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Random tragic memory found in my old diary **Content Warning** Title edited by MNHQ
335

cardiologist349275 · 04/12/2021 15:36

Sorry this isn't an AIBU but I didn't know where to put this. I was going through 20+ years of diaries and came across a story my mum told me before she died.

There was a little girl who went to school with my brother. She had a brain tumour. She was extremely unwell but still went to school every day, and one boy was always bullying her and pushing her over in the playground and she would cut her knees open all the time. The teacher was also a nasty bully (this was the 80s so she got away with it for years) and was very cruel to the girl because she had to wear trousers because she couldn't cope with a skirt, but she found the trouser buttons really hard to do up and the teacher would pick on her about it and not help her. She died on the day of the school play aged five.

My Mum was haunted by it and never forgot that little girl who she said was so, so sweet.

To add to the family's tragedy, their other daughter sadly suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had to live in sheltered accommodation. One day about ten years ago the mother went to visit her, not knowing the daughter was having an episode and had snuck a knife into the flat. She was stabbed to death.

Though I never knew any of these people, I think of them often. Their tragedy has been lost to time, but I think if I remember them then they won't just be....gone.

Does anyone else have any memories of other people that come back to them in a haunting way?

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6demandingchildren · 05/12/2021 15:41

I think I must of been about 9 as it was when my mum used to send me away for the school holidays and my dad collected me and told me that my friend nichola had been killed crossing a busy road with her brother, her brother was never the same after that and he always blamed himself.

Also I often think of a girl from my junior school I think her name was [redacted] she was stunningly beautiful with curly red hair and freckles but she was always in dirty clothes and was never clean herself, I remember going to her house as she lived near the park and it was bare no carpet or much furniture and I remember a baby in a bouncy chair and ripped curtains, one day she just never came back to school and I honestly hope that her life got better, I have tried looking for her but hopefully she has got married or was adopted so her name has changed.

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EmbarrassingHadrosaurus · 05/12/2021 15:34

my mum was devastated as she loved him as her own

There are regions in the US where they talk about your family and your neighbourhood family. They genuinely take people to their hearts as if they were sons, daughters, parents and it's a tremendous source of support and celebration in life and a source of grief when something happens to that extended family. A family friend grieved for the loss of a neighbourhood son who had been a significant part of her life for his whole life, in and out of her home with her own boys.

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Comedycook · 05/12/2021 15:30

Yes it is awful to read how sadistic and vile some of these teachers were.

Not as awful as some of these stories..in fact it's barely comparable but when I was at school in my very early teens, my mum died. One day I was in a lesson, we'd just finished pe. Another teacher marched in and told me to stand up in front of the class. I was then accused of stealing another girls tights from the changing room. I never took them...and I told the teacher that. It was humiliating. Now as an adult, I look back and think if I thought a teen girl who had recently lost her mum was stealing tights, I think I'd show her compassion, not try to shame her.

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lollipoprainbow · 05/12/2021 15:26

My much older brother had a best friend growing up who was like one of the family as he was always at our house. I remember vividly coming home from school one day and my mum was in tears, he had been killed laying cats eyes in the road by a lorry driver who just didn't see him in time and he was hit badly in the head. He was gorgeous and has his whole life ahead of him. They played bright eyes at his funeral, my mum was devastated as she loved him as her own. A few years later his cousin was killed cycling through a graveyard, he turned to speak to his friend and bashed his head on a gravestone. We always felt the family were cursed. Just awful.

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ninnynonny · 05/12/2021 15:22

@NannyOggsWhiskyStash

I still wonder about a girl who was at my primary school, in the 70s called Geraldine, who had really disfiguring eczema. The other kids used to chase her around the playground and throw things at her. It really disturbed me, and of course the teachers did nothing to stop it. I hope she's living her best life now

The 70's was a horrible decade to be at school and be 'different'. Teachers really didn't intervene or seem to care. I had to be 'tough' and deal with it.
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NannyOggsWhiskyStash · 05/12/2021 15:14

I still wonder about a girl who was at my primary school, in the 70s called Geraldine, who had really disfiguring eczema. The other kids used to chase her around the playground and throw things at her. It really disturbed me, and of course the teachers did nothing to stop it. I hope she's living her best life now

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wombat1a · 05/12/2021 14:45

Small rural primary school, < 100 kids added 5->11, there was a little girl called Yasmin who at the time I think was only 6 or 7 who had some difficulty pronouncing a few words. The teachers were great with her and even the head used to spend extra time with her to help her progress. Her parents went to see a show in the local city and were killed in a car crash coming back. She never came back to school again, we were told she and her brother/sister were being taken in by her grandparents. I always wonder how she is now - I guess she is around 48 now and I hope she is w doing great.

