I can not imagine the anguish one must feel upon discovering they have done the unthinkable: killed their own child by leaving him or her in a car on a hot day. Having two little ones myself, I can’t even fathom how I would even go on after such a thing.
Anyway, I just saw a headline about some left-in-car deaths already this year and it got me to thinking about how people *do *adjust in the months and years afterward. I imagine these people aren’t all self-absorbed monsters or drug-addled zombies, most of them, I would think are just regular people who messed up beyond belief. Anyone know of any stories out there that they could link to that discuss the aftereffects of this? Anyone have any first-hand knowledge of someone who did this? I couldn’t find anything via Google aside from reports of this sort of thing happening.
ETA: I put this in GQ because I’m looking for actual links, but perhaps this would be better suited for another forum?
I’m not crying, I’m absolutely terrified. Especially this sentence:
FIFTEEN TO TWENTY-FIVE TIMES A YEAR?!? :eek: :eek:
Actually, when I think about it I’m a little surprised the number’s that small, considering how much time kids spend in cars and how often the parent doing the driving is the only adult present.
I hereby resolve that as a pedestrian I’m going to be more vigilant about glancing into parked cars in parking lots. Even as an uninvolved non-parent, how awful would it be to read about a child’s hyperthermia death and realize that I must have gone past that very car earlier in the day but just not noticed the child? :eek:
I won’t even try to read that link. I am getting ready to have my third child tomorrow and I can’t even imagine the heartbreak involved in forgetting your child is in the car and their subsequent death. How awful
I’ve met one mother who left her two boys in the car while she partied in a hotel room. She was being prosecuted for the crime and was a shambling wreck of a person in that time. Utterly destroyed, just like her sons.
I read that article one of the earlier times we discussed this and I have to say, without exaggeration, it’s probably the most memorable and affecting thing I’ve ever read. I’m still haunted by it, and by one of the descriptions in it.
I just cannot imagine how the parents go on after this - either of them. It’s so easy to say, but nonetheless true, that losing a child must be the worst thing a parent can face. I surprised myself by finding that one of my reactions to having a second child was confusion - I thought I had known that had anything fatal ever happened to my first, my only possible action would have been to die with her. Now here was a second, and I knew that was not an option, even if it ever had been. But to know that something you had done, or failed to do, caused the death of your child, in such a manner - how could you live? I don’t place the blame at all on the parent - especially after reading that article. We have all let our attention slip (god, yesterday my 2 year old went missing in the Singapore aquarium for the longest 5 minutes of my life) and there but for the grace of god etc. It’s unbearable to comprehend.
Here’s a suggestion that occurred to me while reading the article.
Keep a huge, bright stuffed animal in the back seat of your car. Every time you put your kid in his car seat, put the animal in the front passenger seat, with the seat belt around it. Only put the animal there when your child is in his car seat. When you’re getting out of the car, you’re more likely to notice the animal than an empty seat. You’ll know right away that your kid’s still in the car.
Does this make sense? Is this something like what some people already do?
In response to the OP, I imagine its something they never get over. It is like a hole in their heart that will never be filled. I think raising awareness about the issue is important. I wonder how many parents had heard of this phenomenon before losing their own child.