The Loss of Our Only Child

Cindy Viar

Our marriage, after 5 years, was blessed by the birth of our beautiful daughter on May 25, 1976. She was what we worked for and what we lived for. She was the "light of our lives". We loved her, shared our lives together and enjoyed her immensely for 19 years 5 months and 4 days. We were at that wonderful time of life when we were truly having fun and sharing life experiences. We were past the "baby" stage, past the "adolescent" stage and into a wonderful adult "bestfriend" stage.

Our lives changed immeasurably on October 29, 1995 when we got "the phone call" all parents dread, telling us our only child, Michelle, was involved in an auto accident. Due to lousy circumstances and a sloppy investigation, it took 5 hours for the authorities to find our daughter and give us the news we hoped we would not hear- she was dead. The hours and days following this tragedy brought indescribable pain to my husband and I as we slowly realized what all we had lost. All of our dreams as well as Michelle's dreams had vanished! Our usual anticipation of holidays disappeared. We realized we would never receive another Mothers Day or Fathers Day card. We would never proudly enjoy the honor of being "parents of the bride". We would never proudly enjoy the honor of being "grandparents". As we struggled trying to deal with our newfound loss, we also realized we now had no one to leave our pictures, cherished treasures and keepsakes to. We had no beneficiary for our wills. How were we expected to survive this? How could we possibly face our future without Michelle in it? She was 4 months from her college graduation and eager to start a career in law as a paralegal- now there would be no graduation to attend or pride in watching her build her career. Michelle was a "good" girl, someone who had ALWAYS made us proud. She was never in trouble- she was an honor student who possessed a bubbly, upbeat, outgoing personality. She was caring and considerate of others and so full of life. Yet, in the blink of an eye, due to the stupidity of a careless driver, she was gone just like that. No second chances, no deals to be made, no goodbyes! We were angry, frustrated, heartbroken and feeling hopelessly lost. Very early in my grief, I turned to the internet searching under "grief" and "memories" and was fortunate to find very good friends. These friends were like no others, past or present; they too were living the nightmare we were. They too agonized over the loss of their 'only' child. Finally, there was someone who might understand and comprehand what we were trying to deal with. Life as we knew it, no longer existed and we were full of questions, problems, situations and needed someone to talk to who might understand. With their help and guidance as well as with time passing, we adjusted to our 'different' life, making the best we could of it. We now hope to possibly help others who have found themselves in this helpless position. This is what Michelle would have wanted and it is in her honor, that we have become survivors!

Gary & Cindy Viar, parents of Michelle Lynn Viar

You can send email to Gary and Cindy at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 10-29-95
date of post 10-26-96

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW