The lives of those in the public eye seem mostly out of touch with the lives of the average person. Through hard work, talent, and good fortune, the few that succeed separate themselves from the herd of humanity and live lives that seem ethereal compared to the average Joe and Jolene. Every now and then, tragedy strikes in its most brutal fashion and we are reminded of our commonality and the frailty we share. Like watching a medical drama, we see reality collide with the fiction of what we imagine these real people to be.
Rachel Bilson recalls being 16 and surviving a coma-inducing car crash. She states that the horrific accident changed her and turned her from a self-destructive route. The hidden physical scars and headaches are reminders of her near death experience.
Harrison Ford’s near miss experience came about as his vintage plane fell from the sky. The accident resulted in Ford being hospitalized for almost a month to recover from a broken pelvis, hip, and lacerations. The accident, a result of engine failure, played out in front of national media as it became known that Ford was the pilot of the plane.
Tracy Morgan’s accident was also a media storm. As the media became aware of Morgan’s involvement, the storm surrounding the tragedy began to grow. Social media of the scene, in the form of drive-by video, was released and took the everyday to uncommon. Morgan’s recovery has continued following the accident. He has reached a point where he is near fully recovered.
Considering the severity of the accident, Morgan being alive is a miracle. Morgan’s van was hit by a tractor trailer from behind. The semi driver was tired and was not able to react in time to stop. Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury, multiple broken bones, and internal injuries. He considers himself fortunate to be alive. Jimmy Mack, one of Morgan’s closest friends, lost his life in the accident.
Mariska Hargitay survived the accident that took her mother, Jayne Mansfield’s, life. A recent injury on the set of Law and Order: SVU resulted in emergency surgeries to repair a collapsed lung. Hargitay was about the same age as her child when she lost her mother, and the parallels were fairly intense. She was forced to reflect on the feelings of loss and loneliness she had growing up without her mother.
Through the loss and the recent injury, she has had to reflect on what it means to not only survive, but how much life is to be appreciated and valued.
The common thread through each story is an appreciation for the life each has now. When we face trauma and survive, we are given a recognition for each moment we have. The hard part is making the most of what time we are given.
Those who have reached some level of success may have a more accessible platform to proclaim their newfound appreciation of life. It is up to them how they use it.