Ch01.Blog33 A reflection on synchronicity
by Chris Lee
Synchronicity is fate. A belief of being in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time. For me that fateful day was 25 January 2015, a day forever etched in my memory.
It is a Sunday morning; I’m driving home along a country road after a DJ gig the night before. An hour into my journey, through the trees that line the road, I see an eruption of smoke. Minutes later, I turn a corner and am met by ferocious flames engulfing a ute and a motorbike in the middle of the road. There’s been an accident and I am the first person to arrive.
I quickly pull my car over, get out, and race over to the scene. The driver and passenger from the ute are on the phone to emergency services, relatively unharmed. The same can’t be said for the people on the bike.
The male who was in control of the bike has passed on impact, his body lies motionless next to his beloved motorcycle, both badly burnt and still swamped by flames. His passenger, who I will later learn was his wife of 27 years, has been thrown from the bike, she is face down on the road 3 to 4 metres away, conscious but barely coherent, crying out for someone, anyone, to “help me”.
In this moment, time seems to stand still. Yet everything seems to happen in an instant. In this moment, unconsciously I disengage my emotions and instinct takes over. In this moment, I am capable of things I never thought possible.
My first aid training from high school kicks in, even though it has been over a decade since I completed it, and have never used it since. I check her breathing is okay, and that there are no signs of bleeding or any imminent danger. I decide it’s best not to move her as we wait for emergency services. I sit on the edge of the road, as close as I safely can, and through her moans of pain, I let her know I am here, help is coming, and that everything will be ok.
The fire brigade arrives, I leave the woman’s side to assist them, rolling out hoses and connecting them to the trucks. The fire surrounding the man and the bike is soon extinguished and while firefighters put out the fire on the ute, I’m asked to grab a blanket from the back of the firetruck and cover the man’s body, an image I will never forget.
The ambulance arrives, and attends to the woman. Amidst the chaos, I haven’t notice she has fallen silent, she is no longer breathing, and despite their efforts, she too passes away. The police ask me to move away and wait by my car. In an instant, the enormity of what has just happened hits me, I’m reconnected to my emotions, and I cry.
From this moment, and for several weeks to come, I contemplate my role in this day. Did I do enough? What could I have done differently? Could I have saved her life? Why me – as guilty as I feel about that – why did I have to experience this? The answer was fate.
So many decisions I made on that day could have meant I was there before or after. I slept in. I fuelled up. I couldn’t decide what to eat. Those few minutes of indecision meant I arrived when I did. I could have been past the accident before it happened. I could have been in it.
A few weeks after the accident, I found out the couple who passed were good friends with my cousins. It suddenly provided me with clarity, that my role there was to comfort her in her dying moments, which I hope I did.
As a radio announcer, every day l experience this feeling of being in the right place at the right time in some form. I’m sharing my stories with my audience, and them with me, whether it be tales of heartache, or just a story about the time you met a B Grade celebrity. I find that when I open up and share these deep and meaningful stories, it’s not only entertaining and engaging for my audience, but it is cathartic for me.
It’s right where l know l should be. You can call it coincidence, or you can see it for what it is; fate, destiny, and synchronicity.