World Day Of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims

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What Is A Normal Christmas For A Family Of A Victim Of Distracted Driving

22 December 2013
30 November 2015
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One text while driving takes 5 seconds, the results from that text can last forever. 

Are Christmas and holiday’s normal after your child dies as a victim of the crime of distracted driving?

 Normal is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery for Christmas, Birthdays, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, etc. Merry Christmas? Not really.  

Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

 nikki and dad

Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done this because…"  
I know Nikki is in "heaven," but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why a beautiful young woman was taken from this earth makes absolutely no sense. 

Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have two children or one child, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that Nikki is dead. 
And yet when you say you have one child to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed the dead child. 

Normal is having some people afraid to mention our daughter, Nikki.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. Nothing compares. 
NOTHING. 
Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare.

Normal is knowing you will never get over this loss, not in a day nor a million years. 

Normal is reliving the accident continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away.

Normal is learning to lie to everyone you meet and telling them you are fine. You lie because it makes others uncomfortable if you cry. You've learned it's easier to lie to them then to tell them the truth that you still feel empty and it's probably never going to get any better -- ever.

Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of your "normal."

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse, not better. 
Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural. 

Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child's memory and their birthdays and survive these days. And trying to find the balloon or flag that fit's the occasion.

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family's life. 

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's go through your head constantly

Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything anymore. 

Normal is staring at every girl who looks like she is Nikki’s age. And then thinking of the age she'd would be now. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.

Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special Nikki loved. Thinking how she would love it, but how she is not here to enjoy it.

Normal is having the TV on the minute you walk into the house to have noise, because the silence is deafening. 

Normal is every happy event in your life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in your heart. 

Normal is making sure that others remember her. 

Normal is trying not to cry all day, because you know your mental health depends on it. 
Normal is realizing you do cry every day. 
Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone but someone stricken with grief over the loss of their child. 
Normal is sitting at the computer crying, sharing how you feel with chat buddies who have also lost a child.

Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did the laundry or if there is any food.

Normal is asking G-d why he took your child's life instead of yours and asking if there even is a G-d. 
Normal is having therapists agree with you that you will never "really" get over the pain and that there is nothing they can do to help you because they know only bringing back your child back from the dead could possibly make it "better." 
And last of all... 
Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to 
feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal." 

This is in honor of our beautiful daughter and sister, Nikki Kellenyi, a victim of distracted driving. Nikki was unintentionally killed by her friend who made a conscious decision to drive distracted.  Parts of this were taken from a poem written by Tara and Heath Carey who lost their daughters Violet and Iris in 2002 when natural gas caused their apartment to explode.

 This “normal life” fits many other families in our community and in our nation. It really makes no difference how a parent losses their child, in an instant we joined a club that no one wants to join. I hope anyone who knows someone who has lost a child reads this and shares this with them as a gift this Christmas. It might help your friend to let them know that you understand their “normal” life is so different than other “normal” lives, but that their still humans, they don’t carry diseases and won’t yell at you for saying, “I was thinking of your child just yesterday.”  In fact, most parents who lost a child would hug you if you were to say that. They want to hear you say their child’s name.

Merry Christmas,

Mike Kellenyi                                                                                                                                                                                                                          www.padd.org