We were engaged when he died

Posted 3 October 2017

Irene is 28 years old and has a two year old son. She became a single parent after losing her fiancé in a car accident. Here, she shares how she’s learning to cope.

My soul mate

My life before Andrew died was great. I know everyone says that but it really was. My best friend set me up on a blind date in 1997 with Andrew and as they say the rest is history! I knew from day one that he was my soul mate, and the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

When I was 17 I was told by doctors that I couldn’t have children. Having a family was all I have ever wished for. So when i found out I was pregnant with Tyler I knew he was my miracle baby.

Fantastic father

When our son was three months old we moved to a quiet village with sea view to give him the life he deserved. Andrew worked as an electrician and I stayed at home to take care of Tyler. We spent every weekend together as a family. Andrew was a fantastic father. He worked from 7am till 7pm, but every spare minute he had he would spend with Tyler.

We were due to get married in our local church on 29 June 2013 and were saving for deposit to buy our house. One day, Andrew went to the shop for milk and never returned home. He was killed in a car accident.

Keeping Andrew’s memory alive

Waking up in the morning is the hardest. I just hope it’s all been a dream, but it never is. The most difficult thing I find about raising Tyler on my own is keeping Andrew’s memory alive for our son. Tyler will never really remember because he is so young. I made a memory box which we look through together every week, and I have pictures of Andrew in every room of house.

When Andrew died I didn’t know what bill was paid when or even where the stopcock was. I relied on him for everything. My advice would be make sure you know the silly things you take for granted. Everyone always think situations like this happen to other people and not to them – I did. But believe me, due to my experience I now know anyone could end up facing this.

Strength and support

Since Andrew’s death I have found friends I didn’t know I had. Everyone has been fantastic. It’s a blessing in disguise that our son was so young when his father passed away. He’s on the go constantly which helps me not to sit and dwell on things. Day to day life is a struggle, but I just need to look into Tyler’s eyes and I know what his daddy would say to me to help and make me feel better.

For detailed step-by-step advice read our guide to bereavement.