Random tragic memory found in my old diary **Content Warning** Title edited by MNHQ
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?
Alpacalunchbox · 04/12/2021 18:31
At sixth form a girl in the year above died in a car crash on her way to pick up her A Level results. It has stuck with me 25 years later. That she would have been feeling so excited/nervous about her results. That she never got to find out what they were. The university space she never got to take up. And of course her poor family, friends and boyfriend.
newtb · 04/12/2021 18:32
My best friend died when I was 11. It was just after they'd started using valium injections for tooth extractions, rather than gas. It meant that the dentist didn't have to pay for an anaesthetist to be there. Apparently she collapsed aarnd at the inquest the dentist, a private one, said that if he'd had another bottle of oxygen, he'd have been able to revive her. She had 2 sisters, 10 and 12 years older. I'd known her before I was 5, as I can remember her elder sister getting married. Her sisters had gone away to boarding school at 7, but she'd stayed home until 11.
The vicar was a friend of the family, and to make the funeral a celebration of life, they asked to have the choir. I'd been in the choir just about a year or so, and each time I looked up during the funeral I could see the coffin covered in flowers in the chancel, or if I looked to the right, I could see her parents, her sisters and their husbands, and other relations all of whom I knew. How I got through that service without crying I'll never know. Another girl in the choir had been at primary school with her. We just shed a few tears in the vestry when taking off our cassocks after it was over. It was in every local paper, and on the Sunday morning, the funeral was the Monday, in the vestry, the vicar announced that the funeral was the next day, and the family wanted the choir. Obviously the vicar had rung all the relevant head teachers and no-one was refused the afternoon off school. The men, most of whom were retired were lovely. No one said anything directly to us, but, personally I felt surrounded by people who cared. Her mum had several strokes and heart attacks, and was once found in the car in the garage with the engine running.
Her mum died 5 years later, and again, the family wanted to celebrate her life, and asked for the choir at the funeral. That time I was head chorister, so was directly in front of the family. It was so sad, a young life, she was just 14, wasted, and so many lives blighted, just because a dentist was too tight to have a spare bottle of oxygen in his surgery. In case. I've only had 1 tooth out since then, and I carried on going to the same dentist as I'd had before she died, even when living 50 miles away as he knew how I'd been affected by her death.
Even worse, even after 2000, I can remember Alan Beswick on GMR drivetime talking about yet another death for the same reason at a dentist's surgery following or during a tooth extraction. 30 years later, and nothing had changed.
ninnynonny · 04/12/2021 18:32
I’m so sorry. What an awful situation and a horrible response from a teacher. I was often told ‘sticks and stones’ as a child but now as an adult I think it’s the opposite.[/quote]
It was very much the way then. Never complain. Never cry. This is what is happening. There's a long and not great story around it all, which I'm finally getting proper help for.
Comedycook · 04/12/2021 18:34
You know what's really interesting about this thread is many of these tragedies were preventable....remember that if you're ever tempted to use the phrase "health and safety gone mad"
lilmishap · 04/12/2021 18:35
I think I remember this there was a cousin from Nottingham or Leicester also involved and they were both asleep.
pucelleauxblanchesmains · 04/12/2021 18:36
This thread has reminded me of the poem "Tich Miller" by Wendy Cope.
Hedgesfullofbirds · 04/12/2021 18:38
@EducacatingArti, yes, it was in Gloucestershire - would have been in 1974/75 when I was in 1st form. Do you possibly remember the same tragedy?
ToastofLandon · 04/12/2021 18:38
My friend from school died in a car accident. She was 5. About 6 months later my auntie died due to an undiagnosed heart condition which devastated my whole family.
I had to have some counselling recently for anxiety (unrelated), my counsellor believes that the route of my issues is because of those tragic events early on in my life. The memories of which do indeed haunt me and choke me up with sadness when I remember.
pucelleauxblanchesmains · 04/12/2021 18:39
I'm also thinking of a lovely boy a few years below me at school, who I took some music lessons with and who died aged 14 of cancer after months of surgery and chemo. Still can't think of it without that howling sense of unfairness.
Vandelay · 04/12/2021 18:40
I often think of the boys - they were always boys - with ADHD or some other undiagnosed disability, or perhaps a horrific home life, who sat in the back of the class and were always in trouble for their behaviour and failing. I'm glad that society is beginning to recognise these things now rather than punish them.
