I lost my baby … he was 34. 194



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I wanted to write this story after seeing that it was the first anniversary of Rosie Batty’s son’s death. It was heartbreaking to read her letter to Luke, gut wrenching in fact. It made all of my emotions come flooding back and so I wanted to share my story about the son I lost.

I lost my baby, but he was not an infant, he was 34. I lost him 7 years ago this year and it hurts every single day – still. He was my first and only child, who I had at 21 and was my only solace in this world. We went through everything together: an abusive husband, a woman’s shelter, and we came out the other side and turned life around. We went from nothing to having a modest home, and what I like to think was a happy home. Nicholas was the sunshine of my life.

That was, until one day the phone rang. It was 11am, so it wasn’t immediately jarring. I picked up the phone and it was like they were speaking in slow motion. “Miss Cummings, is your son Nicholas?” “Yes, who is this?” “This is Maureen from the Royal Prince Alfred, we have your son here”. He had been in a car accident.

I raced to the hospital, not being able to think. I had tears streaming down my face and I was blind with fear. I raced up to his ward and he was lying motionless in the bed, with tubes coming in and out of him. He needed an assisted breathing machine and had cuts on his forehead …I’ve tried not to commit the image to memory as hard as I try. He had been hit on the driver’s side by a drunk driver.

The next few days were a blur but he had head injuries and swelling on the brain and was not coming back. The doctors asked us if we wanted to make a decision about his life support. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. Should I keep him alive just to keep him here or should I let him go? 12 hours later, he became an angel.

That was 7 years ago and still, I mourn for the man who never had a chance to have children, who had just been promoted in his job, and who left behind a fiancee. She has since gone on to marry and she is like a surrogate daughter, which I thank God for every single day.

In the years since, I have been comforted by my friends and family. They often don’t know what to say, and don’t know that it hurts as if it happened yesterday. There’s a silent expectation that when someone dies, you need to get over it as soon as the funeral is over. But that isn’t the end, it’s not even close. And just because he wasn’t a baby when he died and he “lived a good life”, doesn’t mean he wasn’t my baby, even at 34.

I know there are many out there like me, and I have joined a support group, who I’m still with til this day. We sometimes have new people join and the profound grief they feel is heartbreaking. I always tell them that it is okay to show your feelings and to keep a diary as well. The pain never goes away, but it does get better. You have to not think about what they’re missing out on, but know that you will meet again one day.

If anyone out there on Starts at 60 has lost a child recently, please let someone help you. Let your friends and family in, or a professional at the very least. Crying is therapeutic. And keep your child’s spirit alive by doing something in their honour. I have guest spoken at schools about the dangers of drink driving and it was very cathartic for me. Please know you are not alone, we are all fighting something. Oh, and remember to breathe.

Thank you to our guest contributor Linda.

Have you lost a child or know someone who has? How did you or they deal with it? What has been your saving grace as you move on? 

Guest Contributor

  1. I have never lost a child but I can imagine there is no greater grief, it would be extremely hard to recover from it, I am very sorry for your loss. Your child will always live in your heart.

  2. My heart goes out to you , l cannot begin to imagine how much pain and sorrow your going through, l lost my husband 10 yrs ago but people have said this loss is totally different. May it in time become easier for you …. and of course they never leave you ….they are with you every single day ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. I also lost my baby boy he Also was 34 , and my baby . he also died 7 years ago but in my heart he will never be gone just away somewhere miss him soooo much xxccc

  4. Yes, it never goes away, could hardly bear to even read this story, I usually avoid anything like it. So sad for you.

  5. I admire your strength to be able to speak at schools about the stupidity of drink driving.

  6. While I have never lost a child I will never forget seeing and feeling the pain my grandmother went through losing her son( my uncle) and remember her saying you are not supposed to outlive your children. I am so sorry people have to go through this.

    3 REPLY
    • We do expect to say goodbye to our parents but not our children such a wrong thing to be doing. I begged for it to be me instead of our son

      1 REPLY
      • I lost my baby boy when he was 43. I had only spoken to him 1 hhour before. That was nearly 5 yrs ago and sometimes I think I am still in shock. He left behind 2 babies of his own,agaged 2 and 5.I have 3 other children but one is missing from our family and so hard to accept. The pain lessens with time but never goes away. I have tried not to overcompensate with constant calling on my other children too much, they have their lives to live, so I have thrown myself into various arts and crafts, which has helped. My sympathy to those who have lost children,I know their pain.

  7. My husband lost his only daughter when she was fifteen months old. She was thrown out of a car in a rollover. He doesn’t speak much about it, but I know he still feels the loss. Children aren’t supposed to pass away before their parents and parents never recover from such a loss, and especially if the child is an only child.

  8. My thoughts are with you. I can only imagine what it is like for you and yes one day you will be together again.

  9. So sad for the loss of your beautiful boy, but now as your angel he will always be by your side.
    You are one of this worlds silent heroes and thank you for sharing your heart wrenching story.
    I cannot even begin to imagine how hard life has been for you.
    Kind regards and may you go on helping others.

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