And like that…. he was gone. 105



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I feel like no one ever talks about sudden deaths. Well, I’m hear to break the silence. I had a son who died in 2008 and since that day, I’ve never been the same.

I hear those stories of sad, long illnesses where the person fights for months and even years. The family knew of the sick person’s fate for a while, and they were able to come to terms with it (as much as possible obviously).

For me, I never had a chance to say goodbye or a chance to turn back the clock. I live every day in a nightmare, at least thankful I still have my daughter-in-law and the beautiful grandchildren. But it will never bring back my 38-year-old son who had so much to live for.

It was December 2008 when I got the phone call. It was so strange – as I was walking towards the phone I felt goosebumps raise up, even though it was a hot summer’s night. I sensed there was something wrong immediately, and I was right. It was a constable from the local police station, confirming my name. He said, “I’m terribly sorry Miss Edelman, but your son has been in a serious accident”. I rushed to the hospital to find my son had already passed away. He was lying in the hospital bed, tubes all around him, and all alone. I crumbled and the hospital staff had to carry me over. I could no comprehend what had happened and even now thinking of the moment I saw my son’s lifeless body is very hard.

The doctors explained that they took him straight into the theatre with major head trauma and he died soon after from the impact – they did everything they could. The force of the accident was too much for my poor boy. What I didn’t realise immediately was that his wife and two children were also in the car, and they were all in intensive care. They had all suffered life-threatening injuries, and my granddaughter would require skin grafts.

I relive that day every day and play it over and over. Maybe he could have stayed at my house that night…. so many what ifs. It took me over a year to come to the realisation that he was never coming back and it wasn’t my fault.

Thankfully, my grandchildren and daughter-in-law recovered and are all now in good health. They miss their daddy so much, though, and I can’t help but wonder which is worse: losing your father, brother, son or husband in a collision, or watching them wither away with cancer? I’m still not sure.

I hope more people can open up about loss and know that they’re not alone. Grieving is so varied and only you can say when you are moving on, if you ever do. I know I won’t be able to, until my son and I meet again.

Share your thoughts below.

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  1. I am going through the opposite. 20 months of treatment, long hospital stays, time at home when he is too sick to talk, walk or eat. Moments of hope. I don’t think there is a ‘best’ way to go.

    2 REPLY
    • No there is no best way! Sending you a big hug. My husband was terminally ill for five years – hospitals, five surgeries (all life threatening) – and with four little boys – It is just not easy ……

  2. Heartbreaking, it would be the hardest thing to come to terms with, my heart goes out to those that have had to go through this.

  3. he dropped me at the gym at 6:30am. by 1:30pm he was gone. yes. you are right. its very hard.

  4. Yes my only sister went to bed at 2 pm for a rest . Found dead at 4 pm . still miss her 7 years on

  5. My Mum did that went in to lay down starting coughing and was gone in seconds her Aorta ruptured the hardest part was we didn’t get to be with her and say Goodbye the same with my eldest son i miss them so much

  6. I feel your pain. My grandson was taken from us when he was 21 years old. Killed in a robbery. Even the fact that the guys are in prison does not take away the pain. It will always be with us. You just learn to cope with it. I lean on God for comfort. Blessings.

  7. Hubby suicide, May 2007. The shock set in during the 000 phone call. The following year my physical repercussions were endless; anxiety, depression, complete insomnia, hair loss, weight loss, oral thrush, Immediately post menopausal, lack of concentration.. (Which persists) and memory loss.
    Suicide doesn’t end pain, it just places it on the broken shoulders of the survivors. 😔

    11 REPLY
    • My art goes out to you, Joanne. There are no words of comfort that I can offer, but may I say I do understand some of your pain.

    • 1990 is when my phone rang with the same news. I had all the symptoms you list. 10 years later, my head popped up out of the dark cloud. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • I got a knock at the door one saturday morning to find two police officers standing there , broke the news that mine had killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning in the forrest . Told me the day before he was going camping …..

    • Tonia Collinske I’m glad you survived & sorry for your loss.
      I have a wonderful new understanding partner… Not everyone understands that grief is a roller-coaster!
      My best wishes to you & yours. 💞

    • So sorry Joanne, unfortunately the one left behind are the ones who go through hell. Suicide would leave you with so many unanswered questions. Thinking of you.

    • Diane Jones I can imagine how your life must’ve gone into ‘freefall’. I hope you’ve managed to get through it okay, and know that there’s anything you could’ve done. It was his choice; I still can’t decide whether it’s an act of cowardice (as many of my peers commented) or bravery.

    • Lorraine Burans-Kerr Many thanks for your comment Lorraine… It true, the ‘What if’s’ and ‘If Only’s’ torment for years!

  8. I share your pain.We lost our beloved daughter, age 44, from sudden asphyxiation very recently. She has a young family. We are all in shock. Life has changed so suddenly. It is difficult to face each day. Cherish your loved ones because any moment can be the last.

    2 REPLY
  9. So very sorry for everyone
    my husband was given 6 months ,it doesn’t prepare you
    You all feel your pain ,and I feel mine
    We are the only ones who know the depth of that

  10. My Daughter died in a horse accident and was on life support for 4 days my husband died in his sleep. I have been through Both ways and to me grief is no different, I still grieve over my Daughter even though it is 16 years and my Darling Husband 3 I wish I could have both back today. I just have to carry on even though it is hard, at times. My love is still there. And I have lovely memories from both as well as a lovely Grandson.

    1 REPLY

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