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Stephanie Tooley
Tooley Stephanie

mourning loss of only child, from auto accident

I met Mike 5 years ago, and love him very much.
Sept 24 03, His daughter turned 21.She is his only child and the love of his life, being a single father, and a very good one. sept 25 03, she died in an auto accident.
He needs your prayers and wisdom, from other parents who has the same story.
I mourn for me, but because i care so much for him,I mourn for him more.
It hurts so much, but i cannot begin to know, what to do for him.
Please help me !

smile713 -10/21/2003
send to a friend

Read Prayers.

11/7/2003 10:02

Hello smile, you posted at the Prayer Circle for Bereaved Parents, and I'm so sorry it's taken me a couple of days to get back to you, accept my apologies.

I'm so sorry to read about Mike's beautiful daughter passing on at such an early age. We too lost our youngest son Shane, at the age of 24. There is no worse pain in this world, than for a Parent to lose a child. It's just been a little over a year since Mike lost his only child, his daughter, so he is still in a lot of pain and grief. He needs time, his own timetable, to grieve for his daughter - the Journey of Grief is a personal one, because we all have our own experiences with our child, but there are very common aspects of grieving that we all experience. First it's shock, denial, we just can't accept that our child is no longer with us physically. Also, we may experience anger, guilt, a desire of wanting to be with our child, loneliness, there are so many, many emotions it bring up in us, and the only way we begin the road of healing is by talking about how we feel, crying, venting, letting our feelings out. Men do grieve differently from women, sometimes they have a tendence to internalize thier feelings, and not express themselves emotionally - I don't know how Mike is handling this, sweetie, he may be different and be able to let his feelings out. How can you help him? By listening, by bringing his daughter's name up, and not avoiding it because it causes pain, being supportive - which you are, bless you, by creating this beautiful Memorial and posting at our Circle for prayers, you could also read a book or two on grieving for Parents who've lost a child to better understand what Mike is going through, and even Mike himself, I would suggest that he also read some of the terrific books out there, they speak right to your heart.
When the 'special days' and Holidays come around, it's a very painful time for Parents, the first birthday, the first Christmas, thier first Anniversary date, and even the second ones, he probably had a very difficult time with all those 'special days' and will continue to do so. Losing a child changes you, it splits your life in two, the one you had with your child and now the one you have to rebuild without your child physically being in your life. But I can tell you sweetie, that it DOES get better, it won't seem that way to Mike right now, but it WILL.
We learn how to live with the loss, never forgetting, but being able to go on and enjoy life, just in a different way. It could also benefit Mike to attend a Grief Counsellor, if he's willing to. My heart and prayers go out to Mike and you, I know it isn't easy for you either. Lean heavily on God, pray, and I will definitely remember you and Mike in mine, may God bless you for being so supportive and loving,
Angel Hugs,

11/7/2003 10:43

Thank you so much Sandy, but this is still very new, it has not been a year, but only 6 weeks now. I guess it helps to talk to someone who understands.
People keep asking me, how's mike doing ? Ok ! i say. what do they want to hear ? That he awakens, cring, that he canot work a whole day yet, because the police told him at work. They don't want to hear this do they ?
what do i tell them? sometimes it makes me angry. I know they care !

11/9/2003 01:32

Hi Chris, I'm sorry, I misread the dates and thought it was a year ago. But it's just happened. Oh gosh, Mike has got to be in so much pain right now, the pain is fresh, raw and biting right now, with a big, gaping hole in his heart, that went with his daughter.
And yes, after the Wake and Funeral, others go on with their lives, but the one who has lost their child, like your Mike has, is still in so very much pain.
Sweetie, just tell them the truth, whether they want to hear it or not - that Mike is really hurting - those that are close to him, his family, close friends, you can tell them how he awakens crying, that the workplace is now a painful memory for him, and he's having trouble working, and whatever else he's experiencing. This is his reality right now, and those that are close to him have to honour his feelings, not really understand them, how could they, but at least offer him love and support, the way you're doing so lovingly! One good thing, I'm glad to hear that Mike is crying, he's letting his pain out, and that's very important. There's so much more I could post, but it's very late now, so I have to get to bed, but I'll check this Circle out and in the meantime, my heart and prayers go out to Mike and to you, the big blessing in his life.
Lots of tender Angel Hugs,

11/9/2003 07:50

thanks sandy, I thank you for your time for us.How long ago did you loose your son ?
I know it don't go away , it just changes. I had a neibor that lost their 18 yr old in an auto accident about 9 yrs now. I talk to them also, it helps me and them .Some tears shed but i let them know i haven't forgot their sweet daughter, or them. I also have another good friend that lost their 15 yr old son in an auto accident, 8 yrs ago.

