Loss and Reflection

Well, we recently lost some greats from this world. I was scrolling through my usually only semi-interesting Twitter feed the other day and saw the news about the death of John and Alicia Nash from a taxi cab accident. For those of you who don’t know, John Nash was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1959 before being awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1994 for his earlier game theory work at Princeton. The lives of him and his wife inspired the amazing movie A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.

Seeing the announcement of their deaths really took the wind out of me. Though I am not one for the mathematical sciences (I am a lover of words, as this blog makes obvious), Nash’s struggle through mental disease and his fight to remain true to himself is a huge inspiration. Not to mention the fact that, as I was reading that article, I had just returned to Boston after spending three weeks at the bedside of my comatose brother, an injury from yet another car accident.

From here, my thoughts turned to how many people I have lost. I am twenty-four years old. Four people have died since I was thirteen; two of those four were from car accidents. And then there’s my brother, who is looking like he may never come back to the land of the living, so to speak. It really makes you start to wonder if you ever want to set foot in another car again.

And, see, my brother did everything right. He was the passenger in the car. He was even wearing his seatbelt which, I’ll be honest, wasn’t exactly a normal practice for him. Yet he is practically a vegetable, and the other kid will at worse be in a wheelchair, though his odds for walking again are going up and up. My brother’s odds for even speaking are going down and down. Similarly, the cab driver for the Nash’s? Barely a scratch on him.

Makes you wonder. It really really does.

Sorry for the downer post. The next one will be a more upbeat reflection, promise. For now, I just wanted to look back on the amazing inspiration that was John and Alicia Nash. Not even just for his brains and her understanding. But for their endurance, and their love, and their creativity in the face of adversity.

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