Coping with Causing a Serious Accident
A Site for Information, Support, and Healing

Who We Are

We are good people who have unintentionally harmed others, in accidents occurring on the roads, at work, at play, or around the home. Some call us CADI’s (Causing Accidental Death or Injury). Most of us feel grief, guilt, and distress about our accidents. Over time, we learn that our mistake does not have to define us.

Highlights

There is no easy path to peace. Each of us must find our own way through this dark night of the soul. Although we cannot change what happened, we can control how we respond. We believe that CADI’s face three challenges:

In this site, we share information and resources that may be helpful to you. I encourage you to share your ideas and experience. You can write me privately here, or add your comments so that other readers can benefit from your input.

Accidental Impacts Peer Support Opportunities

We offer 3 options for peer support in addition to this website. They allow those who have inadvertently killed or injured someone to talk with others who share a similar experience, for purposes of mutual support, information-sharing, and encouragement. For more information, email us at [email protected].

  • Our monthly fellowship meetings occur via Zoom the third Sunday of each month, from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Eastern time). Each meeting addresses a theme of interest to CADIs, such as self-compassion, post-traumatic stress, various spiritual or religious perspectives, and various therapeutic modalities.
  • Expressive Writing (sometimes referred to as Writing to Heal) is based on research and clinical studies about writing as a way of coping with trauma. After a short introduction, participants spend about 20 minutes writing in response to a prompt and then reconvene for discussion. We are not expected to share the content of our writing but rather to discuss insights or questions emerging from it. Expressive Writing generally meets on alternative Sundays for one hour.
  • One-to-One Peer Support builds on the Accidental Impacts tradition of informal, one-to-one communications in between structured meetings, as CADIs meet and relate to one another in fellowship and expressive writing. Peer supporters are CADIs who, through their own experience, have learned valuable lessons about trauma, coping, and growth, which they are willing to share from the standpoint of their own experience, strength, and hope. The relationship between peers gives both parties the opportunity to reflect on their experience, learn, and grow.

These peer support opportunities are not a substitute for professional behavioral health treatment, counseling, or therapy. We recommend that all CADIs receive professional psychotherapy.

Accidental Impacts Mission & Values

Accidental Impacts started out as a modest website and over the past decade has grown to reach a worldwide audience. In 2019 we became a not-for-profit corporation in the State of California. Today, in addition to this website, we offer an array of programs and services including monthly fellowship meetings, expressive writing opportunities, peer support, and outreach. We are the only organization worldwide serving the needs of those who have unintentionally killed or seriously injured other people.

Our mission: Accidental Impacts alleviates the suffering of those who have unintentionally harmed others.

Our core values:
We treat others & ourselves with honesty & integrity.
We approach our work with compassion for ourselves & others.
We accept responsibility for our past actions & for our current healing & growth.
We recognize that healing is both psychological & spiritual.
We recognize community as a source of support for ourselves & others; we commit to building community with & among those we serve.

For information about our Board of Directors, click here.

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Joe
Joe
12 days ago

My name is Joe in 2012 I was putting my gun down in my truck and it went off killing my son of 7 years old in seconds and see his eyes all the time

Sam
Sam
18 days ago

A year and a half ago, a very drunk man walked in front of my car on a darkened road as I was returning from the gym at around 6:30 pm. He went through the windshield and died an hour later at the ER. I was cleared of any responsibility, but I remain constantly haunted by the event, and the knowledge that my actions, however, unintended, resulted in the death of another human being. I’ve sought counseling, but I feel that there’s now a permanent cloud over me.

Sarah
Sarah
22 days ago

I’m so grateful I found this group… It’s been almost 12 years since I accidentally started a fire that resulted in the death of my father… It was due to my carelessness and act of negligence and I was also charged with negligent manslaughter and did almost 9 years… I can’t believe some days I thought I dealt with the pain of losing him I was an only child and he was my best friend, I’m in my mom had been married 31 years at the time, but I feel like the pain is only just beginning.. it’s affecting my… Read more »

Jay
Jay
20 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Sarah- So sorry for what you are going through. I sympathize. I have terrible anxiety about everything since my accident 3+ hrs ago. I’m glad you can find comfort in knowing that people here do understand.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
13 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Sarah! Thank you so much for opening up and sharing. It is SO important people who’ve gone through what we’ve gone through give voice to our feelings. A therapist I know once said that emotions like this never go away – that some how, some way, they find a way out – and the way you have chosen is the most healthy. There is no question that self-forgiveness like what you’re describing is a huge, huge deal. I have found that it’s not a case of finding an answer and you’re done – but by day by day, even moment… Read more »

Theresa
Theresa
1 month ago

I’m not sure if I’m on the right side for this, but I’m hoping I’m welcome.
About 3 years ago, I accidentally burned down a 48 unit condo complex. I am sick about it. I was distracted, and put a cigarette out in a potted plant. It smoldered for 4 hours and caught the fertilizer and soil on fire. It destroyed 48 units. No deaths, but on site, someone said, “Look at what you did!” I can never forget that moment. The shame I feel is awful. Am I able to join your group?

Jay
Jay
20 days ago
Reply to  Theresa

Hi Theresa—Absolutely, this is the place. My ‘victim’ didn’t die either, but the guilt of harming someone and knowing that I could have killed someone is still something to grapple with. I hope coming to this site helps you feel supported. People here do understand.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
13 days ago
Reply to  Theresa

Hi Theresa – Thanks so much for sharing this story – The shame, guilt, embarrassment, and regret you feel certainly parallel what the accidental killers in this group feel – and even though no one died in your accident I think the group would be good for you – and of course, you are warmly welcome! I agree with you – it’s the dealing with the shame that’s so tough – it’s that nasty recording device that only seems to play back criticisms not compliments. And as you probably know, there are healthy strategies out there to help us get… Read more »

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

I found this support group 17 years late. I accidentally killed my girlfriend on 9/4/04. I made a mistake driving and we ended up in a head on t bone accident in San Luis Obispo. I remember hearing broken glass and the sound of bending metal. I remember seeing my girlfriend’s body and then being pulled out of the window side by bystanders. From then I blacked out numerous times. Her family didn’t press charges, and still welcome me when I can visit (usually I’d visit them and her at the cemetery yearly). We were heading back home from the… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Marc

Hi Marc – Thanks for being brave enough to vent here. Thanks for being courageous enough to continue the battle toward wellness. Thanks for being a role model to the rest of us who just want to throw in the towel. What we do when we accidentally take a life is enter into a world of self-harm – by the thoughts of blame, guilt, shame, and embarrassment that just don’t stop. We fight off lies about our self-worth and what our future will look like. The fact is that your resiliency keeps you alive to see another day, to help… Read more »

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Chris, your warm words of support to people leaving posts are a great comfort- certainly to the persons who posted – but i know also to the others who look at this site. Not meaning to pry but I’m curious about your own story – is there any site or page where you’ve talked about it?

