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.