ConferencePear · 04/12/2021 18:41
Whe I was in Year 8 one of my classmates was murdered by her father and it turned out to be one of those where he killed his wife and children and then himself. The headmistress called us together and said he had been a friend of hers and that he would to have done such a thing if he had been in his right mind.
In the next summer holidays she was killed by a man who had broken into her house (which was in the school grounds). She heard an intruder and went to iinvestigate and I've often wondered what might have happened if she had just pulled the covers over her head.
Malteser71 · 04/12/2021 18:41
My mum was a nurse. I sometimes walked to meet her from work when I was 12-13.
I remember being in the ward and there was a lady dying in the side room. Her daughter was my age, didn’t look well cared for. The dad didn’t look very capable.
Have often thought of her. I’m nearly 50 now
MyPatronusIsAPenguin · 04/12/2021 18:41
I went to brownies with two sisters, one was the year below me and the other 2 years below her. On the way home from school the younger one was knocked down and killed on a zebra crossing. I was second year secondary school by then so she'd have been the equivalent of Y5 now so 9 or 10. Went to her funeral to represent our brownie pack and can still remember it so clearly.
I am still friends with the older sister and she posted earlier this year it would have been her 40th birthday. Made me so sad
NataliaSerene · 04/12/2021 18:43
My father remembers driving around with his own father looking for a neighbor boy who had gone missing. He was found hanging from a tree in a park. Something messed up had been done to him. Another neighbor boy ended up put in a psychiatric hospital and we’ve worked out that he did this, though it was never publicized.
My father was age 7 or so when this happened and it was in the 1940s. He remembered the story when I was mentioned how much nicer a place the world seemed to be when he was a child.
headintheproverbial · 04/12/2021 18:43
I remember a little girl called Maggie in my school (year younger I think). She was dirty and smelly and, looking back, utterly neglected at home. Unlike her stepsister in the same year who was always beautifully turned out. The events in Arthur's life made me think of her this week. I have no idea what happened to her.
Onionbhajisandwich · 04/12/2021 18:46
I remember one of my teachers telling a girl off for talking. She stood up and said to the teacher (while laughing) “you can’t tell me off because I might have cancer” and then she showed us all a large lump on her leg. Turns out she had bone cancer and passed away before we finished school. I often wonder how her parents coped.
EducatingArti · 04/12/2021 18:46
[quote Hedgesfullofbirds]@EducacatingArti, yes, it was in Gloucestershire - would have been in 1974/75 when I was in 1st form. Do you possibly remember the same tragedy?[/quote]
Hedges. I think so.i started at the girl's grammar school in 1975 and the boy who died was at the boy's grammar school next door. I remember people talking about it. Probably girls who had brothers at the school
Sithee · 04/12/2021 18:53
I had a good friend in primary school who was in the care of the local children’s home along with her brother. Her Mum was a heroin addict and was in a nearby prison - I don’t know what for. There were no other family members to care for her and her brother. I remember that she was really sad when her Mum was released and she had to leave to go back home to her. I often wonder what happened to her and her brother. I hope everything turned out well for her family.
Ohmybod · 04/12/2021 18:54
My DF was an accountant and was asked by one of his employees if he could help his wife’s father with some financial affairs, the father was in a nursing home. My DF was free one evening and went with his employees wife to the nursing home. While she was out with my DF her 10yr old son had a fit and drowned in the bath. Apparently she never left him alone and did all the baths but hadn’t reminded her husband, who rarely cared for the children alone, of this. It was devastating for them and I don’t think their marriage survived.
I often think of that little boy and wish my DF had not had time to spare that evening.
DeltaFlyer · 04/12/2021 18:55
A 17 year old lad who was driving home from dropping his little sister (from my form at school) for her Xmas day waitressing shift. He was wearing novelty slippers and not using his seatbelt.
They reckon his use of the breaks was compromised and sadly he crashed and passed away at the side of the road after exiting the car - he would have lived if he was using the seatbelt.
His family have planted and tended to a small evergreen in that spot and have tended to it for the last 17 years. I often think of him.
His dad is now a campaigner for using seatbelts and does regular sessions with young drivers about using them.