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
29 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Hey Tom – No worries, you’re not prying! I have not written extensively about my accidental killing – it involved negligence and a civil suit around a garage door I put in on the cheap at my home – and ended up killing my good friend and gardener, very tragic and getting sued was the least I could do (and pay out damages) for such a stupid mistake. Like most of us – it’s a terrible feeling that comes and goes but never leaves. I miss Kenny and the work done to help others through Accidental Impacts is a small… Read more »

Bonnie bishop
Bonnie bishop
29 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Thanks Tom for asking and thanks Chris for answering. I was kinda wondering too. So sorry for your loss. Think I found this site around 2008 or so. I do have a short personal story about my car accident which claimed the life of my best friend of 30 yrs. Also a book I wrote about my experience. Things I went threw and learned. Things and people that helped. I fictionalized it to protect the innocent but the accident, process I had to go through, legal procedures and consequences and my emotions are all true. was listed under things to… Read more »

Jay
Jay
22 days ago
Reply to  Marc

Marc,
I just wanted to say how sorry I am for what you’ve been through. You’ve suffered enough for this very human mistake that resulted in so much tragedy. Truly, you have suffered enough. I hope you find peace. You deserve it. I promise you, you deserve it.

Hanako Eden
Hanako Eden
1 month ago

It’s been 6 years since I accidentally killed my daughter. I forgot to put the handbrake on in my car which led to it running over me with my daughter in my arms. I had minor wounds and she died. It’s really helpful to hear others stories, I have always grappled with the heaviness of wanting to be open about her death in that it was an accident, it was caused by my actions. And I was her caregiver, she was an barely a toddler and so reliant on me. I know this is a really heavy thing to talk… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Hanako Eden

Hanako – What beautiful words! It’s really inspiring to see how you are so genuine in your pain yet so determined in your hope. Like you, my accident killed someone. And no matter how many people say ‘Get over it, it was clearly not intentional’ the feelings of guilt just don’t go away. What I do arrive at though is that accidents like yours and mine HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. There are 40,000 people who die every year due to accident. Sometimes I like to think that if there are 40,000 accidental killers each year, 40,000 people who have to… Read more »

Jay
Jay
22 days ago
Reply to  Hanako Eden

Hanako,
What an amazingly insightful person you are. There is so much clarity in your thoughts…and so much hope. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Jill
Jill
1 month ago

I hope no one feels I’m disrespecting or diminutizing their experience as mine was not with a person. My neglect led to the brutal murder of my sweet, innocent dog. Coming up on the two year anniversary. I feel compelled to end my life soon; was hoping reading relatable experiences would help but definitely not. Every comment, every story I’ve read on this website was someone who made a genuine mistake. All accidents. No blatant neglect, like me. I do feel this exploration and revelation was meant to point me in the correct direction. I wish I could give him… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jill
Mary
Mary
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill

I don’t want to say the wrong thing so I will keep it brief so as to let others with perhaps more insight respond. All I will say is please explore all avenues of help if you haven’t already…counseling, EMDR, etc. I would also suggest joining the group discussions once a month. You will meet a great group of people who will give you hope.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mary
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
1 month ago
Reply to  Mary

Please do not end your life. There are resources – professionals, individuals who have experienced what you’ve experienced and survived, programs and therapy and snooks and speakers and treatment, videos, conferences, etc. If you are feeling suicidal
And planning to end your life, please seek immediate help. Call 911. If you are in need of someone to talk to, there are online chats and crisis text lines that are anonymous.

Reach out. You are not alone. There is hope.

Hanako Eden
Hanako Eden
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill

Hey Jill, I’m so sorry that your feeling such depth of pain. It doesn’t matter that it was a pet, rather than a human, our pets are our family – the fact you are in so much pain from what happened really seems to reflect how much you loved them. You mentioned you’re hurting so much that you’re thinking of suicide, is there anything you can do to keep your self safe right now? The fact you’re here and reaching out to this support group is really brave and tells me there might be a part of you that wants… Read more »

Kind2u
Kind2u
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill

Jill, no one ever wants events like these to occur, I know that in your heart you would still want your dog to be here with you, u are valuable to God, you are worth living, he knows ur thoughts and collects your tears so I ask that Jesus heals you from condemnation, guilt and trauma, and that u will find peace love and joy in him, someone who loves you dearly, so keep living u are worth everyday gifted from our Heavenly Father, so fight for it because I know he’s fighting for u, God bless u

Shalee
Shalee
2 months ago

This past Wednesday, May 19th, I was backing out of my driveway to go get me and my Dad something to eat. I have to back up a hill to get out, and it creates a blind spot as my car is backing up. I had just left my Dad in the house upstairs, but in the time it took me to go back downstairs, get my purse and keys and get in my car, unbeknownst to me my Dad had gone outside to walk up and down the driveway with his walker. He was in that blind spot and… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Shalee

Hi Shalee- Thank you so much for opening up about something so hurtful – I commend you for your bravery. What we know about normal humans is that we are tremendously caring creatures. Most of us are really helpful, loving people – so when we behave differently we suffer an injury – this is called a moral injury – something that, even in unintentional cases, causes us great distress. So yes, where you are absolutely stinks. It is painful – physically, psychologically, spiritually, etc. However, what normal humans also have the capacity to do, on most occasions, is to overcome.… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
22 days ago
Reply to  Shalee

In 2009 I accidentally started a fire in my house carelessly neglectfully resulting in the death of my father… I was charged with negligent manslaughter and did 9 years in prison.. I’ve been out three and I thought I dealt with the pain of the loss, however I feel like it’s only just beginning and it’s beginning to affect my marriage… I was an only child my mother and father had been married 31 years and my whole life I felt like nothing but a screw up and I don’t understand why I didn’t go and he stayed… I have… Read more »

Jay
Jay
22 days ago
Reply to  Shalee

Shalee,
My heart is breaking for you. This grieving process takes a lot of time and you are just at the very beginning. I hope you can find some small comfort in reading stories here (like Hanakos’s above). It really does help to know you are not alone. Hang in there and reach out for help as soon as you can. Counseling can help.

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 months ago

I read an article a long time ago about the devastation of accidentally causing a death and the lack of resources available to help a person cope with the aftermath, and the article referenced your organization. Then, some time ago I received an email from Accidental Impacts, a survey, if I remember correctly. I had no idea what Accidental Impacts was until I followed the link and then I remembered the article I read. Still, I thought the email was odd; I don’t remember signing up for anything. Then last week a young family member of mine was hit by… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Amen. Thanks for sharing this – your words of encouragement are beautiful.

