My sister Rachel


In the summer of 1993, my sisters Rachel (24), Rosie (22) and Rachel's boyfriend, Mike, were travelling around Thailand. They took a bus from the Laos border to Bangkok. The bus driver was drunk and driving like a maniac in a monsoon. The bus crashed. Mike passed out and came around sat on the top deck surrounded by bodies, He scrambled out and found my sisters lying side by side in a puddle in the middle of the road. Rachel was dead but Rosie was still just about alive. The very sad part is that although Mike knew that his Rachel was dead, he still tried to resusitate her. I can never imagine what he went through in those few minutes sat in the dark and the rain.

I had just emigrated to the States from the UK. I phoned my mother up for a chat to see if she had had any phone calls from my sisters as to how the trip was going. A policeman answered the phone and told me what had happened. My world crashed around me at that point. My father died at 46 when I was 14 and I couldn't understand how this could happen again. Rachel was my best friend. I didn't know that I could ever be happy again.Having lost our dad, we talked a lot about death and it seems very surreal that now she is dead.

Rosie was very ill in Thailand hospitals for about 10 days before we could get her home. My husband flew over to be with her. I stayed trying to put my mother back together again. Being scattered across the world at that time was very difficult. It was some days before i could speak to Rosie on the phone.

It has been 2.5 years now and I still miss Rachel so very desparately. There are times when I feel like I have recovered and then times when it feels so raw and new and unfair. Grieving is exhausting! What I have found most surprising is how badly friends/colleagues deal with a grieving person.

Here's to you Rachel. All my love as always.


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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW