month ever.
3:12 PM, Sunday, November 9th, 2014:
The Ghost Bike Foundation put a bike at the site. I like that they do that, it really does hit you in the gut when you see it and make you more aware of the fact that someone died on a bicycle there.
I ended up commenting on the Daily News article about the cyclist because some jackass was angry they didn't assess blame in the headline. With my media background (and common fucking sense) I explained that news outlets cannot do that when the police haven't finished the investigation no matter how obvious it may seem to you at home reading it. And with me being on the scene, I even had some doubts considering where the car was hit, just exactly how it happened. Safe to say now, with all the info I had - it does indeed seem like the driver will be charged. But nonetheless, the headline was correct.
Through that, the cyclist's sister found me, thanked me for being with him as he passed and connected with me on Facebook. I let her know that if she or anyone in his family wanted to talk to me about the details I was happy to do so. Yesterday I fielded a few phone calls and relived it again, yet this time I was actually helping them. They had so little information and it really did help that I was able to be so specific. Mainly what I already said in the previous entry. I spoke with one of his daughters and his sister and then yesterday evening they went to the crash site and I met them to explain some more.
The family and friends that were there were so appreciative of the tiniest details. From events in my life I know that's what seems to be missing most when in need of closure. The ability to piece together the ending. Once you accept that it has ended, your mind immediately tries to make sense of it - and in this case? They had nothing. The police told them very little, in fact they weren't even contacted until the next day, and his sister until Thursday! It killed me to hear that because I had to restrain myself from grabbing his cell phone and calling the last number. I stopped only because I was certain the paramedics would do that and they didn't!??! I thought they always did that?  Maybe because he already passed there wasn't a reason to. Actually, now that I think of it that makes sense. If it's a life-saving emergency, it's crucial. If the victim already passed, the family will be contacted through the medical records once they get them to the hospital. But ugh, I'm sure they would've appreciated knowing a bit sooner so they could be part of the process.
Either way, everyone was extremely kind, understanding and honestly? Quite prepared for this. Apparently this guy had one of those "9 lives" type of existences. Fell out of a 2 story window when he was 18 months open and cracked his head open - been in countelss accidents with head injuries and walked away fine. Even had a metal plate in his head. Incredible stories and they even joked with him not to take better care of his guardian angel because that fucker was working overtime. They also let me know that a couple weeks before he had been in some sort of altercation and had a head wound, which clearly was the cause of him bleeding out so quickly. That piece of information certainly helped the question I had in my mind: how on earth did he have no indication of a bad fall (scrapes, cuts, nothing) yet was bleeding SO PROFUSELY? Clearly he opened an old wound that wasn't fully healed and that was it. Gone almost immediately. So sad.
They asked if they could stay in touch and I said of course. It was nice to now have an outlet for all this information inside of me that seemed to not have a place. In fact, it did. It truly helped these people come to terms with what happened. I tried my best to remember the details and thankfully, because I would've been honest either way, it really was one of the most peaceful passings I've witnessed. They sepcifically asked for convulsions or struggling to breathe and there was none of that. That put them at ease and as well, being at the site and being able to show them exactly where things happened helped them as well. I now feel fortunate for having been able to help comfort not only that man, but his family afterwards. I am fortunate to have the ability to compartmentalize emergency situations and this really hit that home. His sister in particular was also very touched by the remainder of my day with Cameron and was quite happy there weren't two tragedies that day. Goddamn, what an event. November the fourth. That won't fade anytime soon. Whew.
I hope we stay in touch. I'm always a "lemonade" guy in these situations and a nice friendship coming from such an event would be great. Though realistically? I will be too much of a reminder of such a traumatic event. That's ok. I'm happy I could help comfort them and pray they find some peace with everything. I think the fact that he had cheated death so many times in his life will actually provide some comfort. He went through a lot and finally ran into a situation that he couldn't walk away from. There's a romance to that life. I hope they find that.