Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Brief Moment In Time

On the night of June 25, 2014 I was in an accident. 

For the last six months, I have been trying to forgive myself.


It’s been much longer than that. I spent a good deal of 2014 trying to recover from the previous decade of my life. From 2003 until 2013, I had not spoken with my sister or my mother from the moment of my grandmother’s death following her traumatic accident. I had prayed for reconciliation and when it finally began to burgeon in the spring of 2013, I gave everything to it.

But by the winter and spring of 2014, this brief moment of visitation had come to an end. 

The first time around, I never actually knew why, but ten years later, I slowly began to learn the painful truths which had led to such heartbreaking distance.

This time, I did not get to learn what caused the separation, but even as I desperately wanted to address every nuance of dis-ease, I could not do it alone no matter how hard I tried.


I was asked by a beloved friend how much time there was between when I stepped out of the car and when the train hit my car. I had to reconstruct this for her. It was a mere 20 seconds. 

I would never have survived.


As I am still trying to forgive myself for making that wrong turn. For having been stuck. For not being able to get “unstuck,” for not being able to stop the train. For… for… for… 

I am so inside that experience.

My family is the train and I am the car on the tracks. I became the obstruction. 

They are barreling towards me in spite of my location telling me to get out of their way. 

Did it really have to take a train for me to hear them?

Police? Trauma which made me shake every single night and awaken in pools of sweat?

Charges which caused me to have to appear in court several times? Prosecutors? Judges? Attorneys?

Did it really have to take a train for me to hear them?

I can still see the crash. I can still hear the sounds. I can still feel it in my body. 

When will that part end?
I can’t catch my breath.

But I know, even if contracted, that I am, in fact, breathing. It’s just taking the time it is taking. Because, I have been irrevocably changed. The car was destroyed. She no longer exists. 

But I’m here.


Danny Strong said, “I don’t think god meant for people to not have a family.” For a long time, this was my prison. Because I didn’t think so either. But family is so many things. I see evidence of it every day.

My family may no longer be in my life, but they have always lived in me. That’s just how I was built. 

The train may have destroyed her, but it cannot destroy what is essentially me. That never dies.

For a brief moment in time, I was able to experience deep healing in my heart and in my nervous system and I know that no matter what, no matter what the actions are on the part of my family, my love for them is also part of my DNA.

I stood in grace and forgiveness even when things were said to me which were devastating to hear. I made this decision even as I wept in grief. And I would do it again.

Oprah asks the question, “What do you know for sure?”

What do I know for sure?

I know that I came here to keep going no matter what and that I came here to keep loving. 

Maybe I came here to find out what family means as well.

To keep breathing new life into whatever it means.

Step by step.

What I know for sure is that I bless them all. I bless them all with love.


Jill Bacharach