A few months ago some one asked me some very insightful questions about anger, specific to Lindsay’s accident. They asked “Were you ever angry with the person driving the other vehicle? How did Lindsay and the accident effect their lives? Were you able to forgive the other driver? I stopped for a minute and thought about each of the questions before answering them and here is what my reply was.
“Were you ever angry with the person driving the other vehicle?
I have never held any anger toward the other driver, never. There was never any reason to be angry with the other driver. This was a true accident, with a very tragic ending. After we arrived at the hospital and were informed of Lindsay’s condition, somehow, with all that was spinning in my head I did think of the other vehicle, its driver and passengers. Were they hurt, did their family lose someone? I remember asking the highway patrolman if anyone in the other vehicle was injured. He told me that they did have a few minor injuries, nothing life threatening. Believe it or not, for me, that was somewhat of a relief. We were dealing with so much emotion at the time, I don’t think I could have taken on any more.
Were you able to forgive the other driver?
As far as forgiving them, there is nothing to forgive, they in no way hit Lindsay with any malice. I know in my heart they did not wake up on August 21, 2016 with the intention of being in an accident that would eventually take Lindsay’s life. How can I forgive someone for doing something they had no idea was ever going to happen.
How did Lindsay and the accident effect their lives?
How is Lindsay effecting their life, I truly do not know, and probably never will. I am sure they are dealing with it everyday, just as I do. Even though they did not know Lindsay or anyone in my family I feel she is a daily part of their life now. I am sure they have asked the same questions we have asked, over and over again.
I am the furthest thing from a psychologist, therapist, philosopher, or psychiatrist. I am just a grieving father trying to share what is on my heart and mind. Trying to put it all down on the proverbial paper and hope that someone will understand, and possibly, learn from this tragedy. A tragedy that brought families closer, reviled how precious and short life is and started a legacy that will live on through so many lives. So, with that being said, here is my very unprofessional diagnosis of what anger is.
I have always looked at anger as a wasted emotion. I understand we all get upset, frustrated, stressed, aggravated and heart broken from time to time but true anger will slowly eat away at your heart and soul. When you are angry at another person you are only hurting the one person who has already been hurt, yourself. You can not transfer that anger to the other person to hurt them like they have hurt you. Anger is actually the emotion you feel after the initial feelings of jealousy, humiliation, rejection, being afraid, being attacked, offended, disrespected, forced, trapped, pressured and grief. Anger is the emotion you feel after the fact, it comes second to all other emotions. Anger is second, and as the saying goes “Nobody ever remembers who comes in second.” So keep anger second, keep it third, put it last but, never let it consume your thoughts, your life, or your heart, because if you do, anger will win. Then you and you alone, will be the only one remembering it.
I tried to make that deal with God, you know, the deal where you ask God to take you and leave your loved one here. After I prayed that prayer I thought to myself, “If God had wanted me, I would have been in that car, not Lindsay.” If you believe in God you also believe God is in control and God has a plan for each of us while we are here on this earth. Does anyone know God’s plan for their life, your child’s life, anyone’s life? The answer would be no, it would be no 7.5 billion times, that is the estimated population of the planet earth right now. In the year 2100 when the population will reach an estimated 11.2 billion the answer will still be no. We as human’s will never understand why thing’s don’t go our way, why bad things happen to us. We always ask “Why?” Why are there terminal diseases, drugs, tragic accidents on this earth and why would a loving God take our children to soon. Believe me, I am the last person that would ever know the answers to those questions. I do know I will see Lindsay again, I will ask God why, and I will spend eternity with my daughter and all my other love ones that have gone on before me. I know there is a God and he has a plan, how can I be angry at that? Am I jealous, afraid, upset, frustrated, stressed, aggravated, heart broken and grieving, yes, but I refuse to let any of these emotions turn to anger. I refuse to let anger be anywhere other, than second place.
Sometimes, I sit in complete silence, and I think of all things I could be, or should be angry about. Although the list is not very long, it does run deep. After I have thought of these things I always come to the same realization, all these things happened in my past, a place were there is absolutely nothing I can do to change them. So I came up with this saying I repeat to myself during these moments when I feel anger trying to slip into first place, “Being angry today, about my yesterday, will only effect the happiness of my tomorrow, and the days to come.”
So be sad, be upset, be jealous, be heart broken, be all the emotions that make us who we are, human beings. Also be happy, love one another, and try your best to look for the joy in every situation. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. It is the only way to keep anger where it belongs, second.