The Burden of Causing an Accidental Death

Alec Baldwin is hardly alone. How does someone go on with life after unintentionally killing someone?


By Maryann J. Gray

Each year, thousands of people in the U.S. learn what it means to live with the grief and guilt of having accidentally killed someone. I am one of them. For the most part, our suffering is invisible and irrelevant to those outside our circle of family and friends. We occupy a murky status—we are neither victims nor perpetrators.

Recent events, however, have brought new attention to the experience of unintentional killing. On Oct. 21, the actor and producer Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while filming a movie in New Mexico.

He tweeted, “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness.” That highly publicized tragedy unfolded, of course, against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which families and friends have had to face the possibility of infecting each other accidentally, with potentially fatal results. The realization that good intentions are no assurance of benign outcomes is painful and frightening.

Publish : 2021-11-21 10:40:00

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