Don’t know if you saw any of the interview with the parents of Indira Swann, Greg and Louise. They were giving testimony to their daughter, killed along with four other young women in a tragically simple coach crash in Ecuador.
We were stopped short by their words. The couple’s dedication to encouragement in the middle of such obvious agony was a kind of wisdom too heroic for words. There was a visible pause in the Channel 4 News studio, after the tape.
Seize the day. Do the best you can with how long you’ve got. Don’t stop learning about the world. Accidents happen.
Accidents happen. Greg seemed to wring the words out of himself. The determination of conviction.
Getting on for a decade ago now, two young friends of our family in Sussex were killed in a car accident in Australia. Two others with them survived. I remember the morning news waking me up with the story and I just kind of suspected it was them.
I didn’t know them. Met maybe once or twice, I can’t remember. But they were central to Caroline’s sister’s family of friends, and watching everyone in the community try to come to terms with such a pointless, recreational loss was silencing. I don’t know what I’d do, if one of my adopted family didn’t come home from a holiday. Build a shrine, probably.
Tonight’s brief interview reminded me how you never know what life can grow out of the jagged fractures of a crash. How life likes to show up where it shouldn’t be. I wonder for them. But, as Stephen Lawrence’s mother, Doreen, said at the opening of the centre that fights to creatively equip young people facing poverty, bearing his name in St Johns, “I’d swap it all in a heartbeat for Stephen.”
Just thinking of all five families.