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I lost a child 23 years ago at Dunblane. AMA

288 replies

dunblanemum · 13/03/2019 08:36

I have used this username a few times over the years but am a long time MN user.

I will answer any questions you have - apart from who my child was. I need a little privacy.

I am not doing this to whip up sympathy, i have made my peace with it. It is just in my mind today obviously and i know people i meet often have questions but feel embarrassed about asking. Ask away.

OP posts:
chocatoo · 13/03/2019 11:46

I am so sorry for your loss. Your post has made me weep but I am glad that you posted. Flowers

chnged4dis · 13/03/2019 11:47

Thank you for you replies, OP and Crockof. We are dealing with a yearning for another child, yet acutely aware of the consequences of going down that route. Unfortunately time is also of the essence so decision (we are trying now) has had to be's a very grey area. Your replies have helped.

CoolCarrie · 13/03/2019 11:49

My heart goes out to you and all the people of Dunblane. That day was the darkest day in Scotland’s modern history and your child and all the children and the teacher who died that day won’t be forgotten. I am glad you and your family have found peace.

Tractortod · 13/03/2019 11:50

I have to admit even the reading the title made me well up. Such a traumatic event, I cannot begin to wrap my head around a loss like this, or in such circumstances.

No questions. Just my deepest love and sympathy for you and your family today. You sound incredible.

dunblanemum · 13/03/2019 11:51

What was your little girl like? Did she enjoy school? Did she love her teacher (as most little kids do)? What is your fondest memory of her?

She was a lovely child but could be a bit deep at times (like her DF). She loved school and had loads of friends. The class teacher, Gwen Mayor, who died protecting the children, was wonderful and my DD adored her.

She was a very tidy and clean little girl and when all her friends were out in the garden playing she would be the only one who remained mud free. She had a pair of white shorts and my friends used to laugh and say she was the only child in the world who could wear such an item and keep them clean!

OP posts:
Rarfy · 13/03/2019 11:52

I have nothing to ask but i remember being in primary school when it happened and it wasnt long after we had locks on all external doors and big metal fences erected.

It really affected me at the time and i still find it devastating now. I am so very sorry for your loss and that you had to go through that. Heartbreaking.

Aeroflotgirl · 13/03/2019 11:53

Massive hugs, FlowersSad. I remember the Dunblane tragedy clearly. I bet it does not get any easier as the years go by.

twosoups1972 · 13/03/2019 11:55

Thank you so much for posting this OP and for your honesty. I remember it well, dh and I had just started seeing each other. We were out for a meal on the day it happened and we were both in shock.

I wish you peace Flowers

dunblanemum · 13/03/2019 11:56

The first is do you feel you were able to parent "normally" after this or do you feel that you were always a bit terrified for your children?

My second is how do you feel about the way the media discusses murderers?

Yes i was able to parent normally. I never wrapped my DC in cotton wool or became over protective. My DDs are both adults now. Both have travelled extensively and are very confident in themselves.

I don't really know what i feel about how the media portrays murders. I am not sure i can answer that adequately because my job has a bearing on this too. It isn't that i don't want to answer i just don't really have an answer.

OP posts:
OoohAyyye · 13/03/2019 11:59

Thank you for sharing OP. I am so very sorry for your loss. Like other posters you've made me weep and I'm thankful for the opportunity to stop and reflect on what happened and to have those children and their teacher in my thoughts.

I wish you and your family continued love and strength.

Skyejuly · 13/03/2019 12:04

I'm so sorry OP.
Thinking of all x

64sNewName · 13/03/2019 12:05

Thank you for posting, OP. Your wee girl sounds really sweet with her white shorts. I am sorry beyond words. It’s unimaginable.