Nicole
Nicole
1 month ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Beautiful advice- I am beyond grateful for finding this site and hearing from another loving soul on the side of a hurting family bc it involves 2 hurting families. People do not realize the damage that comes from this, the eternal pain and impact of knowing you’re involved in such a tragedy. Thank you for speaking up.

Wil Carter
Wil Carter
2 months ago

I’m right there with you brother. My accident was almost 30 years ago and I just now found this site. You are waaay younger than I, so do your time and remember that it was an accident and it is not who you are. You can still have a long and beautiful life.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Wil Carter

Thanks for this encouragement Will. Good words. It’s what I needed to hear.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

Nearly one year ago I woke up in jail. I had no idea how I had gotten there. Upon speaking to an officer, I learned I was being charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence. I wave of anger, guilt, and remorse, among a host of other feelings flooded my thoughts, and I still have the same feelings with the same intensity a year later. I later learned that in the middle of a blackout caused my excessive drinking, I had gotten into my car and eventually crashed into a house. A grandfather and husband was sleeping in his… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Hi Tom- Wow. What a story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I can SO relate to much of what you’re saying, as a fellow accidental killer I grapple with similar feelings. Finding the will to live may come after a deeper realization that you are more than the worst thing you’ve ever done. It may come after reading many of these accounts that tell us how people have managed to put themselves back together after doing similar things. And it may not come at all. People are crushed by these things all the time. Finding the will to… Read more »

Wiola Wojo
Wiola Wojo
3 months ago

Hi… I’m searching potentially for someone who hit a woman in Brooklyn in February 2006? That woman is my mother and I would really just like to find this person to talk to them. My mom passed away a few weeks ago, from being a non verbal quadriplegic for 16 years from the injuries of the accident. I was 8 years old at the time. I just wondered all these years if this man even ever thought about it … the impact that it had on my family… the absolute impact it had on my mommy … this forum gives… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Wiola Wojo

Dear Wiola – What kind sentiments and good intentions you express! Thank you for sharing your heart here. Yes, this forum can help bring healing – and your story definitely adds to that. We know that unless we are sociopaths or suffer some related mental deficiency, humans suffer tremendously when they harm someone. I know of a study that indicates the vast majority of Civil War soldiers who fired bullets at the enemy deliberately tried to miss their targets. We were not created to harm our own species. We don’t know what the person who harmed your mother is going… Read more »

April
April
3 months ago

I thought I had overcome my guilt but I was wrong. It has been 11 years since my best friend and I played with a gun and it went off and I accidentally fatally shot her. We were both 15. I think I pushed the trauma so far down that now that it is resurfacing I can no longer control it. I won’t lie, I have considered suicide these past few days. A couple times a year someone who still has anger towards me about it (I can’t blame them) will message me on social media or will message my… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  April

Hi April – Thank you so much for posting! You are experiencing the same kind of trauma as tens of thousands of others have experienced but who keep it bottled up. And one way or another, therapists say, it comes out of the bottle – in word and/or action it does not go away. Thank you for opening up. I agree wholeheartedly with MaryAnn who answered this previously, that counseling is a great idea. One of the things that you’ll find as you go along on the journey is that there is no magic solution. There is no hidden cure.… Read more »

Mary Ann
Mary Ann
3 months ago

I am reading many of the responses that Chris has written. As a member of this wonderful group, all I can say to anyone considering joining in on a monthly fellowship meeting is ‘do it’. I have met some of the kindest people I have ever met in my life. Though my circumstances are different as a loss of life did not occur in my case and what I did was purely neglectful and totally out of character for me and was based on my own recent trauma, I still feel the guilt and shame of having hurt someone I… Read more »

May
May
3 months ago

I found this site after my husband was involved in fatal car accident. It was extremely difficult to watch him process and go through the aftermath of the accident. As a mental health professional, I was at a loss with how to cope with this and how to help my husband cope with this. It has been over two years since the accident and it is still a daily thought for me and I am sure it is for my husband as well. We still suffer from the consequences from that accident (emotionally, financially and legally). Slowly things are returning… Read more »

Chris
3 months ago
Reply to  May

Dear May- Thank you so much for reaching out! We are delighted you’re here. As a mental health professional your husband is in much better hands than many! Please feel free to pop into our monthly support group meetings – you and/or your husband – they’re on Zoom and if you want to listen only that’s fine – just turn off your camera and hear the stories and coping narratives of others – it’s been really healing for me. Please know that we take every accident seriously – that there is always more than one person harmed – and that… Read more »

Dena
Dena
4 months ago

I lost my son to a tragic FREAK accident January 2, 2021. My son Angel had bought a new gun & Christian wanted to see it. When he looked at it he told Angel it wasn’t working so he passed the gun to Angel. The gun went off & hit my son in the chest. Angel got on the phone calling 911 to try to save his brother among others in the house calling for EMT. The police showed up & drew guns on Angel & got him in the police car. I was so shocked because this was truly… Read more »

Chris
3 months ago
Reply to  Dena

Dena – I am simply stunned after reading your story. This is so wrong on so many levels. I want to encourage you to read through this site – and to come to our monthly support group meetings on Zoom – our community is filled with people like you – and we do help each other. Please reach out to me personally if I can be of any help – your story should not end here – justice needs to be served. Know that there are people who understand what it’s like to feel this way – and who have… Read more »

Dena
Dena
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Thank you Chris. I don’t have a clue as to how to join a zoom class. [email protected] is my email please reach out to me there. I can try to get help on joining your class.

Dena Martinez

Cheryl
Cheryl
5 months ago

I have been searching for a place to air my guilt/ regret/ remorse over probably unknowingly infecting my husband with Covid. He died., and I realize now my non classic symptoms were taken lightly and the result is devastating. I feel so responsible and undeserving of any sympathy…We loved each other so much..

Antoine
Antoine
4 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Hello Cheryl. I feel for you and understand what you are going through I think: A few days before Christmas I have killed my beloved wife of 38 years by making a wrong medical decision. I grieve while fighting my guilt, toward her, toward my children, toward her family…

I miss her terribly! Everything I’ve built for the future was centered around her; SHE was my future ! And I scr**ed-it-up and I suffer so much!

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Antoine

Antoine – Such unimaginable pain – and the complexities in which you are immersed! Thank you for writing about it. When we share our stories with others here we have no idea how we may be assisting – we get about 75-100 page views a day – and we know that people who do what we’ve done are not eager to broadcast it. But we can be eager to learn more about it – and your candid admission may really help someone. Please know that you are valued here and we are a community of concern and care. Also know… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Hi Cheryl – How devastating. How heart-wrenching. How tragic. You are right to feel so hurt. On this site you will find people who have experienced similar things – and have found a way to cope – a way to get through it. Do try to read their stories. These are things we never get over – but we can find a way to get through. Also, do know that you are not alone in this. Know that there are people who care about you – I am one – And this site is here for you. Do come to… Read more »

Mary
Mary
6 months ago

I would love to hear from anyone who has had success with emdr, particularly if you are in or around the Boston area, though i would love to hear from anyone anywhere who has had success. I would really like to explore this type of therapy. Thanks,

MMDR
MMDR
6 months ago
Reply to  Mary

My husband is a combat veteran and successfully did EMDR. I did as well and it worked for both of us. I highly recommend it. We are in Texas, so I don’t have a referral for you in Boston, but please find someone who will do this with you. It’s safe and effective and can only help you!

Mary
Mary
5 months ago
Reply to  MMDR

Thanks….that is encouraging. I have been diligently trying to find someone and have had no success.

Karen
Karen
5 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary,

Psychology Today has a therapist finder that allow you to filter by location and type of therapy (and other variables including what insurance they accept). I found several pages of providers in Boston who do EMDR. Please see https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/emdr/ma/boston?sid=602997852f379

Mary
Mary
5 months ago
Reply to  Karen

Thanks Karen. I have utilized that resource. Many of the therapists are not taking new patients and many are only ‘trained’ not certified which makes a big difference from what I have learned. I am happy to say that I did find a certified one relatively close to my home. I start in a week. Thank you for your assistance.

Karen
Karen
5 months ago
Reply to  Mary

That’s great to hear, Mary. I hope you find it beneficial.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
4 months ago
Reply to  Mary

I first learned of EMDR as part of a trauma therapy program at a large university about 40 minutes from my home. I am not from Boston; however, I did a quick search using the terms “EMDR in Boston” and “university in Boston EMDR” and there were several results. I’ll post the links to a few here and maybe that will help you or at least provide some resources that you can use to locate a provider. I had great success with EMDR. The most important factor (in my opinion) is to establish trust with the therapist prior to starting… Read more »

Mary
Mary
4 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Thanks very much! I actually did find a therapist who I really feel a connection to. May I ask how Emdr has helped you? Thanks again…..

Forrest Lang
5 months ago
Reply to  MMDR

I have successfully done EMDR. The first time was in 2000 after I accidentally shot and killed my best friend. It did a lot to mitigate the flashbacks.
Currently I am doing it again.

Mary
Mary
5 months ago
Reply to  Forrest Lang

Thank you Forrest. I am so happy that it helped you, Good luck with your next session,

ricky
ricky
4 months ago
Reply to  Forrest Lang

i accidentally shot and killed my friend in 2003 when i was 18, i did 7 1/2 years in prison for it. ive always felt bad and remorseful but the past 2 years its come on as if im dealing with it for the first time. why is this happening so long afterwards.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  ricky

Hi Ricky- Thank you for posting here. Your question about why this is happening to you so long – 18 years – after the fact is a testament to our human nature. We’re not wired to intentionally harm members of our own species. And when we do – esp. when we kill someone like we’ve both done – this often wounds us for life. Grief is a very funny thing. It is more present in some than others. And it’s more present at some times than others. It’s unpredictable. I has its own time table. On this site you’ll find… Read more »

Dena
Dena
3 months ago
Reply to  ricky

Ricky please reach out to me. My son accidentally shot his brother January 2. 2021 I’d love nothing more then for you to speak to my son as he will now have to grieve the loss of his brother at the hands of his own self even though it was a tragic FREAK accident I wanna meet others who know how my son will feel for the rest of his life. I worry about his mental health & fear he’ll lose himself in the process. He will be in therapy & have a family to love him through this process.… Read more »

Jill
Jill
6 months ago

Unlike everyone else commenting, the death I caused was not via accident, but neglect, and truly was my fault. It’s been two years but still hurts like yesterday which just makes me even worse of a person. How can I hurt for my own morality when someone died a horrible death??

Mary
Mary
5 months ago
Reply to  Jill

My incident was as a result of neglect also. No one died but the situation could have been a lot worse. As Pastor Chris Yaw said on here, you did not intentionally set out to harm someone…neither did I. Our situations are different but those words still hold true. Someone also said to me that no one’s life should be defined by one mistake. Now if I could only take my own advice and forgive myself, I wish you peace.

Melissa
Melissa
5 months ago
Reply to  Jill

Jill, I’m a wife of someone who caused a death, by accident. Even if your accident was caused by neglect it is still a accident. You didn’t seek out someone with intent. My heart hurts so much for you and everyone else here. I tell my daughter to sit down with grape juice because it will stain the carpet if she spills it. Well of course she always says, “mom I’m not going to spill it”. Ahh, she spills it. It was a accident, yes she knew it could happen, but she didn’t go to the corner and pour it… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 months ago
Reply to  Jill

HI Jill – Thank you so much for reaching out! I can’t tell you how important it is for us to put into words – to own up to our feelings – and tell our truth. Again thanks. It’s been said that the most difficult battles we fight are those within. And finding a way to harness the feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, low self-worth, and self-criticism are truly formidable as we recover from what we did – yes, we – like you, my accident was caused by neglect as well. One way to address the pain is to admit… Read more »

Tonantzin
Tonantzin
6 months ago

Hi! Does anyone know of a group like this in for Spanish-speakers? A dear friend of mine in Mexico is recovering from COVID-19. His sister-in-law, who is a doctor, cared for him during his illness, and ended-up contracting the virus also. While he recovered, she did not, and she died last week. He is in deep pain, dealing with feelings of guilt, assuming that he gave her the virus (which is very likely, according to his wife and everyone in their family) and causing her death. He needs a lot of support to deal with this painful situation. Any recommendations… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Tonantzin

Hiya –
Thank you so much for reaching out! I do not know personally, but I will poll our Accidental Impacts board and see if I can give you a better answer. Is there anyone around your friend who does speak English and maybe both could come to one of our support group meetings? We’d love to have him and he could hear other stories of people who are going through this.
Chris

Matthew
Matthew
6 months ago

one of my best friends recently fell asleep and rolled over on her one year old daughter and woke up in the morning and she was dead.
how do i help her get thru this

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 months ago
Reply to  Matthew

Hey Matthew – What a tragedy – how devastating- thank you so much for posting. First off, you’ve already done something amazing: you went looking for help for your friend. Time and again it’s been shown that the way we get through losses like this is not by powering through on our own, but by a net and network of good friends like you. If your friend ever needed you – and others – it’s now. Your friend is probably wracked with guilt, seething with emotional pain, and fighting back nagging thoughts of low self-worth, perhaps even suicide. Now more… Read more »

Kyndal Hazen
Kyndal Hazen
7 months ago

Tonight, the day after Christmas, I was driving home from my boyfriend’s house after dropping off his Christmas present. I was heading back to my grandmother’s where all of my family was gathered to celebrate the holidays, it was very dark by then. I was turning down the street where my grandmother’s house was going about 15-20 MPH when in front of me I suddenly say a cyclist dressed in all black who was also rounding the corner to turn. I slammed on my breaks but only saw him right as he was about to hit. He dropped off to… Read more »

