I was abruptly reminded this evening of just how fleeting life is. I volunteer at Marianne Williamson’s lectures every Monday night here in Los Angeles. I normally park close to the venue, but my usual spot was taken today.
After the lecture, a friend dropped me off at my car. I got out of the car and noticed four hospital employees dressed in scrubs talking in front of another parked car on the street. As I walked to my car, my intuition said “something is wrong.”
I opened my car door and glanced up again, this time I saw a body lying in the street in front of the hospital employees. They were about 50 feet away so I yelled, “Is everything ok?” One of them looked up at me with panic in her eyes. I ran over to them and found a young girl laying on the street and a man hovering over her talking on his cell phone. I saw the girl’s abdomen rising and falling so I knew she was breathing. They confirmed an ambulance was on the way. I knew this wasn’t my place to help.
As I looked around I noticed a young girl standing on the sidewalk by herself sobbing. I asked her if she was ok. She told me the girl was her friend, they were just out for a walk, ran across the street not realizing it was a red light, and her friend was struck by a car. She was in shock, blaming herself, afraid to call her parents because they would be mad at her, begging and pleading to go back and change the past.
I stayed and consoled the 15-year-old girl, got her to call her parents, and reassured her that it was not her fault, she couldn’t change the past, and that everything was going to be OK. I rubbed her back and held her as she sobbed. This was my place to help, one of my soul purposes for the day. She just needed someone to be there for her, and to pray for her dear friend. I stayed with the young girl until police and paramedics took over. I hugged her again and reassured her everything was going to be OK.
There are many lessons to be learned from this experience. Listen to your intuition. Pay attention to your surroundings. It only takes a moment for your entire life to change. Drive carefully without distractions. Life is so, so very fragile. All important lessons and reminders.
More importantly, though, I felt a shift inside as I walked to my car. I was flooded with emotion, yet strangely calm, because I knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be there, and who I was supposed to be with when I arrived. I gave my love to a stranger who desperately needed it. I was grateful to be there for her, even under such a horrifying circumstance. She needed my body to embrace her, my mind to think clearly, and my soul to give her love. Most importantly, she needed me to be fully present.
Let this story serve as a reminder to be fully present in each moment, because life is fleeting.