8 Months since my life was altered

by Beverly Badgley
(Wynnewood Oklahoma)

On September 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm there was an explosion at a refinery located on the edge of our small town. The explosion was a boiler that was being lit during the “turnaround” (a term used for the repair and updating of a refinery). A crew of employees that included my son was lighting the boiler. My son, Billy, was looking into the sight glass of a boiler built in 1959 with no safety mechanisms in place. It killed him instantly. He was 34 years old and left a one-year-old son, three step children (whom he was raising) and his wife of 4 years. It is nearly 8 months later, and although the pain is lessening, the hole is still there. I have one remaining son, who lives in the same small town. The population of this town is around 2000, there were almost 600 people at Billy’s funeral. This speaks of his character and how much he was respected. I am in a position of city government in the town, which puts me in contact with many people. Recovery from his death is slow and painful. I have read that when you lose an adult child, sometimes parents and siblings are over looked. I have found this to be true. Although I have been very fortunate to have so many people who loved Billy and our family, the widow and children are the focuses of much of the concern. (And rightly so) It still makes feel somewhat alone, in that I have driven myself to be strong so that I might help my daughter in law to be strong also. This does not mean that I don’t find myself crying suddenly. It often catches me off guard, as I will think I am handling it well. I frequently read what I can find on the “stages of grief”, trying to assure myself that this pain is going to lessen eventually, and that I will find joy again someday. At this moment in time, it is hard for me to imagine that my life will be anything but sad. I do not alow the sadness to show in my daily life, as the people in my town look to me for strength and guidance. I have 2 grandchildren and 9 step grand children get me through my daily life, one day at time, one step at a time. But, I still find myself thinking that our lives here on earth are very trivial, which leads me to wonder why I am here. I know this will get better; I wish I could speed up the recovery process for this debilitating grief. God left me here for a reason, and I am willing to fulfill his plan for me, although I constantly wonder what it is.

Comments for 8 Months since my life was altered

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Jul 23, 2013
My son
by: Anonymous

I lost my 31 year old adult son three months ago. This week will be his birthday. I'm so sad, I should be buying gifts, and thinking of how we will celebrate. But I only have a very sad day. He lived at home and was not married, so he was someone I still took care of. I loved him so much, and miss him every minute. We will celebrate his life that day and remember him, but his first birthday without him will be hard. I'm lucky to have had him, but don't understand why I lost him. I hope to see him in heaven, and I want to believe I will, but I'm not sure. Life goes on, but not the same.....

Jul 19, 2013
Your son
by: Kate

My heart goes out to you so much. I lost my 39 yr old son 8 months ago and I feel what you wrote. It hit home, the why to life,the one step at a time,the hoping to heal,the pain of it and holding up. Where does the strength come rom when w are so weak and fragile in this moment in time! It has to be divine help. Thank you for sharing your story,on here we know and care.,because we are there. Keep walking forward,as hard as it is,the road is long and hard but we believe our healer. I have another son too and grandchildren ,they help us carry on and we can always find something to be grateful for in the mist of our grief. I try every day.

Jul 19, 2013
8 Months since my life was altered
by: Doreen U.K.

Beverley what you are experiencing is normal grief of a Mom who lost an Adult Child. Give yourself permission to cry, shout, scream etc. This is raw grief. You didn't make this death happen. Something was done to you to make you feel like crying and screaming. This is O.K.
What is not O.K. is if you store up your grief so you can take care of your daughter-in-law's grief as you see this as more important. CRY TOGETHER. Scream together if it helps. You are doing nothing wrong. this is the only way you will move forward and heal from your grief.
Because you are in Public Office and have to show others you are strong doesn't mean you have to be. There may very well be days when you are in the wrong place and grief takes hold of you and all you want to do is cry. This is reasonable and you should excuse yourself and have that cry. You will go back and be O.K. We all go through this and it is NORMAL. WE all find different ways of handling grief in the wrong place. People will love you more for showing your humanity. You will be being true to yourself and being YOUR TRUE SELF. It is hard losing a child/Adult child and you are not expected to recover to the place you want to be. Your life has been altered forever all you would have to do is in time find a way to live with your loss and help your daughter-in-law and grandchildren get through their lives as best as possible. We all have our limitations and can only do our best. Don't stretch yourself beyond this otherwise you will suffer a boundary injury.

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