Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Ambulance (Photo credit: gwire)

Last Friday wasn’t the worst day of my life, but it ranked up there....

I technically lost my job (although I have one lined up with a much nicer boss next year). My current boss could barely speak to me and I refused to be present when he did the awkward "goodbye and thanks" crap at the staff lunch and went on duty early (any kids who come on the last day are supervised all together and we rotate duties throughout the day).

So I go on duty 5 minutes early and am met with a preppie who has probably sprained her ankle (got leaving teacher to carry her to first aid room).

Then I got called over by another child to the other teacher on duty who has a child on the ground under the swings. It is obvious he has 2 broken wrists. A lot of other crap happened that I can’t write about. .....
.....But the short story is that I was the one who stayed to look after this kid and his broken, deformed arms until the ambulance arrived. 

 I was the one who kept the child calm and alert and still while we waited the million years for the ambulance to arrive.  

I was the one making sure that those wrists with bends where there shouldn’t be were kept still. 

I was the one doing all of this despite my existing, documented PTSD and nightmares about what the phrase “multiple injuries” means on a coroner’s report, and what a policewoman means when she says “he definitely died instantly.  There was no doubt about that”...... and thinking about all of that while staying positive and calm for this child who was in agony.
So by now, I am wondering how it was that the One Person on staff with major issues associated with trauma was the only one who could sit alongside the agony, stare it in the face,  remain calm and provide as much reassurance and comfort as required. I talked to that boy and rubbed his back until the ambos (paramedics) took over. Everybody else (aside from the ambos) busied themselves with the mechanics of “emergency action” – phoning the ambulance, alerting the parents, keeping other students away, opening the gate for the ambulance etc., because that raw pain was too much for them to look at for more than a few minutes at a time.

I have no idea how I managed to remain calm and *present* for this student for over 45 minutes, but I am glad I was able to.  I was glad to be there for this child, just like I hope that someone was there for Greg.

I was glad that despite my own issues, I was a ‘helper’ that day.

....and I am proud of that.

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. The boy and his parents will always be grateful!Congratulations on your new job you deserve to be surrounded by nice people and have a good boss. Happy New Year!

  2. You were able to be present because you have a deeper meaning of what it means to "be present".
    You understand that those little broken wrists are attached to a whole worried family. And a sweet little child who's depending on your calmness.
    Our vision of the world is different now. Always will be.

  3. You should be so very proud of your ability to stay with this child through the trauma. This is a special gift that was left to you by Greg. Without your presence on the seen that day, who else would have stepped up.

    So strange that society sees widows/(ers) as weak and frail and yet, there is no doubt that through the death of our spouses, we have been reborn to strength and resilience.

    Kudos to you Amanda!

  4. I think this is one of those "things" (refuse to call them "positives") that comes from having your life changed by widowhood. For one, you are braver than the rest; for two, the worst thing that could happen to you, has. For three, you can keep your head in an emergency because you have been faced with so many "emergency like" things that this was small potatoes.
    I know you probably wished you didn't have those skills, but you do, and we do and they come forth everyday to a world that needs them. But honestly, I just wish I wasn't the "one" who had them!
    I'm glad for you too; and that you recognized what you were doing and did it so well and selflessly. You saw what needed to be done and you did it.

  5. You are definitely stronger than you think you are. And how blessed was the child who had YOU to stay and comfort him. Coincidence? I don't think so :D

  6. I too have a death report with "multiple blunt force injuries". My husband, too, died "instantly" without me there. Perhaps, in sitting with that boy, you were doing something that you wished you could have done for Greg, offering that comfort that you should have been able to give to him. We have experienced the worst case scenario,and yet were cheated of our right to comfort and support our loved one. Perhaps, despite the difficulty of helping someone carry their pain, we understand that doing so is a gift that has its own immeasurable value. How much more when it is a little child who suffers, and how much more again on a day when so many children,in another school, did not get the chance to receive such a gift. You are brave, and you are strong, and of course you are no stranger to pain.