Flew a hurried medivac today. Just 40 minutes from the city, to a rural place north of Mt Kenya. The flight was for a stranger. I didn’t even know his name – the man who died there beside the plane. My craft and the doctors just a little too late to start his heart again. The medical crew worked furiously to stabilize him, but it was taking too long. I walked away and stared into the hills intermittently between staring into the dirt. My introspection shattered by the anguished cry of a new widow, as she crumbled into the arms of her friends. I felt profoundly sad for her. Prayed for her.
My job switched, in an instant, from being the hero of the day to simply being human again. I loaded this man’s body into my airplane as respectfully as possible – purposeful, careful. Witness to a life that has just left our world, we are hard pressed not to see ourselves there, in the helpless form of a body emptied. Even the police, usually dodgy and difficult, put aside their shenanigans for a moment to reaffirm their solidarity with the fallen human race.
I washed my hands and flew home. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Somehow one makes the other possible.