Holding hands with death
The Bali bombings shook everything Carren had known but she has come back from the horrors of that night to build a new ‘normal’
IT’S hard to comprehend that, 15 years ago, my skull was crushed and my two best friends were killed in the Sari Club in Kuta.
Ten years later, 60 Minutes flew me and my partner, Matt, back to Bali to revisit the site in the hope of creating another level of peace and understanding of what happened on that fateful night of October 12, 2002.
Thousands of lives were changed on that night in ways that are beyond words and if you know me, or know of me, you’ll know I’ve dedicated my life to helping others find a voice for their own suffering and, most importantly, find freedom from debilitation.
My personal experience, as a result of running through flames, jumping walls, falling down ditches and coming face to face with the stuff of nightmares, has left me in awe of the human instinct for survival and resilience. I held hands with death and witnessed the brutality of religious extremism and to this day have marvelled at our ability to find a new ‘normal’. A normal that has its priority rooted in personal peace of mind.
My dad told me the day I arrived back from Bali in an ambulance to the Royal North Shore hospital that they may have tampered with my peace of mind but only I could restore my faith in humanity.
My mum held me so close and stayed with me every second of every day for three weeks and brought me the comfort I needed to rebuild myself when the time was right.
Australians reached out and sent cards, flowers, fruit baskets and wishes of hope and love in ways that were overwhelming. More than 500 cards and 300 bunches of flowers adorned my hospital room, all oozing with support and strength I didn’t have, but so needed, at that time.
It’s on the reflection of such a fate-filled time that I can appreciate how far I’ve come personally, along with the importance of connection, community and togetherness.
We have no idea when our time is up and the day it comes, the last thing we want is to wish we had done things differently. It’s this message that will be carried from this anniversary to always be present and in the moment, always be kind, always be generous, always be compassionate, and to always be free.
Freedom is a state of mind more than a physical condition and if we can all rise above our own personal experiences of hell and reach for peace and a new ‘normal’, the world, your world, will begin to be a better place.
PS – If you’d like a copy of my book Soul Survivor, jump online to www.carrensmith.com and grab your copy from the home page.
If you have a question you’d like answered, email Carren on email@example.com.
We have no idea when our time is up ... the last thing we want is to wish we had done things differently
DEVASTATION: An aerial view of the bomb blast scene days after the attack in October 2012. Almost 200 people died, including many Australians.