On the day it happened I was living in a shared student flat in a nearby city. I heard about it from my flatmate, a normally cheerful rugged bloke who knocked on my door in tears after hearing the news on the radio. Nobody else was home and I remember how utterly inadequate anything we could say to each other felt. I’m not in touch with him any more but I know he’s a dad now and I’m sure he has never forgotten that day either.

dunblanemum · 13/03/2019 12:05

I would also like to add that one of the main things that kept us all going in the aftermath was retaining our sense of humour. i think people used to be shocked seeing people who had just lost their child laughing and enjoying themselves but it was so good sometimes just to laugh and feel normal. Please don't ever make anyone feel guilty for not being constantly miserable after being bereaved. Laughter is so good for the soul.

OP posts:
cjt110 · 13/03/2019 12:08

Thank you for being so brave to allow people to answer questions.

I was in Scotland, holidaying with my grandparents at the time. I was 9 and I remember on the jounery home we passed Dunblane in the coach and the driver turned the radiodown and we all had a moments silence.

I didn't understand the enormity being a child.

Coincidentally, I have just had a text from my son's school saying that they have performed a practice lockdown today and it went well. I wonder if the date is purely coincidence.

Blessing to you and yours Flowers

SalitaeDiscesa · 13/03/2019 12:10

I give him as little space in my mind as i possibly can.

I'm so glad that you are able to say this - and glad to see hardly any mention of his name on this thread. 'The perpetrator' is good enough for him. It's the children and their teacher that deserve to be remembered. My nephew is the same age and I will always remember them 💐

User07734 · 13/03/2019 12:11

Thank you for answering my questions. Your daughters sound ace and lucky to have such brilliant parents. Flowers

MarieIVanArkleStinks · 13/03/2019 12:14

I cannot imagine a more painful situation in life. My heart goes out to you OP and all others in such a terrible, terrible position.

Radio 4 (I think it was) did one of their reuniting programmes with relatives who had undergone similar experiences connected with this awful event. Few broadcasts have ever effected me to the extent of making me sob. This one did.

Flowers Flowers Flowers in memory of your loved one.

e1y1 · 13/03/2019 12:15

No questions but I'm very sorry do your loss Flowers

e1y1 · 13/03/2019 12:15


StarJumpsandaHalf · 13/03/2019 12:16


I don’t have a question, just observations. Your posts have moved me to tears OP, for you and your family, the children, community and everyone who’s affected by a loss like this.

I was a young mother of primary age DCs when this happened and still remember the shock and pain. My DCs never attended a school with security even after the Dunblame tragedy. No pin entry,
no locked gates or doors. It’s astonishing looking back.

Mamabearx4 · 13/03/2019 12:20

No questions

But wanted to say I have every respect for you and every family info led. I was a teenager when it happened and it broke my heart. I still remember it.

Sending lots of love xx

Livingoncake · 13/03/2019 12:23

Well, I think all of the questions that came to my mind have now been asked by other posters, but I just wanted to thank you, OP, for doing us the honour of speaking with us about your grief and your little girl.

I was 16 at the time, and it made news here in Australia. I remember my mum crying in front of the TV, saying “All those little babies...”. It was a horrible day. I’m glad you’ve made your peace with it OP. I’m so sorry.

paddlingwhenIshouldbeworking · 13/03/2019 12:25

I'd just like to thank you OP and all of the Dunblane community for the campaign against gun ownership. It is a phenomenal achievement that this has not happened since.

bobstersmum · 13/03/2019 12:29

Dunblane is something I will never forget, and what happened is something which I dread now that I have my own children. Our school has been practising lock down, in which the children have to hide, in case of an intruder or similar, I'm glad the school are being proactive but it makes the fear so much more real. I want to send you a hug op I'm so so sorry for what you went through.

Ozzybobgoblin · 13/03/2019 12:31

I'm so very sorry for your loss, those children and their teacher have never left my mind. I was 14 at the time and it is one of those moments in time that never left me. I remember our whole class writing letters to the parents. As a parent now it's unimaginable. Every time there is a school shooting in the US I think of Dunblane.

My question is how did you first hear something had happened at the school? Did you know children had been killed or did you not know the nature of the incident until later on? ( apologies if you have already answered this, pls ignore if so)

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