Chris
6 months ago
Reply to  Kyndal Hazen

Hey Kyndal – I’m Chris Yaw, a fellow CADI and Accidental Impacts board member… First, thank you for sharing. This is a harrowing story and I am so glad to hear no one was seriously injured. A tough part now, is letting it go. I can understand this inner, video image being glued to your brain for some time, and neurologists could better explain why… What you need to know is that it was an accident. You were doing the best you could to make it to your destination. You did not intend on hurting anyone that night. You are… Read more »

Matthew Andrade
Matthew Andrade
7 months ago

June 26, 2020 2am I am a repoman and was working. I fell asleep at the wheel at an intersection and t boned another vehicle, killing the other driver and breaking my arm and wrist. I can still hear the glass breaking and metal bending. I think about the guy everyday. I feel guilty because he was an innocent person just living his life.

Chris
6 months ago

Matthew – Thank you so much for writing. Yes, you were tired and you fell asleep. But you DID NOT intend on killing someone. This was an accident. You had nothing but good feelings toward this innocent person until fate intervened. Getting rid of these images may take a lifetime. But one thing that research shows works: talk about it. Tell a good friend. Get a therapist. Show up anonymously at one of our group chats. But talk it out. In processing things like this you are either going to talk it out or act it out. Choose the former.… Read more »

Audrey
Audrey
7 months ago

The accident was not me driving, but my father. However, in instances like this, many people are impacted. Today is the five year anniversary of the accident. My father was driving to come pick me up from a volunteer position, when he struck a cyclist coming up an access, ending his life. He got out of the vehicle, not seeing what it was he hit. He recalls seeing papers on the ground, but nothing else. He drove home and called 911. Later, police showed up at our house and promptly arrested him in our living room. I was fifteen at… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Audrey

Audrey – Thank you so much for sharing this. And what a testimony as to the importance of your voice – and many others like you and me (I am a CADI) – who are trying to put a stop to such mean-spiritedness surrounding tragedies like this one. A man named Reinhold Niebuhr wrote this, “Ultimately evil is done not so much by evil people, but by good people who do not know themselves and who do not probe deeply.”   This quote comes to mind when I hear of the knee jerk reactions of folk who are quick to assess… Read more »

Jay
Jay
22 days ago
Reply to  Audrey

Audrey,
I’m so sorry for what you and your family have been through. People can be ignorant and often people have a very limited perspective if they don’t actually know anyone who has lived with being a CADI. Truly, any one of them could be in your dad’s shoes tomorrow and it’s unfortunate that they cannot see it. I hope that hearing from people who understand and have compassion for your family will give you some comfort.

Melissa
Melissa
7 months ago

Today I got a call from my husband, he was crying more than I’ve ever heard. He said someone ran out in front of him in his big work truck and he was killed instantly. We have been together since we were 15, we are 31 now. I always make everything better and its killing me that I can’t take his pain away. I don’t know what to do for him. I want to be there for him and leave him alone. I don’t want to hover but I also don’t want to leave him alone with his thoughts. I’m… Read more »

Leslie
Leslie
7 months ago
Reply to  Melissa

As someone who is in his position. Just remind him that you are there for him whenever he needs to talk or cry. And that you don’t blame him. And that you love him. Thats all I would need.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Melissa

Be there for him. You are the closest thing to support he has, whatever the outcome.

Alexis
Alexis
6 months ago
Reply to  Melissa

I’m also someone who has been in this position. My high school sweetheart also hit and killed someone while at work in a work vehicle. It’s been a long hard road but it gets better and life gets back to feeling more normal. Find a balance of being there for him and leaving him be. Listen when he talks. Let him know you still think the world of him. He needs you.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Melissa

Melissa – What a loving woman you are – thank you for posting! Watching a loved one feel pain is often more painful than feeling the pain ourselves – so we get it. Do the best you can to keep healthy – as I imagine you want to ‘be there’ for him the best you can – that means rest, exercise, eating right, not too many cocktails etc… The best thing you can be is be there for him – and be in a place to be the best ‘you’ you can be for him. Taking care of yourself is… Read more »

Melissa
Melissa
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

I just want to thank everyone for their response. I never imagined I would be sitting in my car bawling looking for a website for others going through similar, but different situations. Its been two months now and we haven’t talked about it in weeks. We were already moving to a different side of town a few weeks after the accident so we haven’t had to go near the spot . He knows I love him and that I will be here for him. I will never bring it up unless he wants to talk about it. I’m not sure… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 months ago
Reply to  Melissa

Melissa – Thank you for being so brave and posting! You are verbalizing what so many have felt as they deal with loved ones who we suspect are really hurting after an accident like this. So the first thing is – you are to be commended for your deep commitment to your husband – your care and concern for him and his health is just beautiful. Know that people most often get through these things because of the love and care of others – and you are doing much just by being so loving and supportive. Second, know that when… Read more »

Bill
Bill
8 months ago

In 2014 I was going home from work after dark, when a pedestrian in dark clothing stepped in front of me as I was entering a freeway. I swerved to miss him, but grazed him with the front of my vehicle, throwing him to the side of the road. I called 911 and he was taken to a hospital, where he died. For the next three years I was involved in a legal battle, where the accident report was re-written, and changed from an unfortunate accident to involuntary manslaughter. I was caught in the legal system, and rather than go… Read more »

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Our legal system is broken when the D.A. has a win-at-all-cost attitude. Our jails are filled with people who were forced to plead-out because the cost of fighting their case was too expensive, or bail was set at a cost unable to pay. I feel for you.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Hi Bill – Thank you for posting and being up front about your experiences – Your story confirms the constant challenge America has in reforming its justice system – politics and personal ambition enter too many cases and do a woeful amount of damage. And our incessant need to blame – someone or something – only worsens things. That said, I am reminded of a definition is maturity that offers a challenge: We reach maturity when we cease to blame. Remember that the only person we can ever change in life is ourselves. We can’t change the D.A. We can’t… Read more »

Tom Morgan
Tom Morgan
8 months ago

My name is Tom, and I live in Dallas. Two years ago I was driving the half mile to my home after dinner when I hit a bicyclist. It was a Friday night, around 9:30, and had been rainy thru the day. I left the restaurant and turned right onto the 6 lane street with a 40 mph speed limit. There was no immediate traffic in either direction, so I got up to speed, and began pulling to the inside lane to turn left in half a block. Just as I was approaching the turn lane, the cyclist suddenly appeared… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Morgan

