General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Have you known anyone who lost more than one child in a tragic accident?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) December 11th, 2011

My sister’s co-worker/friend just lost her 3 young children and ex-husband in a plane crash just before Thanksgiving. Their private plane crashed into a mountain in Arizona. The children were 6, 8 and 9 years old.

How does a parent get over a loss like this? How do you cope?

I’m in tears tonight and want to hug my kids and not let go.

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17 Answers

augustlan's avatar

There was a family in my previous home-town. The father (a minister) and all three of their children were in a terrible car accident on their way to church just before Christmas, and all of them were killed. If I remember correctly, the mother was already at the church for an event of some kind, and waiting for them to arrive. At least one of the children was decapitated and that was published in the newspaper, to add insult to injury.

It was a community-wide tragedy. There was a huge outpouring of support for the mother, and she seemed very strong in her faith (and felt they were all in a better place), but I honestly don’t know how she survived it. I’m not sure that I could. Sending my kids virtual hugs, now.

Aethelwine's avatar

@augustlan So sad. :( I’m not a religious person. I wonder if it helps at a time like this? I don’t see how I could go on if I lost all my children. This is the only reason why I won’t get a tubal ligation. Not that any future children could replace any I may lose, but still. I can’t imagine not having my little ones.

jrpowell's avatar

My sister was very good friends with Robert Christie. They came for dinner a few times a month. Their kid and my sisters kid were best friends. Around 2001 they were driving on the freeway heading east of Portland. A truck swerved into them killed the mom, dad, and youngest child instantly. The older kid (9 IIRC) died on the way to the hospital.

prasad's avatar

My college principal lost his children and grandchildren in a car accident. The accident happened when he was just retired. Unfortunately, he lost his only son, son’s wife, two grandchildren, and his wife. No news of him after that accident.

lillycoyote's avatar

I can’t even imagine that kind of loss. Everyone loves to hate Joe Biden but I remember when he lost his wife and his baby daughter in an automobile accident, and his two young sons were seriously injured in a that same car accident, here in Delaware, before he had even been sworn in for his first term as Senator. I have seen how Joe Biden made it through, from the outside, but I have read and heard other stories like this and I have no idea how anyone manages to get through it. I have heard about car accidents and fires in my area where everyone is killed except for one parent. I don’t know how that parent survives,emotionally and psychologically intact. I suspect some people don’t. I don’t know.

perspicacious's avatar

You don’t get over it—not ever. You just get up every day and get dressed and do what you must until bedtime.

YARNLADY's avatar

My best friend has lost both of her adult sons to suicide, one on an overdose of drugs, and the other because of losing his job, house, wife and daughter. @perspicacious has it right, and hopefully there are other family members who understand and are there to help.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I can’t imagine. I would probably just disappear inside myself. : (

linguaphile's avatar

One of the students from my school, along with her mother and sister, were killed in a head-on accident less than a year ago when a speeding truck swerved into their lane. Our school did a memorial service and invited her dad and brother. The grandparents from both sides and aunts, uncles all came too. I can’t imagine how the dad felt. That day, I felt the size of the school’s gesture so small and, I don’t know… it was almost ridiculous in proportion to the size of the tragedy.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Sometimes the mere act of consolation is divine.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Horrifying. I don’t think one does get over something like that. I imagine one doesn’t want to wake up for a long long time.

deni's avatar

I had a friend named Brittany who died in fourth grade of a crazy illness where she turned all blue and got swollen and was constantly in pain. I don’t know or remember what it was but it was so sad. Then, a few years later, her brother, who was deaf, got hit by a train!!!!!!!! How does that happen? The poor mother. And the father had left them. Poor poor Linda.

Kayak8's avatar

I know of an elderly couple who lost two sons to AIDS and their grief is as present today as it was some twenty years ago when the young men died. I don’t have a context for that kind of loss. Another friend fell and had a serious spinal cord injury. I asked her how she was coping and she said that her brother was great support. He had experienced a similar spinal cord injury about the same age as my friend. So this was a set of parents with two paralyzed children from two separate incidents. I really don’t have a frame of reference . . .

bkcunningham's avatar

You crawl and cry and scratch and scream and sleep and plead with God and wake up in hell and do it all over again until one day you see a little tiny light and you think you can breath again and you crawl and cry and scratch and scream and sleep and plead with God and you wake up in hell and do it all over again until you see that little light getting a bit brighter.

filmfann's avatar

Both my sister-in-law and two friends of mine lost small children to crib death.
I am amazed anyone can recover from it.

cookieman's avatar

A girl my wife went to high school with died a month before her wedding. Her parents buried her open casket in her wedding gown.

A few years prior, her sister had died also (from what I heard).

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