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MrsBobDylan · 05/12/2021 14:40

I am so, so sorry for each and every one of these poor souls who were robbed of life in such tragic circumstances.

We should be thankful today that we are here and take care to live the happiest, most joyful life we can.

And never, never let child abuse go unchallenged.

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SchadenfreudePersonified · 05/12/2021 14:34

@WhatDidISayAlan

The one that sticks with me is from when I was around 7 years old, so around 1979. We were eating our breakfast and heard a car screech outside on the main road. My mum legged it out of the house, and I remember her shouting at my dad to “take the children into the back room and call an ambulance”.

She ran back inside and I remember her running downstairs with a red blanket. Later in she told us that our paper boy had been run over and had been taken to hospital. What she didn’t tell us, and what I didn’t learn until I was an adult, is that he had died in her arms. He was 13. She also died early, but she and my dad never forgot him, and my dad always lit a candle at Mass when his anniversary came around.

This is dreadfully sad (as are all of the stories on here), but I am so glad your mam was able to do something for that poor child.

If I had been his mother, it would have been a comfort to me in my grief to know that he hadn't died without a loving human touch.
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TenGames · 05/12/2021 13:49

So many that I still think about 30 years on.

A girl in my class at high school had 3 younger siblings. The youngest a toddler. They were playing hide and seek and somehow the smallest got stuck in the tumble drier that then got turned on. Poor poor family.

Boy I went to school with went on to medical school. Quiet studious type. When on a lads holiday 19/20 fell of a high rise balcony after the first night's partying.

15 year old out jogging at dusk knocked down and killed by a cyclist a couple of years older.

1st year high school so 11/12, boy and his cousin went out on quad bike on the cousin's farm. The boy died instantly of head injuries. We was such a gentle soul.

5th former took is own life on the train tracks. Story was his father had arranged a marriage is the old country and beat him regularly.

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SlamLikeAGuitar · 05/12/2021 13:34

These are so sad Sad
The one that I can never let go of and it haunts me, is when I was 16, in basic training with the army, a lad the same age as me crossed the finish line of our regimental cross country race and dropped dead from cardiac arrest.

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zingally · 05/12/2021 13:31

There was a family of 3 girls who went to my school. The oldest was my sisters age, the second was a year older than me, and the youngest was 2 years behind me.
The youngest had cystic fibrosis and was really bad with it. I remember seeing her get physio in the school library every lunch time from one of the teaching assistants. She ended up dying in her late teens, probably the better part of 15 years ago now. We weren't friendly, but I do think of her a couple of times a year. What a short and difficult life she must have had.

Thing was, her 2 older sisters were both horrible bullies. But thinking back now, they probably felt very pushed aside by all the care the youngest one needed, and were just reacting to that.

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DeadoftheMoon · 05/12/2021 13:15

@LuneyTunes

I disagree, in the main though that may be some posters' intentions. No one has described a tragedy as 'interesting'. It's a collective commemoration. Often these aren't experiences you can bring up in day to day life, 'oh, remember that horrible tragedy' in Costa Coffee. But in this context, it's an act of remembrance and showing these people, however closely or distantly known, and their grieving families are acknowledged and remembered, and a reminder to hold you own family closer if you're lucky to have one. Not 'salacious' in this context, many of these experiences have really haunted & stayed with people & it's an outlet for that, nothing untoward.

This.

It's also an unusual, infrequent opportunity to express that people have mattered to you, and that their sorrow touched you. Thank you for this thread.
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DeadoftheMoon · 05/12/2021 13:09

@tearsforfears72

Lisa Hession. She was a few years older than me, murdered walking home from a party nearly 40 years ago now. I think about her frequently and about how much of life she missed out on due to someone’s unspeakable cruelty. I hope one far justice will come for her.

I recently bought a pin badge from Rosie's Plaques, which says on it, 'In memory of our sisters, who were just walking home.' I'll add Lisa Hession to 'our sisters', Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.
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Baileys123 · 05/12/2021 12:50

Sad
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LemonJuiceFromConcentrate · 05/12/2021 12:13

There may be some exceptions, but the tone of reflection and authentic tenderness in many of the stories here is striking.

Calling the thread grief tourism and gossip, assuming the worst possible motives for it, seems unfair.

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NannyOggsWhiskyStash · 05/12/2021 12:09

This thread has really taken me back, some very sad stories, did not expect to be in tears today. I had a friend, Julie in primary school who had to move away with her mum, as her dad was beating the crap out of the mum. Still think of her and am in my 50s now. Also my brothers' best friend Alan, who was hit by a removal van while at primary, it was just awful, especially as he was an only child of elderly parents. A very good friend, who died of a drug OD, what made it worse was that we had fallen out before. Just tragic.