Hi Tom- Thank you so much for sharing your story – it’s a reminder of how capricious life is, how indelible memories like this can be on our minds, and how deeply wired we are to really care for others. The incident you described and your pain in holding it are to be honored – please feel validated in your feelings of responsibility and concern for another person – it’s a sign of the love in your heart. Thank you for showing this to us. While time has its own healing affects, as do the wisdom and words of well-meaning… Read more »

Karen
Karen
9 months ago

About a month ago, I was driving back home late at night from work when all of a sudden a homeless man walked in front of my car and I hit him. I did not learn till a few days later that he was declared brain dead and his family donated his body to science. I am not sure how to cope with this. I know it wasn’t my fault and the family did send me a letter telling me they don’t blame me. However, how do I move on from this? After the accident, I’ve just been sad and… Read more »

Tom
Tom
7 months ago
Reply to  Karen

Hello Karen I replied to Alyssa below, which strikes many chords with what you have written – you mention that you’re at school, so I presume you’re in a similar age bracket to myself now, or the time of the accident (19-23). Again, everything you say resounds with the 19 year old me. Sad, anxious, exhausted, not worth living etc. I remember crying for weeks after my accident, too numb to move. All of these are only a positive reflection on the kind, feeling and soft hearted person you are, remember that. ‘I felt like there wasn’t anyone who understood… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Karen

Hey Karen – You are so brave and kind to share this with us. I say that because most people who do what we’ve done don’t seek help or treatment – and if there’s one thing we know about trauma, it will find a way out. So good job finding this website – which has been a lifesaver for me too. You express such a relatable point: why can’t I just go back living my life? You can’t because you’re not programmed to. Life is linear, there’s no turning the clock back. Everything we go through makes us who we… Read more »

Heidi
Heidi
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen

Hi Karen, I had a very similar situation happen to me. I was driving home one night and hit a man on his bike. The next day I started my senior year of high school. I understand your lack of motivation, I had that too. I wasn’t suicidal either but I was very down on myself and didn’t enjoy being with friends. It took me a while to start therapy but personally, it wasn’t for me. I am doing much better now, exercise helped a lot and it might help you too. Also, talking with my family about the accident… Read more »

Alyssa
Alyssa
9 months ago

A few months ago when I was leaving my college classes I hit a 86 yr old man on a four wheeler. It was a 2 lane country road he was just trying to cross the road from one side (his home) to another (his farm) it was straight across and I’ve heard since that he done it a millions times but as soon as I seen him I honked and braked he stopped in my lane to listen where the honk was coming from I thought then maybe I could miss him but he had the same idea we… Read more »

Kristen
Kristen
7 months ago
Reply to  Alyssa

Hi everyone. Two weeks ago I was travelling on the freeway in the fast lane on my way home when a lady ran across the lanes. I hit her head on and she flew on my bonnet and windscreen. I couldn’t see her through the shattered windscreen but when I came to a complete stop she flew off my car to the right side of me. I did not get to see her or the damage that I have done to her because the driver that was behind me stopped and covered her up. I’m only 22 years old and… Read more »

Tom
Tom
7 months ago
Reply to  Alyssa

Hello Alyssa I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I had to drop a note as it sounds very similar to what happened to me 4 years ago, when I was 19 as well. I had a head-on collision with a motorbike and the rider was killed. That was the start, as for the next 2 years I went through court proceedings and was on the cusp of a prison sentence (which I didn’t get in the end). I can understand how you might be feeling – The replays, the feeling selfish…it brings back many memories and I can… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Tom
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 months ago
Reply to  Alyssa

Allyssa – You are a brave woman for reaching out to share your story – and not just brave, but also generous – both in opening up about this tragedy and in helping to pay for the funeral expenses. Thank you for this. Your deep feelings of responsibility, compassion, and self-blame are strong indications of a loving, kind, caring soul who has a deep well of love inside. Grief is intimately tied to love – for we only truly grieve what we love. And while you did not know your victim, your deep concern for a stranger speaks volumes. As… Read more »

Rachelle
Rachelle
9 months ago

A little over a month ago I was driving to my brother in law’s birthday dinner and I was driving through a green traffic light when there was a woman standing in the middle of the road. I don’t know whether she knew what she was doing. I don’t know why she was standing in the road instead of on the pavement but she was there, and I think she was drinking something so she wasn’t even paying attention to the oncoming traffic. I was driving too fast to stop immediately, and I didn’t see her until she hit my… Read more »

Mary
Mary
9 months ago

Hello everyone….I really hope that I am not being offensive by asking this question but has anyone here ever thought of whether life is worth living after doing what they did? What I did did not cause death but it could have been much worse than it was. I am not suicidal in any way, shape or form but the struggle with self forgiveness is so intense that at times I wonder how one keeps putting one foot in front of the other when something life altering happens. I have been in therapy to address my ‘incident’ and other traumas… Read more »

Brooke
Brooke
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Mary – In short, yes I have, but I was the cause of fatality, and I think most people in a similar situation have experienced similar emotions. I had a friend who always used to repeat to me – ‘ in situations like this, everyone loses‘. And so my thought was simple, I cannot make the loss of this terrible event any greater; to my family, to my friends. This drove me towards a sense of purpose to give back to my community and pursue a line in helping fellow humans, in a way that I wouldn’t have prior to my accident.  My… Read more »

Alexis
Alexis
6 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Not offensive! I think it’s a natural thought. Life is fragile. Accidents happen, often. My husband accidentally killed someone but our family would have felt SO much more pain if he wasn’t here on top of everything that happened. Although he had survivor’s guilt and wanted to die, I reminded him that we are lucky to be alive and to be thankful we are here. Life is short. It’s not selfish to be thankful of what we have. We have pushed through years of struggling and the light at the other end of the tunnel is better than we expected.… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary – This is not an offensive question at all – it is a real question – and it betrays the high sense of regard you have for others. I think it is common for us to be burdened by these thoughts after an accident because we are not wired to harm others – we are wired to help. Your grief and sadness are real, it is painful, and it has no timeline. But if you read around this site you can find stories of people who are making it. You are not alone. We care for you. Feel… Read more »

Damian
Damian
10 months ago

This isn’t me but my mom. About a month ago, she was turning left into a parking lot and 2 of the three lanes had stopped to let her go through. As she turned, a car in the third lane hit her. She got away with minor bruising but the elderly man driving the car ended up in a coma and just died yesterday. My mom cried all of last night and I completely understand why. Is there anything I can do for her?

tom
tom
5 months ago
Reply to  Damian

yes, tell her you love her. Tell her accidents happen. Tell her you know in your heart that she didn’t want to hurt this man. And ask her how she is feeling. Ask her what she needs.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Damian

Damian – There’s plenty to do for your mom – even 7 months after the fact. I will give you three critical responses. First, validate your mom. As Tom said below, remind her it was an accident. She did not do it on purpose. But it did happen. She has every right to feel as she does. Her feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment and disconsolation are totally normal. This is what humans do when they accidentally harm another. So tell her her sadness and emotional response are totally valid. Second, tell her you love her. Tell her you care for… Read more »

Mary
Mary
10 months ago

Can anyone share the therapies they have pursued to process their event? I tried Emdr…but did not do it long enough I think. I am now considering ERP therapy….I did not hurt anyone … I had what could be called an error in judgement … however the consequences could have been worse and I am haunted by it 2 years later. Thanks…..

