Anyone else out there lost someone through a car accident? I want to start a support thread.

(26 Posts)
FlatsInDagenham Fri 01-Nov-13 17:18:14

I don't know anyone in RL who has been through this. I want to talk with others who understand.

Whether your loss was recent or a long time ago, please come and talk.

FlatsInDagenham Fri 01-Nov-13 17:27:31

I'll start - I lost my mum in an accident a little under 15 years ago. I was in my twenties. Now I'm 40 with two young children. My mum is a grandma x6 but all were born since she died, so she never met any of them.

Something that really bothers me is my paranoia about it happening again - to me, my DH, my dad (who survived the accident that killed my mum) and worst of all, my children. I worry all the time that one of us could so easily be wiped out like this. Losing mum made something that happens to other people into something that happens to us. It often makes outings far more stressful than they need be.

Does anyone else have this paranoia?

Spacefrog35 Fri 01-Nov-13 17:34:28

Yes. I lost a close friend a few years ago & have exactly the same paranoia. I think losing someone so suddenly is always going to make you face the fact that our time together can be cut short. I try to focus on appreciating each moment & living each moment to its fullest but it's not easy.

I'm sorry for your loss thanks

DoItTooJulia Fri 01-Nov-13 17:44:37

I lost my best friend in a rtc 17 years ago, when we were 17.

I still worry now about my loved ones travelling in the car. I didn't drive for 10 years afterwards and had complete panic attacks when I got in the car as a passenger. I have jumped out of a moving car and had to have Valium and beta blockers to go to a friends wedding that was a couple of hours drive away.

I'm not sure it ever fully goes away. It gets lesser.

My grief for my friend is still fairly raw too. I recently had a thread on here about it.

So sorry for your loss. Here to chat if it helps.

FlatsInDagenham Fri 01-Nov-13 18:24:35

Spacefrog, sorry about your friend. You make a good point about living in the moment - it's great in theory but difficult in practice. There's always some mundane task to do or something to worry about. I must try harder to enjoy everything and let silly worries melt away.

FlatsInDagenham Fri 01-Nov-13 18:33:34

DoittooJulia, your paranoia sounds really difficult to handle. Were you involved in the rtc that your friend was in? I still drive, perhaps more cautiously than before, but mostly I hate being a passenger when DH drives. He is too fast and makes sudden moves. He will not take any criticism though so I just grip tight and try to get through it sad.

DoItTooJulia Fri 01-Nov-13 18:57:16

Its much better nowadays, helped by me driving. My DH was my boyfriend when it was at its worst. It was his car I got out of when he was driving. He has been fantastic. Can you talk to your DH at all?

I wasn't in the crash, but around that time was in a minor one.

I was supposed to be going out with my friend the night before the crash, but she cancelled as she wanted to be fresh for the drive. She had only been driving a week or so and had a fairly long drive to tackle.

Is so sad to lose someone like this. I know all losses at sad and terrible, mind.

FlatsInDagenham Fri 01-Nov-13 21:17:44

Yes all losses are terrible. I certainly don't mean to imply that it's worse when it's an accident rather thsn an illness. It's not worse. Just different.

DoIt that is so sad about your friend being on her first major drive, and preparing sensibly for it.

My mum was an experienced and sensible driver. Yet it was her mistake that caused the accident. I struggle with that too.

Teslaedison Wed 06-Nov-13 00:42:20

My husband died after his car skidded intoi a river near our home. Thankfully my daughter had the sense to unbuckle herself, hold her breath and escape through a broken submerged window.

I also crashed my car in the same place. I had to kick the window out as we were locked in the car and it was filling with water.

As I had no mobile reception I sent the children to run back to the hamlet whilst I attempted to get into my husband's car.

You have to pick yourself up and carry on. Life is too short. It's hard, but it is still living. I know it will get better because I am going to make sure that it will.

DevonCiderPunk Wed 06-Nov-13 03:43:12

Yep. Marking my place as it's a great idea for a support thread.

lookout Wed 13-Nov-13 18:56:29

My bother died after he was hit by a car crossing the road 5.5 years ago. I worry all the time about it happening to my kids or dh. When I'm walking with a road near me, and I see the cars travelling even at 30mph I almost always think about what it must have been like in the last seconds to have something that huge and powerful heading for you and not being able to do anything about it. I am also unable to forgive the driver.

