Revisiting the accident

To attend Grandma’s birthday, we were driving on the freeway my mom died on today and it’s a regular drive for my sister, but it’s only the 2nd time I’ve driven it since my mom’s accident over a year and a half ago. As we were driving home, I was watching the side of the road wondering how the hell she drifted off into the dirt shoulder when the asphalt shoulder is so wide, but then it narrows and I imagine that must be where.

In my obsessive post death search for anything related to my mom, I found a callous post on some usenet group about her accident and it made me so upset. Just a couple of days ago, I happened across it again unintentionally and it incited some old anger in me. But it quelled pretty quickly. Death is so commonplace — it’s meaningless unless it’s personal. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, over 39,000 people die a year in fatal car accidents in the U.S. (at least back in 2005 and trending upward every year). And according to the CDC, motor vehicle fatalities were only about 0.02% of all fatalities per year in the U.S between 1988-1992 (source: Atlas of United States Mortality), though motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. (between 1979-2004).

At over 2 million deaths a year, that averages out to close to 6000 deaths per day (rounding liberally).

It’s been long enough that I can start weaving the story of her death into my stories. Bits and pieces of that whole experience (most of which I’ve blogged here) will color both the fiction and nonfiction I write for probably the rest of my life. One random death on one day like any other, but this one was my personal death.

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