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
21 days ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary – I would start with a recommended therapist (ask a friend, pastor, or social worker). And remember that you can interview them – you don’t have to go for the first one who comes your way. I have invested much in therapy and have never felt shortchanged! Be good to yourself! Say good things to yourself! You are valuable and precious.
Chris+

Harold
Harold
10 months ago

hi all my accident happened 2 days ago. i cant go into details because of legal reasons but i was driving, lost control went down an embankment into a river. i escaped the wreck, my friend drowned. it has been a very rough 2 days as police havent really kept me updated on whats happened. i have a great support network of fam and friends but i just cant get out of my head that i shouldnt get to enjoy things if ive just robbed someone of that. i have no idea how his family are which is killing me… Read more »

Kyle
Kyle
10 months ago
Reply to  Harold

Praying for you during what is undoubtedly a tremendously difficult time. It will take time, but I believe you can honor his life with yours once you pass through the storm.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Harold

Hi Harold – Thank you so much for sharing here – this is a really safe space. You are in one of the hardest places any human can be in. It hurts – relentlessly. It’s dark, it’s unforgiving. You are facing the biggest challenge of your life. You need to know that there are many around you who are concerned – and if that’s not the case I am. And you need to know that there are people around you who are there for you. If that’s not the case, I am. Your feelings of regret and self-hatred are totally… Read more »

Colleen
11 months ago

Hi everyone. Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of my fatal car accident. I’m still learning to give myself grace. I hope you’ll read my blog post about it and that it can help you in your grief, too. https://griefgraceandgrowingup.blogspot.com/2020/08/what-it-feels-like-to-have-accidentally.html

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
21 days ago
Reply to  Colleen

Colleen-
Thank you so much for sharing this! As your 26th anniversary nears, know you thankful I am (and I’m sure many others) that you have been so brave and courageous to carry on in the midst of such pain.
Thank you for being so steadfast in the face of such tragedy.
Chris+

Mary
Mary
11 months ago

So thankful for this site. What I did did not cause death however it could have been much worse…total error In judgement. It has been 2 years thought of the incident still consumes my day. I am in therapy…my question. Is, is there ever a day when one wakes up and doesn’t think about the event. I have made amends with the person I hurt and they have forgiven me but I cannot forgive myself,

Thomas
Thomas
10 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Hello Mary, I wish it were otherwise, but there is no easy answer to your question. I hope my comments are intelligent, but the answer is yes, with the right treatment it is possible to wake up and not think about the event. It is not easy, but yes, yes, and yes it is possible. I would say you need to let therapy take its course, and stick with it. It can be demoralising at first, without instant results, but progress will come. My personal message would be that you need to remember you are not a single event, as… Read more »

Tania
Tania
7 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Please search until you find a way to forgive yourself. Do not waste this time, it is so precious. I am the other side having had the accident and really no one is helped by you suffering. I am however sorry that you have had to experience this.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
21 days ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary! Thank you so much for posting! And especially for being so vulnerable. The famous psychologist Karl Menninger said that, in his experience, the number 1 reason people are hospitalized with mental illness is their inability to forgive themselves. I’m not a medical professional so I don’t know about the validity there, but it’s safe to say you are not alone. Will you ever get relief (your question)? Unlike others, I can’t say you will. What I can say is that you may be able to find a way to live with it. For us accidental killers, we rarely… Read more »

Mary
Mary
20 days ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Thanks for the response Chris. May I ask you, do you ever go a day not thinking about what occurred in your situation? You obviously have been able to move on quite successfully however is there ever a day when the event does not occupy space in your mind? Thank you.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
20 days ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary – After 8 years this killing does not play a part in my daily life. I understand how differently we are all wired – some people are haunted by this continually, others find it easier to place distance – I consider myself lucky in some ways – yet I know that those who carry these things are often more compassionate in other areas. Some people say ‘time heals all’ and in my experience it certainly has helped. However I know that the passage of time has little affect. Also I am not a licensed therapist, in whose purview… Read more »

Mary
Mary
20 days ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Yes…I have been in therapy and it has helped to some degree. I guess my question to you was more of a curiosity question than anything else. I do realize that we all process things differently. Thank you.

Colleen
11 months ago

This is amazing. I am overwhelmed that this website event exists, and am so thankful. 25 years ago this month, when I was 18, I was in a fatal car accident that killed a mom, a dad, and their youngest child. I was driving home to IL from taking my older sister to college in MO – had spent the night there, and then got on the road for the 4-5 hour drive home. I don’t remember the accident at all. Apparently I was on a two lane country road in Iowa, that was marked safe passing with a dotted… Read more »

Mary
Mary
11 months ago
Reply to  Colleen

It is hard to find peace. You are very brave. I did not cause death but made an error in judgement that could have been much worse for the person involved…my brother. It was 2 years ago and I think about it every day. He has forgiven me but I cannot forgive myself. May I ask, do you need about what happened every day? Does it ever leave your mind? I wake up every day and think about what I did though I know my brother has long forgotten it. Did you go to therapy?

Colleen
11 months ago
Reply to  Mary

At this point I don’t think about the accident itself every day. Definitely at least every few days. I did go to therapy for a bit, but not long enough. I think I’m scared to really go back into feeling those intense feelings.

Jane Bolkema
Jane Bolkema
11 months ago

I am a widow. My bicycling husband was killed by a sleepy driver. Although it has been 12 1/2 years, the children and I still miss him every day. It was a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. I will always wish that the driver, who surely knew he was sleepy, had not chosen to drive. But, here’s my message to those of you who find yourselves in the position of the driver who caused a death: it matters that you stop and take responsibility. It matters that you intended no harm and did not maliciously hurt another human being. It… Read more »

Mary
Mary
11 months ago
Reply to  Jane Bolkema

What a beautiful, loving, forgiving person you are. I did not cause a death but did something wrong that hurt someone…could have been a lot worse. Self forgiveness is so hard but you are correct, unless we get the help we need, other lives are destroyed as well. I hope the man who caused the accident has gotten the help he needs,

Matthew Schultz
11 months ago

My story happened August 2nd 2006. I was 14 at the time. I was driving my boat on my lake with a couple of my friends (also 14). We were just about to begin our freshman year of high school… I was closer to being 13 than being 15 at the time. I was driving not recklessly and not under the influence of anything; I just wasn’t paying enough attention. The lake was pretty empty that day, so I didn’t think it was too much of a problem to be not paying attention for a few seconds (literally just a… Read more »

Jordan
Jordan
11 months ago

Although Ive never been in your position, I want to commend you for sharing your story and showing remorse for your actions. My heart weeps for you because I know exactly what its like to have such crippling guilt in your heart that it makes you not even want to live anymore. And to have made a mistake at only 14 years old at that. Kids mess up all the time but you probably never saw this one coming. I struggle everyday to forgive myself for my past. The thing I want to tell you is that despite this terrible… Read more »

Mary Kay
Mary Kay
11 months ago
Reply to  Jordan

Matthew, I couldn’t say this any better than Jordan has. The best way to heal yourself and to honor the person you hurt is to find meaning and purpose in your life. No one should be forever defined by the worst mistake or decision they ever made. None of us could pass that test. Use your gifts to do good. Your life still has meaning. God bless you.

