Answer by Anonymous:
The worst day of my life was 26th November, 2008. I lost my wife and son to an act of utter randomness.
I was staying at the Taj Palace, Mumbai on the way back to the US. I can never feel safe in a hotel again.
Terrorists swarmed the hotel that night killing everyone they could find. My wife and son were in the reception area downstairs waiting for us to leave. I was just getting everything packed up back in my room when I first heard the bullets.
My first instinct was to rush out and find my wife and son. And then I felt I heard gunshot right outside in the corridor and people screaming in rooms nearby. I still can't forgive myself for my cowardice. I dived behind the thick curtains in my room.
I don't know how long I was there, I passed out because of sheer fear. You only see such things in the movies. You are more likely to climb Mt. Everest than be in a hostage situation.
When I came to my senses, everything was much quieter. People were running around, firevans were screaming outside, someone was bending over me as I was moved out on a stretcher… without a scratch…
That's when it hit me…. I had no clue where my wife and son were. I tried to say something but the words wouldn't come out.
I hate myself for my cowardice that day. My wife and son were shot in cold blood in the reception below. I don't know what I could have done but knowing that I had passed out of fear hiding behind a curtain in a locked room, just sickens me when I think of how my family was brutally massacred, perhaps the last thought going through their minds that they would never see me again.
If you think of it, we were on our way out and would have left the hotel in another 15 minutes. We ended up being on the wrong side of those 15 minutes. How many times do you say goodbye to someone, planning to meet them within 5 mins in the same building, and then lose them forever? It isn't supposed to happen! Never!
I criticized how my wife was looking that day. I made a big fuss about how her hair was thinning too fast. Her last words to me as she left the room to go down were: "No one is perfect. If you lose me, you'll know the magic of these moments that you're wasting by complaining about my looks." She used to say this often (speaks volumes about me) but I go nuts thinking how prophetic those words were that day.
I hate myself for that day and my life has never been the same, living in a mix of sorrow, guilt and regret.