told you first thing that i was with you and that you would be okay and that we would take care of you. i did not want you to hurt alone or to be scared. i prayed and prayed silently, just with my heart, as it all swirled around – the cpr and the blood and your precious pulse stopping and starting, your tan skin there, under my skin as we tried to care for you. i prayed with my gut and with all that i had that it would be an okay that meant your life would continue and that this would be the worst pain you were ever in and it would only get better and you would never again be so wounded.

i just walked past that place where i prayed with you and over you and held your hand and touched your chest just four short days ago. it was the flower that announced what happened after you rolled away in the ambulance with the sirens and the prayers and the tubes. a little sign on a flower – rest in peace. i told you that you would be okay, and although i know it does not seem like it to the people who loved you, it is a different okay because i know you are somewhere where there is no blood and there is no pain and there are no damn motorcycles or accidents or wounds. it is not the okay that i wished for you, but what is, is. this world is so damn unfair and unjust. i sit here crying over you – over your hurt, over the fact that we could not save you as we gathered around your delicate and precious self laying there. crying is so inadequate, i know. what else is there to do?

please know that being there with you was a great privilege. to see your precious life, and to hold your hand, and touch your skin. in such moments we are all so vulnerable. i want you to know, and i hope there is a way for your family and loved ones to know that it was only five seconds after your accident that you were alone. i got to your side and immediately reassured you, comforted you, prayed for you. shortly others joined who were equally as gentle and kind and helpful. you were surrounded by love. i believe that it is the case, wherever you are now, that you continue to be surrounded by love.

i did not pray in words the day that i was there with you. but here is my prayer now. i hope it finds its way to you somehow.

dear god, who is the god of love and peace, i do no not understand how this sort of pain happens. there are no good reasons for this. yet i know this happens. the world happens and pain happens and loss and hurt and unfairness and we are stuck here right in the middle of it, just trying to do something, trying to make our way. i am left only to breathe and pray and love and hope. to hope that there is a way to make sense of it, to hope that we can make less pain like this, to hope that the family of this man who laid there with me finds a way to make sense of this and live with this loss. it is all so fast. it is all so precious. in one second we are on our motorcycle, fast with the wind against us, and in the next we are laying there, everything changed. everything fleeting. in one second we are sitting in our car and in the next we are holding the hand of a stranger who is saying goodbye to this world. god, be with his family. be with those who loved him. be with him as he sits or floats or lingers in heaven, wherever that is or whatever that is, and looks down on the life that he had in all its beauty and brokenness. give us all the strength to be with each other as we hurt – as we long for those who we have lost, or as we lay in the ground one friday afternoon. give us the strength to love more, to remember well, to be at peace with the madness that is this world where things do not make sense and are not fair. may we keep loving. hard. may we keep praying. hard. praying with our hands and our feet and our hearts as we try to lessen the brokenness. in our own lives. and in others’ lives.

i’m so sorry, precious beautiful man on the motorcycle. may god have you in god’s embrace.

amen amen amen.

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17 Responses to dear lovely man on the motorcycle

  1. mskitty says:

    I’m so glad you were there, Elizabeth.

  2. All that I can think at the moment to say is that, in becoming a minister, you chose the right profession.

  3. Susan says:

    sweet elizabeth, like your friends above I am so glad you were there to accompany this man in the midst of his pain and fear, to offer love and reassurance that he was not alone. thank you for sharing the prayer his life and death have inspired. and I hope you are also getting the support you need to work through the ways the accident has affected you — being a first responder, holding on to someone in the midst of that terrible pain, also takes a toll on the minister. Sending lots and lots of love.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    thanks for your replies, dear ones. i appreciate them much much much.

    p.s. Ms. Kitty there is a Miss Kitty’s saloon near us in Kentucky. So I think of you when I pass it.

  5. emily wright-magoon says:

    So glad you were there, and so touched. I know it made a difference.

  6. I have no idea what to say, only that I am praying for you, I suppose. Wow. Thank you, God bless you.

  7. Jean says:

    Elizabeth, you sooth the soul. I love you.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, Jeannie. I found out who he was. He was a father of two, a husband, and a nurse. His obituary said, “His passion was taking care of people and being a father.” I am thinking so much of the family today. It is so strange – terrible things happen every single day. So sometimes it feels so crazy to be upset about terrible things that we witnessed – like self-centered that only the terrible things we are a part of are enough to be upsetting. I guess we can just only love so much, and care so much, and we do that as much as we can when things come across our path. Blessings on you dear Branden and your family. Sending love, for what it is worth……

  9. Paige Eastman Dickinson says:

    Elizabeth, Heidi shared this with some of us. I am sure you were meant to be there. I hope you get to share and be with the family, I think they might like to know you were with him. Best to you and your men, Paige

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Paige and everyone else for reading and for your comments.

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