The worst day of my life – Part 2

How the hell do you tell a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old that their beloved Daddy has died?

The police chaplain helped me try to make that first phone call – the theory being that I could “practice” telling the kids by first informing a relative.

I tried G’s brother: no answer.

The nice sister-in-law: no answer.

F@ck it.

I rang my best friend.  Straight to the machine.  So I left a message.

I left my lovely friend, who’s like my sister, a message telling her that G had died.

I had to tell someone. Miss K is 7 and she is *smart* she would have known that something was up …

So with the chaplain’s help I decided that I just had to tell the kids.

I sincerely hope that none of you ever have to do this for your kids…..

We sat on the couch them next to me, my Mum and Dad providing extra hugs.

I told them as simply as I could: “I have some very sad news to tell you: Daddy was in a very bad car accident today and the policeman has come to tell us that Daddy died in that accident. “

I cried.

Miss K cried.

Mr H knew that something was wrong and that we were sad so he probably should be as well.  I don’t think he understood fully what I was saying.  He later told Ma (my Mum) that “now Mummy will have to get married again and get a new Daddy”. sob.

The next bit is a bit of a blur but I know there were lots of cuddles and hugs and tears.

It must have been sometime after this that the police chaplain had the sense to tell my mother NOT to watch the tv at all that night.  The policeman assured her that no names would be released.  The chaplain drew her aside and said that the media probably would release the names as they had known since earlier in the day (the accident happened at 10:26 am – I didn’t find out until ~ 3:35pm) and were just waiting for the acknowledgement that the next of kin had been notified so they could run the story.

~~~ brief aside for a short rant on the media~~~

Let it be known that Channel 7 in Queensland  have absolutely no moral or ethical sensibility.  It’s all about the story and not about the people involved.

Channel 7 are heartless.

Channel 7 revealed the names and ages of the two men on the tv news that night – I know this because I wasn’t able to phone all the immediate relatives in time and several relatives found out from the news which gave the men’s names,  ages and place of work.

Why the names and ages of the men are of interest to anyone other than their families remains a mystery to me.  Just another angle that the media seem to derive perverse pleasure in setting their own agenda.

The other thing that I’m told they said on the news was that “speed was possibly a factor”.  Really? The coroner still hasn’t told me the cause so I’m rather surprised that the great god of media has such a clear insight and can use the heartache of two families to push their agenda.  The fact that they couched that statement with “possibly” does not make it OK.

WTF do they know?  These men were professional drivers carrying out their professional job of assessing a car that had come into the workshop.  This was their bread and butter.  Each of them were professionally trained in defensive driving and were for all intents and purposes – expert drivers. The fact that it was a “sports car” would have meant nothing to them.  Nothing.  They each owned vehicles that were very high-powered and waaaaay cooler than the poxy little sports car they were testing.

Channel 7 should grow some compassion when they play with people on the nightly news.

Channel 7 are yet to formally hear from me – but they will.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~rant over~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyhoo….

Next thing out lovely minister from church was there, hugging us all and praying with us.   The fact that he is our current minister make me know how real God is.  This bloke is awesome, intelligent and compassionate.  AND he looks like Jay La-gaia.  AND he is married to the most awesome woman AND they have four children of their own AND have just taken in their orphaned nieces and nephews. He has been a rock for me these past weeks.  I think he may just be an angel in disguise…..

Sometime later,  a kind  neighbour drove me home to collect some clothes and toiletries for the kids and I and then I was back at my folk’s house.  Somewhere in that brief visit I managed to tell this kind man that G had promised to fix the washing machine when he got home from work that day … and so this kind man set about fixing the washing machine while I gathered clothes and pillows and comforting toys for the kids.

We must have driven back to Mum’s house.  I don’t really remember – I was lost in the fuzz that is shock and didn’t take in many other details.

Then my best friend – my *chosen sister*  – was there with her husband: he cuddled my kids and read them stories and let me be with my friend.

Somehow we got through that first evening and all found beds at my parent’s house.  The kids fell asleep through sheer exhaustion and I spent the night hugging G’s pillow and shivering – it was about 30 degrees C and I was shaking like a leaf.

I may have slept a little.  I don’t remember.  The screaming in my head didn’t stop.

