The First Year is the Hardest?

Steve Delano

Experts write that the first year is always the toughest for grieving parents.

The first Thanksgiving my wife Donna and I are wondering what we are thankful for? The first Christmas without Nick was not Christmas. He always liked Christmas! I know we always went overboard in getting gifts for him, but being our only child, who else would we do that for?

The first Mothers Day was very hard on Donna and I; Nick would always buy her a card, prompted by me of course. He would always come in and say "I love you Mom" then "I'm hungry". Donna would always fix her baby something to eat. She doesn't get to do that anymore.

The first Fathers Day was also very hard. Donna's first birthday, my birthday, all were very rough on the both of us. But Nick's first birthday has been the hardest so far. He would have been 20 years old. Not a teenager anymore but a man. Donna and I didn't know what to do? If he were still alive, we would have gotten him a special cake, gifts, probably go to dinner, but we didn't do any of those things. Instead we took flowers and wreaths to his grave site. We told him happy birthday and cried!

Nick was killed in a one car accident on November 1, 1996 at 1:32 a.m. in Nacogdoches, Texas. He was attending a Halloween Party with his girlfriend at one of the fraternities. He had been drinking and driving very fast, and lost control of his car. He died instantly!

At 4:30 a.m. that morning, Donna and I were wakened by the doorbell. I went to see who it was. A Garland Police car was outside with the lights flashing and a police officer was standing at our door. He asked if we knew who Nick was, and I said "he is my son, was anything wrong"? It goes blank after that.

Donna and I were both in shock and disbelief that something like this could happen to us. We always read in the newspapers where someone's child was killed, never expecting it would be us someday.

Nick's one year anniversary is coming up. I don't know what we will do on that day. Probably buy some wreaths and flowers and take them to the gravesite; say we love you and miss you and start crying again.

The first year has really been hard. I hope it gets better! I know Nick is in a very special place. I know he doesn't have any pain, or stress, or any of the earthly feelings. I miss my son very much, but I know he is and will be with me. Until we meet again.

Love you Nick

Steve Delano

anniversary date 11-01-96
date of post 10-01-97

[return to home page] [column] [book excerpts] [honor page] [discussions page]

Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW