Dear Mrs L

I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. You don’t know me but our children played together in wind bands on Saturdays. Last week, when they broke the news discreetly to the children and us volunteers without going into the details, they were quiet and businesslike. The children just got on with rehearsing as I am sure you will continue with your life, eventually. At pickup time, many were tearful. I’m sure you’ve witnessed many tears these last couple of weeks, but the sorrow of those who shed them can be nothing compared with yours. Time will heal your pain, somewhat, in due course. In the meantime, please be kind to yourself. Look after yourself.

You must be devastated at the loss of your firstborn son aged just 14. His little brother is now an only child and has lost his ready-made companionship. I can’t begin to imagine how you feel and it would be presumptuous of me to comment. I don’t know what happened that evening but, please, you mustn’t blame yourself as we mothers do, inevitably, blame ourselves for much of our children’s pain. Family rows happen. They are normal and good, actually. It’s not a good idea to suppress feelings indefinitely for the sake of the children. Children need to witness and take part in arguments as preparation for adult life, just as wolf cubs play fight.

And teenagers do stupid reckless things. Many are completely incapable of thinking through the implications of their actions. Your son probably meant to teach you a lesson in the heat of the moment and it went horribly wrong. You cannot have predicted what would happen. You cannot be held responsible. What happened was a horrible accident.

I don’t know you and we’ll probably never meet now, but I’ll be thinking of you and your family. These things happen sometimes. If you can take something from it, be reassured that we all gave our children an extra special hug when we heard and made sure we told them how much they are loved. And we are all thinking of you and your pain.

In sympathy.




I just wanted to add that an old friend of your son’s said a few incredibly moving words of remembrance at last nights’ concert. You would have been pleased. Your son might be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Take care.



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