Presence

In the week before Christmas as I was driving home I turned left onto a main road and saw a woman flying out of her motorised scooter and tumble downhill over the concrete footpath. Her shopping broke open as she crashed to the ground. Immediately I pulled over to help her. At the same time a couple of other drivers stopped and we quickly became a small team of people acting to support someone in distress.

By the time I had reached her she was pulling herself up off the ground and with some support was able to sit in her chair. Blood was pouring down her face and front and she was shaking violently. One of us had called an ambulance and the other woman who had stopped calmly took control after identifying herself as someone with a fair amount of first aid experience. Recognising the intensity of her shock I quietly told her my name, moved around behind her (so as not to get in the way of the first aider) and asked if it would be alright for me to put my hands on her back and shoulder to support her. She nodded her assent.

For the next ten minutes my first aid companion dealt calmly and competently with relaying information to the emergency services centre and after seeking the woman’s permission cleaned up the worst of the blood to establish the main source of the bleeding Another passer-by went to get a plastic bag out of the boot of their car and began to clean up what shopping could be retrieved.

I stood quietly and gently holding her, having no other intention than to be of support. From the moment I arrived I felt an inner calm and this settled even more deeply in the minutes that followed. After some time under my hands I could feel her body let go of some of the violent shaking and her breathing become a little easier. I felt deeply present, with no need to do anything other than meet another in their moment of need.

Within about 8-10 mins the ambulance arrived and my first aid companion handed over to a young paramedic. Once her male partner was ready to take over I let the lady know that I was going to hand her over now to these “lovely people” who would take great care of her. The older ambo said to us, “I’m not sure about being lovely people”, to which I replied that I was grateful for the wonderful job they did. He smiled and stepped in.

I said goodbye to each person wishing the woman well and left for home.


For many days and even now as I write I have kept this lady in my thoughts and continue to wish her well.


Anne Carroll
January 2018

Comments

  1. She is lucky you were there. I'm sure that your body communicated a healing calm to her.

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