Anyone else out there lost someone through a car accident? I want to start a support thread.(36 Posts)
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.
I lost my brother over 20 years ago to a RTA. I empathise with all of you. The fear never goes away and I made my family's life a misery with it.
to all. I know just how you feel.
CP, I'm so sorry, thinking of you and your mum.
My dad died last year after being hit by a (stolen, speeding) car while crossing the road. I still can't comprehend that one minute he was here, and then he wasn't. It's massively affected my life over the last year, which is understandable I guess. The worst thing is hearing the doorbell, as I flashback to when the police turned up that night.
I haven't tried counselling yet, although my DH keeps suggesting it. I think I'm just living in a bit of a bubble and going through the motions, as long as I don't have too much time to think I can keep functioning.
DM was killed in a car accident 17 years ago. Her friend who was driving nodded off at the wheel, we think. DM was the front seat passenger and was killed by the seat belt tightening, but not releasing and her chest was crushed. I am lucky, in that a friend's husband was a firefighter on the scene and a neighbour was the chief paramedic, so I know they did everything they could for her. The shock was horrendous, but with the hindsight of years, I am oddly grateful that this is how she went out. I did not have to see her deteriorate or be overcome by dementia. I still remember her as she was, and that is a blessing. DF was not so lucky and even though I know it was illness that made him so horrible, I still do not miss him and find it difficult to remember him as he was before he became so ill.
I found habit was a great way of coping. I am a creature of habit anyway, but picking up the things that I usually did was a good way to move forward. If I had sat at home and sobbed in a corner (which DF thought I should have done) DM would have come back to haunt me. It wasn't easy and there are some days that it still isn't easy. Some days it feels as if it just happened a moment ago and I can barely breathe. Certain songs trigger tears. Knowing that DM never got to know DB's children and they will never know about her because of his stupid behaviour (long story) hurts. It does make me more aware of my surroundings when I am driving, although I am as guilty as anyone else of sometimes not paying as much attention as I ought to do. It hurts that she is not here to see my granddaughter, who bears DM's name as part of her own. It hurts that she won't see DD2 graduate next summer. But life has to go on and I have learned to cope without her most of the time.
But there's always a hollow space where she should have been.
I know most of the posts on this thread are very old but just wanted to thank those who came on to reassure that they felt no fear when in the midst of a serious accident. It would give me so much peace to know my DH was not afraid or in pain in his final moments.
My DH died in a car accident 9 years ago, leaving me 8 months pregnant with our 3rd child. He only nipped out a couple of miles down the road to get the Sunday papers. I still struggle to comprehend it. I am an entirely different person now. Everything I knew and thought I knew about my life, my future, gone in a moment.
I've re-built what looks like a fairly decent life from the outside but inside am a very sad person. I can rarely answer the phone. I panic if it rings. I'm very anxious. I have no friends anymore, only acquaintances, as I can't let anyone "in" and start to back away/withdraw/let people down if they get too close. Self preservation.
CP and everyone else on this thread who has been thorough this,
I hope you find comfort in the posts that say that they felt no fear.
I have resurrected this thread as my lovely mum was killed in a car accident last week. The stories so far are both sad yet strangely reassuring. As details of the accident become clear I have awful thoughts running through my head, and reading others' experiences really does help.
to you all.
I am sorry to here of your horrific experience LL. I had a Motorway accident 20 years ago and also fractured my neck. I was lucky, it eventually healed and although I still experience pain on occassion it is very rare. I hope you will heal as well.
With regard to coping with this sort of experience, or the loss of a partner in the kind of accident my DH had, I firmly believe that you have to dig deep and find the inner strength to cope. Friends and family will offer support, but you have to have a determination that it will not define your life.
I took one day at a time and treated myself with kindness. If I stumbled and found it difficult to cope one day, I didn't beat myself up about it. I recognised everything I had lost, but thought about and valued all the gifts I had in my life. When I woke up in the morning I focused on and felt grateful for the fact I was alive, had a roof over my head, could afford to eat, had a wonderful family and good friends. By starting each day with positive thoughts I found it easier to cope.
Over time the shock and grief becomes easier to bear. I dont believe that time heals grief, but I do believe you grow a bigger life around that grief. It becomes an encapsulated part of your life experience.
Many, many years later, I can dissolve in tears over a piece of music, the smell of a particular aftershave, or the sight of a photograph. I can also crumble when faced with a simple household problem that normally we would have shared. But I have survived and I have a happy and fulfilling life !!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Rooners thank you for that. It makes me feel better to think maybe he wasn't scared.
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.
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
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.
dh died after being hit by a huge lorry in the drivers side aug 2009
hugs to all
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