It is so hard because cars/driving/crossing the road is something we have to do every day so it's very hard to break the association. Knowing others have paranoia about this helps though.

GiantSnailFeelers Thu 14-Nov-13 10:12:23

dh died after being hit by a huge lorry in the drivers side aug 2009

hugs to all

LalyRawr Thu 14-Nov-13 10:18:08

My parents and younger brother died when they were hot by a drunk/high driver.

It was 12 years ago and I've not been in a car or any vehicle which goes on the road since without panic attacks and hysteria.

I broke my legs a few years ago and had to be sedated to get into the ambulance, I was assuring them I could walk to the hospital.

I walked home the day after giving birth.

Rooners Thu 14-Nov-13 10:32:51

I don't want to butt in on this as I have been very very lucky and not lost someone in this way.

However I had a very near miss last year in the ice, and as we were heading towards a junction with a truck coming towards it and no brakes, I was very surprised to find that I did not feel any fear.

I think because I was in charge and was focused on trying to do something, even though there wasn't much, I had a rush of adrenalin and it was interesting but not frightening.

I don't know if that makes sense. I was frightened afterwards, when I realised how fast my heart was beating and how close we had come to being hit, but not while it was happening.

Therefore I wonder if it might be the same, for other people...it gives me comfort when I hear about awful collisions and so on, to know that the people involved may not have been afraid. Particularly if it was very quick.

I will go now but just wanted to put that out there in case it helps someone x

Aarow Thu 14-Nov-13 20:11:54

My first DH (I have remarried) was killed in Jan 2006, we had three DC together and had married two months before. He was killed after being driven into by a drunk driver, I was driving the car and he was sitting at the back, with my youngest. My youngest was fine.

I go on cars and buses fine. Or rather, I force myself to get into them, and have a panic attack every time. I drive myself fine, but being a passenger in a car is just impossible, I hysicslly can't do it.

LalyRawr Thu 14-Nov-13 20:13:36

Rooners thank you for that. It makes me feel better to think maybe he wasn't scared.

neolara Thu 14-Nov-13 20:23:25

I don't know if this helps anyone, but I have a passenger in two car accidents where the cars were pretty much written off. Fortunately no-one was hurt. During the actual flipping over / skidding, both times I was very calm and not scared at all. Fear didn't really kick in until afterwards. I lost my dearly beloved cousin in a car accident nearly 30 years ago when I was a teenager. One of the things that played on my mind was that she must have been terrified during the crash. Now I think it is possible that she wasn't. And that helps.

FlatsInDagenham Mon 18-Nov-13 01:21:00

Yes it's a very good point being made about fear / lack of fear. I've also had two incidents where I thought I was about to have a serious accident. One was before my mum's accident, the other was since. And you're right, I wasn't scared at all, either time - not until afterwards. I just became very calm and pragmatic - my thoughts went something like: "Right, this is what's happening, the best thing I can do is xxx"

Those near misses happened whilst I was driving. I am still an extremely nervous passenger, although I try to hide it.

looseleaf Sat 23-Nov-13 22:21:55

I've joined this late and am so very sorry for those of you who've lost family. I too have been in a serious accident (rolling over in a car several times and ending upside down) but for me too it wasn't frightening until I thought it over much later as it was so quick. It just felt 'strange' but not scary. It's interesting those of you who are worried passengers as it's only just struck me that's why I get nervous and tell DH to slow down a lot... It helps I can make the link (I was only young and my mum was driving and skidded and we crashed through a fence and rolled down a hill) and explain

FlatsInDagenham Sun 24-Nov-13 22:51:43

Thank you looseleaf for sharing your story. It is truly comforting to believe that our loved ones weren't frightened at the end.

Another unique aspect to this (and any accidental death) is the unexpected nature of it. When someone dies from an illness, their family often have some time to process and prepare for what's to come. In some cases, where the illness has had devastating effect (such as dementia) the end can even be something of a relief, or at least an end to suffering. In sudden death, we had no time to prepare. Everything was normal then the next moment it was not. The day after my mum died, I recieved a Christmas card from her in the post.