11/9/2003 07:53

thanks sandy, I thank you for your time for us.How long ago did you loose your son ?
I know it don't go away , it just changes. I had a neibor that lost their 18 yr old in an auto accident about 9 yrs now. I talk to them also, it helps me and them .Some tears shed but i let them know i haven't forgot their sweet daughter, or them. I also have another good friend that lost their 15 yr old son in an auto accident, 8 yrs ago.
I hear all these people tell how their other children keep them going, Mike has no other children, of his. But i told him i would share mine .
2 daughters and a son. sending love your way................. Chris

11/9/2003 16:44

Hi Chris, you sound like the friend from Heaven, how you're so suportive of those you know who've also lost a child.
We lost our Shane on March 15, 1999, next March it will be 5 years. Sometimes it seems like a long time ago, missing his laugh, seeing his face, his smile, hearing his voice, feeling his hugs and kisses, and then other days it feels like just yesterday. Sometimes it's 3 steps forward, and then 2 steps back, I'm forever changed, the 'old' me doesn't exist anymore, but there has also been some very positive changes to come out of our tragedy too. And as I've said, it does get better, you never forget, but you do learn how to live with it, I call it a 'quiet sadness' that settles in, but now I can laugh, enjoy the beauty of a sunset, and appreciate more the important things in life.
I posted back to you at our Circle, you can read my thoughts there for you and Mike. Does Mike read himself what has been posted here, or is it more that you yourself want to know how to help him? Just wondering, sweetie.
Love, prayers, & lots of Angel Hugs,

11/10/2003 00:16

Dear Chris, ~ My heart goes out to you and Mike in the loss of his only child. I can tell you that losing a child, by any means, is a parents worst nightmare. Losing a child tragically & without warning literally takes one's breath away! I speak from experience, but according to everything I've read on the topic, most if not all grief counselors agree that it is the shock of the unexpected death, the tragic manner in which the child died, the not having the chance to say good bye, etc., that adds to the nightmare, making it all the more difficult to accept and eventually learn how to deal with. Due to an injury to my hand. I am not able to go into great details in advising you on how to best help Mike; especially since his grief is oh so new. A lot will depend on "How he grieves." As I am sure you have heard by now, men and women grieve differently. Yet, in my opinion, there is very little difference in what each feel in their heart when it comes to the loss of a child ... Especially, an only child. My advice to you for now is as follows:
1. Pray for guidance.
2. Be there for him.
3. Read all you can on the different stages of grief.
4. Check out ... Even if drunk driving was not involved, there is an abundance of information on the stages of grief, and a pamphlet on how men grieve, as well as how others grieve.
5. Read current as well as past posts at Bereaved Parents prayer circle; to get an idea of what it is really like for moms who have lost a child. This will give you a vivid idea of some of what Mike is going through, whether he is able to express it openly or not. As you can see, there are well over 100+ pages of posts to choose from. You can read past post by clicking on any of the page numbers at the bottom of the page, or by clicking on any members username at the left of their post. This takes you to their individual prayer circle or memorial site. In my opinion, you will gain some very helpful insights and advice by reading Sandy's advice as well as others who have experienced losing a child. Also, those of us who have lost a child in the same manner as did your Mike. God bless you for reaching out to Mike with such compassion and love.

Our daughter, Diane, was killed August 31, 1996, in a chain reaction crash which involved 2 cars, 2 pickup trucks, and drunk driving. She was a front seat passenger. You can read about it at her memorial site, by clicking on LOVE2U at the left of this post. Other parents from Bereaved Parents, who have lost a child suddenly and tragically are, Selvam, Deborahpoo, Elparro, and Barb. Barb has not posted in a long time, but you can visit her daughter's memorial site as well as others, by clicking on the word Memorials at the very bottom of this page. Then, once the page comes up, click on Carol Ann Miller, beloved daughter. That's just an example of ways you can read at other sites to learn more about what the cause of death was. I really pray that this will help give you a bit of insight, to help you in your efforts to support Mike in his loss, even as you struggle to deal with your own grief. If provided with an email address, I will send you some recommended reading that may prove to be helpful also. Please know that the moms at bereaved parents will cover all of you in our heartfelt prayers!
Love & Hugs,

11/10/2003 09:25

shaner, I haven't yet told Mike of the prayer circle. But when the time is right I will.
We went to the first family get together yesterday, since Stephanie went to heaven. I was so proud of Mike, he did real good. I can feel her giving us great stength.