Mary
Mary
10 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kay

What a beautiful response. No one should be defined by the worst mistake or decision they ever made, unfortunately that is what we do to ourselves. Personally, I have done way more good than bad. It takes real effort to remember that so that you can truly believe it and move on.

Matt Schultz
Matt Schultz
10 months ago
Reply to  Jordan

Thank you for your response, and also thank you to Mary Kay and Mary.

Hannah
Hannah
1 year ago

5 days ago I hit a motorbike rider. I had the GPS in my car on as I didn’t know where I was going. I had stopped to turn right, and there was a small crest in the road. I had removed my sunglasses to read the street sign and the sun was glaring. I started to turn when a motorbike came straight through. I did not see him until I hit him. He was thrown from his bike. By the time I got out of my car, people had stopped to give assistance to the rider and call an… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Hannah
Joy
Joy
1 year ago

Yesterday on my way home from work (I’m a nurse) a girl jaywalking across a busy street with her father ran in front of my car and I hit her. I had noticed her father standing on the median but did not stop for him. She must have been behind him since I didn’t see her until she was running in front of my car. I slammed on my brakes but was unable to stop before hitting her. I raced to her side where she was sitting up and crying and screaming. No obvious signs of injury, but there are… Read more »

kay
kay
1 month ago
Reply to  Joy

Hi Joy, idk if youll see this but yesterday i collided with a teenage boy on his bike. i dont even want to go into details but im wondering how this turned out for you? it was clearly a freak accident but how are you doing now? im really scared and idk how to be okay.

Nate
Nate
1 year ago

8 days ago, I went to a river with my friends, once we had gotten there I learned that I needed to go to my school to receive an award i had won , they said that i either had to pick it up that day or I would have to wait till the end of August to get it mailed to me. I made the choice to go back to the school while i knew my friends were upset with me. On my way back to the river i was trying to go fast to get back as i… Read more »

AHNA
AHNA
1 year ago
Reply to  Nate

I am very sorry to hear that. I couldn’t imagine, it must be painful. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this. I hope you can get the peace that you deserve. Thank you ❤️❤️❤️

Marti
Marti
1 year ago

My name is marti. I am writing because this February 2020 my son 24 yr old was killed by an 82 yr old woman accidentally. She didn’t see the headlight on that dreaded motorcycle his father bought him. This has been the hardest time ever in my life ! At times I think I am going to die myself. I am going through all of the stages of grieving. My reason to contact you is that even in the midst of it all I have never once had an ounce of anger toward the woman that hit him. He died… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
9 months ago
Reply to  Marti

I think it is amazing and kind of you to think of her and to want to “ lift her up.” I should think anything you would say would be a blessing .

Lea
Lea
1 year ago

I am a counselor. With that being said, it doesn’t make accidents such as these any easier. I do think that working with so much trauma has helped me significantly to recover most areas of life more quickly. I have processed and analyzed and talked to peers and colleagues. And then I did it over and over. It has only been a short time since my collision and right now I am doing okay. I know that trauma can be residual and it can come in waves but I do 2 things. I use grounding and facts. These are how… Read more »

Brittany
Brittany
11 months ago
Reply to  Lea

Your story is eerily similar to what happened to my little brother tonight. My question to you, and anyone who has experienced this is, how can we help him? He is still in shock, of course. He has been in a dark place already, struggling with depression. He just had his 21st birthday. I want to help him, only if I knew how. Please help.

Rachelle
Rachelle
9 months ago
Reply to  Lea

Hi Lea,
Thank you for this message. Your accident sounds so much like mine. I will try and remember your two step process to get through this guilt. My accident happened a month ago and every day I wish I’d just stayed at home.

Monica
Monica
1 year ago

Hi: my dear friend accidentally killed a pedestrian last week. She is devastated and I would like to help. If someone on this site speaks Spanish and is willing to speak to her, I would greatly appreciate it.

Morgan
Morgan
1 year ago

Almost 15 years ago, when I was 14, my step mother would let me drive short distances to teach me to drive. One day we were driving a few miles down a country road to pick up one of my friends. It was myself, driving, my step mother in the passenger seat and my friend and her son in the backseat. We went over a slight bump in the road and came down on loose gravel. I over corrected, hit a ditch, and the car rolled end over end. I was ejected out of the windshield, my step mother was… Read more »

Mary
Mary
1 year ago

Has anyone ever done EMDR therapy to process their guilt and shame? Thank you.

Rae
Rae
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary

Hello Mary. I had been undertaking EMDR to help process a recent accident that I had, in which a motorcyclist travelling at 200 km per hour (and being chased by the police) hit my car and died on impact. I found it extremely useful. I have had to cease EMDR for the time being as my lawyers and psychologist need to figure out if it’s likely to have a negative impact on evidence I may need to give in the future. I need to specify that I had, prior to my accident, done a great deal of ACT therapy and… Read more »

Mary
Mary
1 year ago

Has anyone ever done EMDR therapy to process their situation and put it in the past at a much less painful level? Thank you.

Kim
Kim
1 year ago

Wow, I just discovered this website from a NYTimes article. I have always wondered how people deal with guilt from events, whether intentional or not, though my experience is mainly with the former. I want everyone to know that I have always had great compassion for the people surrounding a tragedy, trying to deal with the complex feelings engendered. How does one find enough meaning in an event to incorporate it into one’s life and live with it? How can one live with intense guilt and suicidal feelings? I tend to think of life as a tapestry ( not being… Read more »

Mary
Mary
1 year ago

I recently posted on this site about something that occurred with regards to my; brother….,I did not kill him but he could have been hurt. I have an additional question: do people on this site pursue counseling to deal with their guilt? If so. has it helped to set you free? Someone told me about a therapy called ERP,,,emotionL response therapy, It involves experiencing the pain of the event in order to process it. Thank you.