A rough lad from my year died aged 16 when be stole a motorbike and pulled out on a car doing 60mph. He might have lived if he'd have worn the helmet (albeit with some serious injuries).
The driver of the car was a pensioner and found not at fault in court to the lads families dismay. He sadly had to move rrom his long term home after the lads family and friends found his home and made his life hell from harassment.
When I worked at a care home there was an old lady who had lost her 5 year old son when he tripped on the pavement on the way home from school. He fell under the tyres of a passing lorry and died instantly. (I won't go into too much detail here as it's not pleasant)
The lady had dementia when i knew her and would regularly replay his death. In lucid moments she would talk about how she wished she was holding his hand.
It was so heartbraking to see how tormented she was.
She has a photo of her son on the nightstand taken a few weeks before his death and he was a gorgeous little thing.
Raaaaaaarr · 04/12/2021 18:57
I spent a lot of time in hospital as a kid. Being a small town I saw the same girl who was sick with cancer (Sarah) - one day I was back in and asked where she was only to be told she had died. It has never left me. I'm in my 40's now and believe some of this experience has caused trauma that is buried very deep inside of me. It came to the surface when my child was undergoing tests for an illness and I now understand flashbacks and post traumatic stress. I spent a week having constant/intrusive flashbacks while my son was being tested so see them disappear when we received good results.
Mayim · 04/12/2021 18:57
When I was in primary school, a boy (Dermot) arrived in our class in about Y5. He had a nervous tic. He was a bit naughty but it didn't amount to anymore than silly behaviour.
Our teacher took great delight in telling him off and hitting him at any excuse (it was allowed then). She also used to say things like 'no wonder the nuns didn't want you'. She also (and this shows how horrible she was) used to ask those of us who went home for lunch what we had eaten. Dermot's family used to have a snack and she used to mock him in front of the whole class.
It turned out that his mum had died and his eldest sister had taken him and her other brothers and sisters into her home. It was a huge family. I have often reflected on the teacher's cruelty, as she would have known the very sad backstory.
TheAnswerIsCake · 04/12/2021 18:58
A boy in my primary school in the mid 80s went on holiday with his family to Tunisia. He was obsessed with Star Wars and wanted to go and see some of the filming locations. There was no set up for it, it was just a case of hire a car and go. Unfortunately the car broke down whilst they were lost in the dessert. Eventually the dad decided to walk for help, taking all the water in the car with him. He eventually found help, but it took a long time to relocate the car with his family. By the time they found it they had all died. The boy must have been about 9 and I’m sure he had a younger sister too. The story comes back to me periodically and I always wonder if he died worrying about how it was him who’d really wanted to make the trip, or how on earth the father felt having left them with no water in the dessert, and how he ever picked up the pieces of his life.
I had my first brush with suicide a few years later. When we did big school plays, each part would always be given to two children and we’d do half the performances each. I was sharing my part with a boy in the year above. I remember him it being very engaged, not turning up a lot to rehearsals, but the school always let it slide and he was fantastic when he was there. Not long after the performances we were told that he’d hung himself. I often felt awful about my frustration with him for not caring about his role, but he must have been struggling immensely the whole time. He was 13.
Icantrememberthenameoftheartis · 04/12/2021 18:59
My sister had a friend who came from a poor family, this was the 80’s, her mum had died and she lived with her dad and older sisters. She came home from school to find the sisters boyfriend raiding the slot meters. A lot of readers won’t know what these are but you used to get ‘slot meters’ for gas and electricity and would put 50p’s in. He stabbed her to death. He was later arrested, charged and convicted. She was 15.
Lavenderosemary · 04/12/2021 18:59
I moved to a coastal town aged 13. This was over 30 years ago. There was a big wind storm, huge waves. I went to the harbour with my toddler sister and saw a group of boys my age playing chicken with the waves on some rocks. I hadn't met anyone yet or made any friends. They came over and chatted to me and were really lovely. I took my sister home and ran all the way back so I could play with them, I was so excited to have someone to hang out with. Got there and there was a crowd, police and ambulance. I'd only been gone 20 minutes. The waves took one of the boys just after I left. He was found at low tide caught in some rocks. His parents were away on a day trip and this was pre-mobile phones. It was a brutal introduction to how powerful the sea is and how fast things can go wrong. Poor poor lad and his family and friends.
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