11/10/2003 09:36

Vera, thank you so much. Your words do help. No, alcohol was not a factor, but I will check out MADD.
Mike is talking, and expressing.
That's what made me fall in love with him, his very sweet side. Yes he knows I'm there by his side even when I'm not around. Yes you can talk to Mike I will tell him about all your prayers.

11/10/2003 14:51

Hi Chris. I am so sorry to hear the lost of your beautiful stepdaughter, yes this is a very unique pain that not everybody understand. You have been such a support to Mike, that makes you a wonderful person, I am sure he appreciates it soo very much. I lost my only daughter Solange Aug 15, 2002, also in a car accident. I am also a single parent, so i can very much relate to that pain, the shock, disbelief, anger, guilt and all the other feelings that are mix with the pain. Our lives will never be the same. and we really have to hang on to God otherwise we can not make it through this journey. As you might have read in the prayer Circle for bereaved parents, you can find a lot of understanding, advices, hel and first of all much love and prayers. Mike needs all that right now, and if it is posible for him to get profesional help, I am still visiting a pshycologyst and that has help me, there is one thing the 2 of you should do, is let your feelings out, crying is good for the soul, traying to be strong is not good, because he is not strong right now, he is going through the worse pain and nightmare any parent can suffer. Please keep visiting our Circle of Love, the mothers who are beein through this journey a little longer, can help a lot, they are truly Angels, and whenever Mike is ready he can post there too, it will make him feel better . in the meantime please know that I will be storming Heaven for you and Mike. God Bless You Selva

11/11/2003 08:35

Selva, I got a tear in my eye when i read how close the girls were.
I think being an only child and a single parent makes the grieving different somehow. Although i'm not sure being a mother or father does.
You see i do have to try and be strong, or i find myself drifting back into that horrible state of depression, I was once in when i finally left my awful life behind. Last week i was bad, could cry all the time, not eat and sleep 10-12 hours a day. I do not want that back. This week is a little better.
Then i have a 13 year old that is grieving a different loss, a friend, step-sister, who she looked up to.
Seems everytime she gives her heart to someone, they leave her.
Can hardly see to type, see, i got tears rolling down my face. sending love & prayers to you all. Chris

11/11/2003 22:59

Hi Mom; I just want to say I miss Steph. Even though we didn't really hang out much, I mean I didn't know her like Jess did, I really miss her. Is it ok that there are times during the day that I have to just get away because something reminded me of her? Something that reminded me of her smile, or a white truck it really is hurting. I'm not really around much, but it still hurts. I'm always the strong one, but I can't hold up the world anymore I'm crashing. Mike knows that I love him and I will do anything to help out. Steph I miss you hun!!!

11/12/2003 10:12

My sweet daughter, always my strenghth.Yes its ok to feel that way. sometimes we think of steph and cry and sometimes we think of something funny she said or did, and smile.
In time, the smiles will be more and the tears less.
I think you feel like me , when you see someone you love, hurting, it hurts you also. It's ok though, that's how we grieve, some alone time and some sharing. It's also ok to let people in to help you. God is looking out for all of us, he just needs a little help from you, You can't fix everything. The love and strenghth we have in our families is so strong, If we stick together, we'll all be OK !
Sending Love, Chris

12/24/2003 10:48

well it's almost here, Christmas.
big deal, I can't wait till it's over.
I am greatful for what i have don't get me wrong. It's what we don't have this year that makes it so hard.
Mike I love you more than you know !
It'll get better, i'm sure of it !
But for right now it just hurts so much.
Thank you Steph for giving us some strenghth, to live here without you, untill we meet again, we love you, FOREVER. Chris

1/28/2004 04:25

Dear smile713,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know to well the pain your family is going through. it will be four years August 14th since i lost my first born son due to an auto accident while he was a back seat passenger and his trail starts march 9th. i do think of all the great times we have shared with him and i do have some lesser tears than before but the whole in my heart will never close from missing him. the first year is the hardest and you have no idear what happen until you slow down a little. my thoughts and prayers are for you and your family.


