Sunday, 16 November 2008

Tear Therapy...

The latter part of the week has been a bit of a rough go for me. I don't think I realized just how rough until yesterday morning though.

It all started on Thursday morning as I drove to work. It was about 5:50 am and I was driving along the highway out of Cochrane in the pitch dark. I had the local country station on, as I sometimes secretly do. The song that was playing was one about love and how you make your mark of love on the world. In these trying times I was thinking what a beautiful statement that was.

As I was thinking about love, a deer ran across the highway. Unfortunately, it was so dark out I didn't see it until it was too late. I didn't even have time to hit the brakes - in hindsight this may have been one of the many factors that saved me from bodily harm.

I can't tell you what happened next because I don't know. I saw the deer, there was a loud bang, there was, what I realized later, air bag dust surrounding me, and then everything was dark and in slow motion. In a split second everything changed.

When I finally figured out what must have happened, I tried to see out the front window, steered my car to the road edge and stopped. At one moment I thought the deer was on the roof of my car, but it turned out that it was my hood that had become detached.

I then sat in my car shaking and crying. I knew that I had killed the deer. Thankfully, there was someone - it turned out he was my neighbor - driving behind me who stopped to see if I was okay. I had so much adrenaline flowing through me from the fear and shock that I really couldn't say.

I remember most parts of the story after that. I sat in my neighbors truck until the RCMP came, then I sat in the Constable's car until the tow truck came and gave what information I could. Then the RCMP took me home. I sobbed off and on that day as I went about the motions of calling the insurance company, calling my work, calling the car rental, picking up all my belongings from my car at the tow lot and calling my Mom and Dad to tell them what happened. My blessings go out to Esther, who stayed with me and helped me get around town to see my car and get the rental.

The next day I went to work. The drive in was a white knuckle ride. I was so scared it was going to happen to me again. I focused on the road, on my breathing and staying calm. I've never been a timid driver - this was very new territory for me. The entire day at work I had a sense of dread. I wanted to cry, but tried not to. I was at work after all.

People who had heard about the accident asked how I was. All I could say was that physically I was fine, but my spirit wasn't quite right.

I went to bed early that night - the weight of all that had happened was wearing on me.

On Saturday I didn't want to get out of bed. I just wanted to hide under the covers. It took me two attempts to get out of bed and stay out of bed. I thought that maybe what I needed was some exercise. I'd go for a run and all this emotion that was weighing me down would vanish! What better way to lift the spirit that to be out in nature??

I felt pretty good for about 20 minutes of my run, but then the emotions came back. As I was running I was fighting the tears. 'This is ridiculous', I thought. GET A GRIP!

When I finally did get home I managed to make it up the stairs to my room. That's as far as I got though. The weight of everything that had happened came crashing down. So there I laid, in the middle of my hallway floor, crying. I just let it all go.

I cried for the deer whose life I took, I cried for Mother Nature's forgiviness for not being able to miss hitting the deer, I cried for the guilt of killing an animal, I cried for the fear and sense of dread that had plagued me since, and I cried because I walked away from the accident when I know things could have been much, much worse. I'm not sure how long I was there. Long enough that my cat who'd followed me upstairs had circled me a few times, offering comfort, finally just sat down and waited it out.

I decided not to go to the mountains that evening as planned. Instead, I stayed home and let myself work through the emotions.

I realize now that I had to honour myself, honour the deer, and let the emotions of the events wash over me. If I didn't, I'd end up carrying them with me for much longer than necessary. I still feel sad about the events, but it's a sadness that I can now deal with. I know I will be my usual jovial person soon. Hopefully, driving will be less and less scary each time I do it. After all, how else will I get to my beloved mountains to go skiing, now that we have snow, if I don't drive??

Peace out my friends.


  1. OMG-you poor thing! I have tears in my eyes for you. You did not mean to hurt the deer and yet I can imagine how traumatic this must be. Please be good to yourself this week. I am so sorry but thankful you were not hurt..

  2. Already sent you a big hug on Thurs via msm. Here's another. Salty tears on the shirt are no big deal. Pats back, and holds gently.

  3. Aww shite!!! Yes, it can all change is a second. AND - you got out of this one as it could have been much different ending. Emotions are draining - so get lots of sleep and take care. try not to stay in the icky place to long thinking about what was lost but rather, move forward and be thankful for what you still have ahead of you:)

  4. Jenna said it perfectly. Get lots of rest. I know how you feel, Susi -- I hit a deer on my way back Kelowna one year. It was terrible -- it came out of nowhere and it happened so fast. When I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw it had been a momma dear because it's fawn was standing right beside it. I pulled over to the side of the road and was shaking like an epileptic.

    I had to drive to the nearest town (I think it was Midway) to tell the police and I just broke down. They offered me the phone to call my parents but I still had a 6 hour drive ahead of me and knew that if I spoke to a family member, I would fall apart.

    It is tough to start driving again, and you are right -- it does get a little less scary every time. You have a big heart and I know the experience was so tremendous as to send you after-shocks. Hang in there, my friend.

  5. Oh crappy!!! Just one of those things we can't explain...
    I feel for you Susi!

  6. The tears flowed as I read your blog - I hope that time will heal your bruised heart. Mother Nature knows it was an accident & has already granted her forgiveness. Take good care of yourself in the days ahead. I'm so glad that you were not injured physically.

  7. awwwwwwwww, sorry to hear about the accident. I'm glad you're ok. This is purely another way to look at it, I hope I don't offend anyone. Here's the thought, mother nature has a way of balancing things out. If you're car hadn't killed that deer, maybe somthing else would have? A coyote, a Couger, or somthing else? I of course still don't wish to see anything die and I know this won't help much, I just thought it might be a different view point. Take care Susi, glad you're ok.