The eyewitness said that she didn't swerve or apply her brakes.
He saw her slumped over the steering wheel last Friday afternoon when her car flew off the road and hit the tree.
He called 911 and ran to the vehicle. She was unconscious.
There was so much blood that he thought her jugular vein might have been punctured.
He applied pressure to her neck and prayed for the strength to hold steady with her until the paramedics arrived.
She was airlifted to Duke University Hospital where the attending staff found that she had broken everything but one of her arms.
Her pelvic bone was smashed, both her legs, one arm, her ankle and half her ribs were broken.
Her heart and lungs were failing.
They told us she could not survive, would not survive.
I flew to Raleigh-Durham early Saturday morning to see her.
Though the machines indicated otherwise, I knew as soon as I entered the room that she was long gone.
An oscillating ventilator inflated her lungs three hundred times per minute crowding the room with its incessant noise.
The machine pumped her so vigorously that her body bounced up and down on the bed.
The only parts of her I recognized were her hair and her fingertips.
I sat next to her and held her hand for some time.
My Aunt arrived in the afternoon with the advanced medical directive and the machines were finally stopped.
I stroked my grandmother's hair and sang a hymn. Then I whispered to her until the lines showed flat.
That she is ripped from my life so suddenly, so soon after my Grandfather's death...
I am undone.