3/18/2004 14:56

Father, you know how much this family is hurting right now, Stephanie's Heaven date is soon approaching, please give them the necessary spiritual and physical strength to once again get through another sad day, thank You Father, with Your great love for all, I ask this in Your Son's name, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus, Amen.

5/10/2004 10:10

5/3/04 15:03 Hi our dear Chris, great to see a Post from you too, what a wonderful blessing to know you're thinking of all, bless you too, Mother's Day will be hard for Mike, and hard for you too, but please try and enjoy it for your own daughter's sake, and your's, as you continue to support Mike and think of your sweet step-daughter Stephanie, love and prayers for all of you also,
Much love & angel Hugs,

5/10/2004 10:12

5/3/04 18:49 Hi Chris. Thanks for sharing, I know that even you were not Stephanie's mom you understand ,because you know of Mike's pain, thank you our dear sister, for your prayers and love , and yes like Sandy said, please try to enjoy it for your daughter, and please count your blessings. Love Selva

5/24/2004 11:06

5/23/04 13:05 Another hard week for mike and our families. stephanie was in dance for many years, fri & sat were this years dance recital ( 1st without her ) my daughter & 3 of mikes nieces were dancing. the recital was geared around stephanie. Mike went on stage and announced the recipient of the Stephanie tooley scolorship, he read something he prepared. they sang & danced in memory of Miss Stephanie.
very emotional evenings. (Fri & Sat )
She must be very proud of her father, He did great.
Thank you for letting me share !

5/24/2004 11:08

5/23/04 14:23 Hi Chris, thank YOU for sharing. Ah, it must have been bittersweet to attend both night's, honouring Stephanie's love of dancing, the 1st one without her being there, as well as it being geared around Stephanie. Very nice that your daughter and 3 of Mike's nieces were dancing, I know Stephanie would have wanted that too. Good for Mike, giving a Speech he prepared himself, and what a terrific way to honour Stephanie and her love of dancing, by establishing a Scholarship in her name to help other's, yes, Stephanie is definitely proud of her Dad, as are you and the rest of the family, :-) Must have been emotional, but Mike and you got through it alright from what you say, bravo, couldn't have been easy!
Much love & Angel Hugs,

5/24/2004 11:10

5/23/04 15:34 Hi Chris. What an emotional site, Yes I am sure that Stephanie was there dancing also and enjoying, and feling very proud of her dad and you, so glad you have help of your daughters and the neices, ay my sister, that must have being a great day, and also imagine you two are doing something for Stephanie, a Scholarship, yes Angels want to keep on helping others and now you an Mike are doing something great, oh, Stephanie is having a party tony for all our Angel kids, I am sure, they are celebrating. Love you my sister, thanks for sharing and please do keep in touch, I can imagine Solange dancing at the party and that feels good. Thank you and God Bless you. Selva

8/11/2004 20:09

8/9/04 21:43 Hi our dear Chris,
Hopefully and prayerfully no new's on Steve mean's good news, still keeping he and Pam in our heart and prayers. You and Mike too of course, oh gosh, that had to be difficult, a family reunion yesterday, as hard as it must have been you both got through it, God bless you both. Yes, sometime's the week's leading up to the Anniversary can be just as hard as the actual day itself, all those memories still oh so fresh, but always remember that you have all of us, we'll circle you and Mike as we're doing for our dear Marci today and I also pray that your daughter is doing much, much better.
Much love, prayers & Angel Hugs,

8/11/2004 20:11

8/9/04 21:43 Hi our dear Chris,
Hopefully and prayerfully no new's on Steve mean's good news, still keeping he and Pam in our heart and prayers. You and Mike too of course, oh gosh, that had to be difficult, a family reunion yesterday, as hard as it must have been you both got through it, God bless you both. Yes, sometime's the week's leading up to the Anniversary can be just as hard as the actual day itself, all those memories still oh so fresh, but always remember that you have all of us, we'll circle you and Mike as we're doing for our dear Marci today and I also pray that your daughter is doing much, much better.
Much love, prayers & Angel Hugs,

8/11/2004 20:12

8/10/04 22:00 Hi my dear Chris, I know the pain that you are all going through, we all know, Mike's ann is getting close, but you and your family can count on our prayers, yes we all need it, you can count on it, somehow we will go through it, with the help of God and our prayers, God forgive me but I think He listens to our prayes because He owes us. Thanks for your prayers my dear friend. Selva

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