It was the longest night of my life.

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45 thoughts on “The worst day of my life – Part 2

  1. Bush Babe says:

    *hugs*
    No words…

    BB

  2. Melissa says:

    Oh Amanda, my heart really goes out to all of you…and my boot to channel 7, what a bunch of insensitive morons. I must admit I did smile at H’s comment because that is such a little kid logic comment. I bet he was thinking of how daddy made you happy when he said it.

  3. Bush Babe says:

    PS You are right. It was not in the public interest for media to share names or workplaces. Generic (age, general location) descriptions would have sufficed. I am so sorry it added to your pain.

  4. I am so, so sorry, both for your dreadful grief and the awful media exacerbation.
    Listening to you carefully.

  5. jeanie says:

    Oh lord – I know how hard it is to tell a child about death – and the worst bit is the pieces they grab hold of (now Mummy will have to get married again) are the bits that you just aren’t prepared for.

  6. Rhu says:

    More hugs, more thoughts, more xxx.
    Us.x

  7. JENNY TALIA says:

    I don’t know if it helps that we’re all here *with* you.
    I hope it does
    You can’t imagine how hard we want you and your kids to be OK
    To get through this
    Big love
    JT
    x
    Oh yeah, and F*** channel 7!

  8. It seems so heartless to read this and not leave a message so, even though we don’t know each other, I’d like to offer my very deepest sympathy to your and your family.

  9. Fiona says:

    When my dad died Mum refused to release names at all so it was relegated to a small column centimetre at the bottom of page in-the-middle of the paper and a few shots on the news that just said someone had died scuba diving. As a 17 year old, I wanted his name out there, I wanted everyone to know how horrible this was, how unjust and how his death was more important than the other crap they were sprouting. It also meant though that friends didn’t find out. That weeks later I had to explain to people who still didn’t know what had happened and some of them put two and two together and remember the media coverage.

    Channel 7 though totally fucked up. In this case you needed to tell family and friends. I don’t watch their news, but if I did I would boycott it.

    Take care and lots of hugs from here. xoxox

  10. Missy Boo says:

    Thinking of you and your children lots, hoping you are all doing okay.
    Lots of Hugs from Me xoxox

  11. I cannot even imagine how hard these past few weeks have been. Glad to hear you are getting lots of support. Take care.

  12. Jayne says:

    It’s a difficult situation to be thrown into without the media making things so much worse. Thinking of you and the children with hugs and prayers xxx.

  13. Moira says:

    Still thinking about you, still sending virtual hugs x

  14. Tracey says:

    I’m only a kind of friend of a friend, but I couldn’t click away without letting you know that I’m crying here for you, raging for you too.. Wishing you the strength to keep coping. And to take it to Channel 7, even though it’s the last thing you need to be dealing with right now. Thinking of you. Tracey.

  15. Kelly says:

    I was led to your story from Bush Babe’s blog and my heart goes out to you and your family.

    (((hugs))) and prayers.

  16. Andie says:

    I’ve been checking on you, thinking of you, wishing you didn’t have this terrible sadness and loss. I don’t know if it helps to have the blog community surrounding you – I hope in some way it might. (((hugs)))

    Andie

  17. mary says:

    I found my way here by way of Bush Babe’s blog. I am deeply sorry. You are in my prayers.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Again sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family. ♥

  19. I have no words strong enough to give you comfort. Just know there are so many of us out here, who you have never met and will never know, sending prayers to you and your family

  20. Betty says:

    My heart aches for you and your children. I will remember you in my prayers.

    Many years ago my dad died in a truck/train accident. His elderly mother learned of it from a mid-day special announcement on TV. It was devastating for her. Most of the news media just don’t have a heart.

    God bless and keep you.

  21. Holly says:

    I’m heartbroken for you and your whole family. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. (((hugs)))

  22. I’m here via Bush Babe’s blog. Even though I don’t know you, and I’m halfway around the world in Canada, I want you to know how touched I am by your story and how very, very sorry I am for your loss.

    Eight years ago, a friend of mine lost her husband this way, and she and her boys divide their lives into before and after the accident. One thing that helped her, and she had to be forced to do it in the beginning by well-meaning friends, was regular exercise. At first it was just short walks, often in the middle of the night, then the walks got longer, and then she went to the gym daily. She said it really helped her cope with the worst of her grief and it helped her sleep.

    You and your family will be in my thoughts.

  23. Jan says:

    also sent over from bush babe, the media in this country is very insensitive.
    Im so sorry
    ((hugs))

  24. Tamsyn says:

    I’ve come over from BB’s blog and couldn’t leave without letting you know that I’m thinking of you and praying for your family {hugs}

  25. Theresa in Alberta says:

    The media is HEARTLESS and the people who run it have their hearts frozen to work there, (it must be a job requirement). Then they take lessons on how to be vultures :-( But we must pray that God will give them a heart of flesh! I am so very very sorry for your loss…….
    signed another BB reader

  26. gem says:

    Gosh – nothing to say – just that I’m so very, very sorry.

  27. Ceecee says:

    I’m coming in from Bush Babe’s site.
    I don’t know you, but want to let you know that I’m praying for you and your whole family.

  28. Seven do have a lot to answer for..the mighty news machine has a lot to answer for..we should start writing in when these things happen…when names are released when friends and loved ones are still unaware.

    My heart …. my spirit ….is with you and I am so heartened to know of your minister and his family. We worked in a church for eight years assisting clergy and it is times like these that the true worth of these people is shown…although it sounds like that family do a great job all year long.

    Sorry to have missed this…silly internet connection is down…have been thinking of you so much.

  29. Kelley says:

    my heart is breaking for you.

    I can’t even comprehend what you are going through.

    Keep talking if you want to keep talking. Whatever. We are all here for you.

  30. Vannessa says:

    I came here from Hairy Farmer Family and though I don’t know you my heart aches for you, I am crying as I read your story. It brings back memories of having to tell my son that his sister had died. I wish you and your children lots of strength through this difficult time.

  31. DNB says:

    Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  32. I can’t imagine a blow so hard as what you’ve had to face. I pray you will find comfort for yourself and your children. Keep your husband’s memory alive through remembering all the good things you did as a couple and as a family–when you’re ready.

    Life is so precious, but death is not final. There is life after this one. And you will see each other again. God bless you all.

    (BB is a great link. I’m here because of her.)

  33. CJ from St. Louis says:

    Came over from Bush Babe’s blog. So very sorry for your loss. I pray God will give you and your family comfort and strength to cope.

  34. Ruby says:

    I am sitting here crying, and I can only imagine what it must have been like. I send you a big, big, big supportive hug, and wish I could do more. The media are often cold blooded bastards – not just Channel 7. Make sure you make it known. Big, big, big hugs – I’m sorry I haven’t visited your blog in so long.

  35. debby says:

    I am shocked by your news, but yet, I suppose, I shouldn’t be. That sort of irresponsible reporting seems to be the norm these days. I am sorry for the pain that they caused, and I believe that previous commenters are right. You should publicize your unhappiness with them. Seems only right that they be pilloried on the same scaffolding they used to cause even more pain to your bereft family.

    Love to all of you, even though from half way round the world, it can help only a very little.

  36. Arjan says:

    heartbreaking :(

  37. beyond says:

    Oh Amanda. I’m sitting here, tears streaming down my face, fingers hovering over the keyboard and really not knowing what to type. I just wish their was something, even the tiniest little thing I could do to take away some of your pain.

    I thought about you many times when I was in QLD last week, but I wasn’t going to spring a visit on you at this time. Just know that many people are thinking of you, sending you strength, love, and coping vibes.

  38. twangy says:

    My heart goes out to you and your children. How awful, how terribly heart-breakingly sad. I am truly sorry.

    And for the part the media played in making your loss so much more and unnecessarily stressful – I am sorry too.

  39. corymbia says:

    I just want to thank EVERYONE for the messages and comments. I feel very alone sometimes and just when it gets really bad, a comment or a message will pop up and I remember that there are people thinking for us and praying for us everywhere. Thank you thank you thank you.

  40. Sven says:

    You are an exceptional writer. Reading your narrative of that horrible day cuts my heart like a knife.

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  41. [...] make it go away.  It will never go away.  If I re-read the posts I wrote that document the worst day of my life, I am instantaneously plunged back into  absolute [...]

  42. Over here from Lori at RRSAHM. Surrounded by so much pain at the moment. None of us know what to say – i hope you can say what you need to to eachother.

    M2Mx

  43. corymbia says:

    Thanks for dropping by. Personally, I think saying nothing is the wrong thing to say. Well that and making a joke out of pain and death.
    I really feel for Lori. This shit is hard.

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