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EmbarrassingHadrosaurus · 05/12/2021 11:30

In Anglo-Saxon, there's a phrase longsumne lof - it expresses the idea that people and their lives live on when they're remembered, and the implication is with love or for their admirable actions, or just for who they were.

The concept is that we live on in the hearts and minds of others who keep us alive by telling stories of us. I often think of this when I recall stories that people tell of kind actions, or of people they remember who died.

When I was a child, we weren't necessarily allowed to attend a funeral or talk to the parents of a dead friend so we didn't ever get to tell them what they meant to us. Many posters here are telling stories of people who touched their lives or hearts and whom they remember sometimes decades later. I would hope that nobody recognises most of the stories here but that the knowledge that it might bring some balm to some that nobody ever truly knows the impact of some lives upon others.

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FlorenceNightshade · 05/12/2021 11:23

For those that are saying negative things about the spirit of this thread may I just say this.....As a parent of someone who was lost in what could be considered "tragic circumstances" after a short life that while happy was definitely tinged with sadness and fate dealt a cruel hand I would be so happy to know that someone else remembers him, thinks about him, cared about him etc
When you lose someone one of the hardest things (in my experience) is that the world seems to keep turning while yours has stopped. You feel that your loss is forgotten as others get on with their own lives. I would definitely take comfort from knowing that people outside the family remember him and how unfair the world can be.
Just my take on this. Love and light to all

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Youdoyoutoday · 05/12/2021 10:37

In primary school, my friend Joseph just disappeared one day, I still wonder what happened. My mum came along once on a school trip, very rare as she used to work cash in hand in those days, the 80s. I think she spoke to Joseph's mum that day and gathered that the father was a nasty piece of work. I think Joseph and his mum just did a runner one day. I hope they made it somewhere safe.

Another boy in primary school, started half way through the year, incredibly shy, he had an extra finger on 1 hand and was teased. I tried to be his friend and stop others being mean but he'd lash out when feeling threatened, he did hit me a few times but I never took badly, I really just wanted to help him, I often wonder how he is. He didn't stay at the school long.

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LuneyTunes · 05/12/2021 10:34

I disagree, in the main though that may be some posters' intentions. No one has described a tragedy as 'interesting'. It's a collective commemoration. Often these aren't experiences you can bring up in day to day life, 'oh, remember that horrible tragedy' in Costa Coffee. But in this context, it's an act of remembrance and showing these people, however closely or distantly known, and their grieving families are acknowledged and remembered, and a reminder to hold you own family closer if you're lucky to have one. Not 'salacious' in this context, many of these experiences have really haunted & stayed with people & it's an outlet for that, nothing untoward.

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TheLovelinessOfBaublyDemons · 05/12/2021 10:18

@MojoMoon

Shocking how many of these are deaths by vehicles. We really should have better infrastructure and safer and slower road design as well as stricter enforcement of traffic rules.

I think often of a girl who was briefly at school with me aged 9 or 10 ish.
I realise now she was clearly the victim of some pretty horrific abuse - her behaviour and language was so sexualised and unsettling. She would be horrendously coquettish to adults. I shudder now to think what she must have experienced to be behaving like that and relating to adults like that.
At the time, I thought she was very naughty and (as a massive goody two shoes and swot), someone to be avoided and maybe even sneered at.
She was only there a few months and then disappeared suddenly to some sort of "special school".
I hope she got the therapy she needed and forged a happier life as an adult although sadly I am also old enough now to know how unlikely that is.

I'm in a Discord server full of people who've been through this. It's so sad.
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NinetyNineRedBalloonsGoBy · 05/12/2021 10:14

This whole thread is grief tourism at its worst. Gossiping about real people's tragedies whilst hiding behind a pretence of "oh it made me feel so sad". I am astounded at the fact that people are being named.

Every person described on here had someone who loved them. What if someone reading this recognises THEIR own child / friend / family member in these stories? And sees that their loved one has been reduced to a bit of salacious gossip on an Internet forum? Defined by their "interesting" death rather than their lives, loves, hopes and dreams.

These are real life tragedies not Sunday morning entertainment. Please stop.

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TheMadGardener · 05/12/2021 09:56

@orangejuicer

A guy murdered his family and then killed himself. The eldest son sat behind me in A-level History class. He never got his results and he was so bright. I think about him quite often. This was 1999ish.

@orangejuicer

Was this in Cornwall?
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rach2713 · 05/12/2021 09:31

I have 2 thats haunt me. A boy was 3/4 his mum had left a chip pan on and it caught fire in the night he died but they got out.

Another was a girl i knew in secondary school year 9 died of meningitis was a shock as she was in school the day before she died..

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