Just outside of Los Angeles, five teenagers were killed in a horrific car crash last weekend that was supposed to be a triple date, but one teen's father refused to let him go out because he had a test to study for. That decision ended up saving his life. But the guilt must be beyond imagining.
The kids -- Abdulrahman Alyahyan, 17, Robin Cabrera, 17, Aurora Cabrerra, 16, Cecilia Zamora and Nozad Al Hamawendi, both 17 -- were just out enjoying the day when they struck a tree in a crash so violent, it tore the car apart. The teen who missed the date was angry, I am sure, with the father who made him stay home and study. Who wouldn't be?
We will all call him lucky and he certainly is, but oh God. That guilt. He will never be the same again. His father who grounded him must feel so relieved and yet such sorrow at the same time. I am sure people could look at this and see something divine, but it's not. It's just random luck.
As parents, we want to believe we have control or that his father knew something was amiss and purposely stopped his son from going in that car. But I doubt it. It was luck. And that makes it all the more terrifying.
It isn't as if the parents of those poor five friends, two of whom were siblings, deserved for this to happen. It isn't as if they had some foresight they ignored. It was just bad luck. There are those who search for meaning in tragedy, but I don't. The truth is, my heart breaks for these families who have lost children who were just on the cusp of so much.
There is no "good" time to lose a child, but I have often heard that losing a teenager is the worst kind of pain because they were almost there. There was so much potential and so much that they have already done, but still so much left to do. A younger child is more innocent and parents may have only good memories that provide some comfort. Teens are more complicated.
Of course, there is no age anyone wants to lose a child, but this story just seems particularly painful. My heart is broken for all the families and friends of these five kids. I am especially horrified for the survivor who will likely suffer from enormous survivor's guilt. It's hard to even imagine.
Do you believe there was something divine involved here?
Image via John Morgan/Flickr