Conversely, it can be seen positively that our relatives did not suffer illness and degeneration. They didn't face the truth of their mortality. They died while living life normally, happily. My mum was looking forward to Christmas, making preparations. My sibling spent an afternoon walking round the different butcher shops in our home town trying to locate the turkey she'd ordered! We found it. I think we ate it.

Notsurehowthathappened Mon 25-Nov-13 09:11:16

My DH was killed by a car driver. He was knocked off a bike on a quiet country lane, suffered severe brain damage and died in a coma 10 weeks later.

As others have said you carry on because there is no choice, but there is no doubt that it changes your perspective on life.

Prior to his accident I led a relatively charmed life, wonderful family, fantastic home, good job, great friends etc.

Picking up the pieces for me meant a 200 mile move to be closer to my family. Now I live somewhere I am not that keen on, have few friends and still can't find the right job.

However the impact on my confidence about life in general has been far more marked. I am constantly nervous about those closest to me and I know it drives them nuts. If my daughter goes away for the weekend I feel physically sick until I know she is home and safe. I have also lost the confidence I used to have about travelling. I have travelled extensively both for work and pleasure, but am now terrified of the thought of getting on a plane.

I have no idea how you fix or change that fear. I still panic when the phone rings unexpectedly (my Dad was also killed in am accident 5 months after DH) and can't bear the thought of another 'come to A&E urgently' phone call in my life.

ChablisChic Tue 26-Nov-13 16:41:28

My daughter was killed 7 years ago in a multiple collision caused by a load of lads racing each other. She was 21 and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I can empathise with many of the feelings others have expressed - I am a terrible car passenger as I hate not feeling in control. I'm also becoming a more nervous driver as time goes on, which I'm fighting to overcome.

It's interesting to hear those who have had bad accidents recount how they felt at the time; my DD died instantly, but there must have been a few seconds of realisation - I've often wondered about what she felt, so it's heartening to hear that perhaps it wasn't as bad as I've imagined.

notsure - I am with you on the panic when the phone rings unexpectedly. I've moved house since DD's accident, but when we lived in the old house I used to freeze if I heard a car pull up outside late at night, if my younger DD was out somewhere, fearing the worst.

thanks to all who have been in this situation. Sadly, there are thousands of us, and I get so cross when I see careless/thoughtless drivers.

MNPlovesChristmas Wed 27-Nov-13 00:45:15

I suffered a blow out and rolled and totally my car in my mid 20's, doing the speed limit as others have said at the time i had concern for my younger sisters in the car with me but no fear.

That hit after we were all out and looking at the car.

It made me a more cautious driver for a while but as i had to drive to do my job later that same day at my HGV driving DDad's insistence, with him beside me i got behind the wheel of a hire car and we drove around for an hour or so even going onto the M5 and it was ok.

I drive a lot still, easily doing 20k a year and enjoy driving and much prefer it to being a passenger unless i can crochet, read or sleep whilst another person drives.

Andro Wed 04-Dec-13 23:14:46

My DSil (who was also one of my best friends) and her DH were killed by an idiotic asshole, their DS was in the car as well and sustain a significant head injury as a result of flying debris leaving him with amnesia for years.

Their DS is still having therapy for the PTSD the accident left him with, not even close to fully recovered yet the asswipe who caused it is already out of prison.

I'm a good driver, I've had a lot of training beyond my initial drivers license, but it really doesn't matter. However skilled, careful and aware you are, if someone else is far enough out of control there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

lubylou69 Tue 10-Dec-13 01:35:53

I hope you don't mind but I would really like to share my story. A few months ago whilst on the motorway a driver three lanes away had missed there junction and cut across the heavy traffic, hit two other cars and all of them slid into me I spun across the MW hit the barrier and flipped and rolled down the embankment. I had to be cut out and have a fractured neck. I'm really struggling to come to terms with this and don't feel anyone in RL understands.
I can honestly say I saw what was about to hit me and even up till getting in the ambulance I felt no fear whatsoever, none of it seemed real. It was so fast and I hope all of you loved ones felt no fear either. I'm really sorry for your losses and would be great full for advice on how you all cope.
I wish there was more support for people who have been bereaved this way it's so difficult.

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