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Accidental Death, Survivor Guilt, and Grace: What It Feels Like When Tragedy Strikes in an Instant

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25 years ago, I almost lost my life, while a mother, father, and their 9 year old daughter did lose theirs - on impact as we hit each other head on in a horrific automobile crash that changed my entire life in an instant.
I was in great spirits the morning of the accident. Having driven my older sister Maggie to college in MO the day before, I stayed overnight and met some of her friends before venturing back to IL in the morning. I was 18, with only a week to go until I started my college life in Boston at Berklee College of Music, and while it had been an incredible summer with my high school friends, I was SO EXCITED for this next chapter in my life. I even remember the mix tape that was playing – the song “Come Down” by Bush was blaring as I sang along at the top of my lungs.Next thing I remember, my head was against the steering wheel and I tasted blood. Some idiot kept asking me the same questions over and over – “Was there anyone else in the car? Do you know what day it is?” Th…