Matty - 9th March, 2010.

by Allan Dodd
(Reading, Berkshire, UK.)

Rio's @ Leeds, Matt's last gig with TERAKAI - 25th February, 2010.

Rio's @ Leeds, Matt's last gig with TERAKAI - 25th February, 2010.

Matt was right on the edge of achieving the recognition for which he has worked so hard. His band TERAKAI were about to embark on a tour supporting 2 other Reading headline bands called SYLOSIS and THE ARUSHA ACCORD. This is all metal/metalcore music. Their next gig was in Southampton on 19th March. The band had just received sponsorship from Kramer Guitars and they were making guitars and a bass for Matt, Tom and Chris, my younger son, to their own specifications. They were due to be delivered in April.

Since Matty died so suddenly, Kramer Guitars completed the guitar he specified with his name and dates on a plate fixed to it.

Their first EP, "The Last Stand", had extensive coverage on their website with all the songs showing thousands of people listening to the music. They were expecting one of the metal labels to sign them up imminently. He arranged a practice Monday evening,8th March, at Reading's 'The Face' bar. When his Mum, Mandy, brought him home, he was on cloud 9 because it had gone so well and the boys had played brilliantly. Coming from Matt that is praise indeed as he is the ultimate 110% perfectionist! He said to Mandy on the ride home "Mum, it doesn't come any better than this!"

I saw him up to bed at 1am, clutching his hot water bottle (in its Rudolph cover!) as happy as a sand boy. I got up at 7:15 and neither of the boys were up. So I shook Chris awake first, went in to Matty's room and couldn't wake him. When I looked properly I could see he was dead. I don't remember ever feeling such pain! It looked as if he had passed away almost as soon as he touched his pillow. He was on his side, clutching his Rudolph hot water bottle, no sign of any trauma, quite peaceful.

I don't remember ever feeling such pain! The nearest was when I lost my Mum in a car crash and had to identify her body and make all the arrangements, including the inquest. I was 20 at the time. That was bad, really bad, but this is immeasurably worse. It's not right; it's not fair and no parent should have to bury their child.

The four of us left behind, Mandy (his Mum), Stef (older sister) and Kip (younger brother - proper name Chris) live our lives in separate bubbles, each trying to deal with the shock and grief in their own way and not able to communicate with each other. We try to be "strong" for each other, but it just is not working. There will never be any healing for the black hole that has opened up in each of our separate personas, and we subsist from day to day with this huge gap in our collective lives.

We found out that Matty was killed by a virus! It took the coroner's pathologist and lab 2 weeks to identify it. Haemorrhagic pneumonitis we were told - nobody had ever heard of it, not even our doctor's practice had ever had a case of this.

Matty was 22 days short of his 19th birthday, and if he wasn't a modern guitar virtuoso, then the phrase does not exist! He is so sorely missed by us, Mandy is still expecting him to walk back in the door and Kip is trying to live Matt's life in his stead. Personally, I have got past the denial/shock stage of grief and I am just plain downright angry all the time; a real mess of emotions at the waste and denial of his chance to shine.

Comments for Matty - 9th March, 2010.

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Jan 19, 2011
Thank you.
by: Allan Dodd

Dear Linda, Shirley and Pat;

Thank you for your responses to my post about Matt's death. He went through a lot in his short life, he was diagnosed as Asperger's syndrome when he was nearly 3 years old. This is a part of the autistic spectrum that is at the high achieving end. It is also a high anxiety situation, because he lived in a world that the rest of us could not understand, and he had difficulty understanding and living in our "normal" one.

He had some really terrible times, and was bullied to the extent we had to involve our police at one stage. He came through all this to find music and the guitar at which he excelled almost from the moment he started to learn aged almost 13.

For him to come through the experiences he had and become a young man of whom anyone would be proud, and then be robbed of his destiny is such a bitter pill to swallow. It is good that there are sites like Jennie's where we can draw some strength from each other to go on.
Thanks again.

Jan 18, 2011
A mothers love
by: Linda

I also know the pain of losing as my darling husband of just eight short months passed away on the 18th of December, although I am grieving and my heart is broken I think I am blessed as I have my son to keep me going.

I feel for you and know that you are in my thoughts.

Jan 18, 2011
our beautiful sons
by: Shirley

I'm sorry about Matty. He seemed to be a beautiful person from your description. I lost my son, Dimitri, to leukemia on August 9th, 2010. Like you, I never expected to have my child die before me. He suffered with such dignity for two long years. He made me proud. I don't know if I could have coped with the three major surgeries (including a liver transplant) and multiple hospitalizations like he did. Like your Matty, he too was on the cusp of something great. He had applied to the Los Angeles Police Dept, was studying law in college and coaching youth basketball. He continued to try and participate in these activities during his illness.

I have no words of comfort because I know there aren't any. My ex and my other kids are also in shock. We too cope in our own ways. My only hope now is that my life ends early so that I can join him. I am so tired of crying....
Keep coming back here to read and post. It does help a little bit.

Jan 17, 2011
Precious Young Man
by: Pat

Greetings from the USA. What a beautiful and talented young man you have lost. I think it's only natural for you to feel anger.

I just lost my husband 7 weeks ago~he was waiting for a heart transplant. One day while I was driving in my car with my 10 year old grandson he said to me~"Grandma, you do know don't you that in order for grandpa to get a heart transplant some young person has to die to give their heart to him. I think that's very sad."

I didn't know quite how to answer him. I tried to explain to him that God takes young people every day. God has a plan for their life from the moment they are born. He wanted to know WHY? I was at a loss for words. I couldn't explain this to him. I told him, "We don't really know why." He wasn't buying my explanation at all.

It made no sense to a 10 year old boy and I'm sure it makes no sense to you and your family. I read your story and find myself asking why? Such a wonderful talented young person. I wish I could tell you why. All I can tell you is that everyone on this web site has suffered a terrible loss like you. We are all in this pain together and are here for you. Please come here for support. We understand only all too well. God's blessings to you and your family.

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