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RTC on a motorbike. Life will never be the same again.


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It’s been a long 4 years since Josh was taken from me. Through no fault of his own, he was killed in an RTC on his motorbike. I feel like I am finally ready to type my life away and explain how I feel.

On the 25th July 2014 my life had hit its highest and lowest points possible.

My best friend has given birth to her first child, a beautiful baby girl called Rosie. We woke up to the news and excitedly agreed to travel down from Essex to Devon for the weekend to see them. Josh got ready for work and decided to take his Yamaha R1 instead of the car so I could  put fuel in and pack everything for the weekend. 

As he made his way down the stairs, he began to say how much he was looking forward to meeting Rosie and how he was excited for the weekend ahead. He said he’d skip work and we could go down earlier than planned. However, I told him there wasn’t a rush to get there and that Chloe would need to rest, I also reminded him he had several cars to work on that day. He gave me a kiss goodbye, told me he’d finish a bit earlier. ‘I love you!’ He shouted as he walked off towards the garages. 

As I sat on the step I decided to wait and wave him off as he rode past. Low and behold, I got my wave and a kiss blown to me. Little did I know that would be the last time I every saw him alive. 

At 8.02 am I called my other best friend Emily who was planning on visiting Chloe that morning, we talked about how Rosie was so tiny and had her Dads nose. While on the phone to Emily, there was a knock at the door. I’d seen people canvassing that morning so I ignored it. While still on the phone at 8.33 am I received my first ‘unknown’ phone call. Usually as a rule of thumb I don’t answer them, if it’s important they would leave a message. No message was left so I assumed it wasn’t important. I continued talking babies with Emily for another 5 minutes or so then the ‘unknown’ number called again. I told Emily I’d call her back in case it was Josh trying to call me from work. 

It was PC Dave Clarke of Essex police. He asked me where I was and how I knew Josh. I told him I was at home and that I was his partner. He told me he’d be there in a moment and that he had some important news for me. I hung up, called Emily and explained that Josh had probably come off his bike and was being taken to the hospital. ‘I’ll call you later Em, I’ve got to go’ I muttered. 

I then found myself running around the house picking up phone chargers, a book, spare clothes, I checked Poppy the dog had enough water and then sat on the stairs waiting for the knock at the door. 

8.40am 3 stern thumps on the door and I knew it was the police. I rushed to the door opened it and was asked to confirm I was Jessica. ‘Of course I am, what’s happened? Which hospital is he being taken to? Is he ok? Wait a minute I need to get my purse’. PC Dave Clarke asked if he could come inside and speak with me, it was that moment when I knew it was something serious. He asked me to take a seat. As I sat down he slowly took off his hat and began to say the words everyone dreads to hear .. ‘I am so sorry to tell you Joshua was knocked off of his bike this morning and has passed away’. 

Not for a second did I believe it. I joked that the policeman had been asked to play a joke on me by Josh. I shouted down the stairs ‘Josh this isn’t funny you know, get your arse in here now’. 

Again with a calm and empathic voice the PC said ‘I’m sorry to tell you this isn’t a joke’. I stared at him is disbelief. ‘My Josh!? What happened!?’ I mumbled. ‘We aren’t at liberty to say anything until the crimescene investigators have been to the scene’. 

I sat sat there is silence. I’d seen him alive less than an hour ago how could this happen? He was a sensible and intuitive rider how is this possible. 

I asked the police officer if I could go outside and have a cigarette. He told me to take me time, I replied ‘help yourself to a cup of tea, I might be some time’.

I dialed Emily’s number and hung up before it started to ring. I did this 4mpre times till I zoned out and Emiy answers. ‘So what’s happened? Is Josh ok?.. Jess? ... Jess?’ Holding back the tears I told Emily ‘He’s gone. He was knocked off of his bike. He’s gone and he’s not coming back’. After a few minutes I realised I needed to get in contact with his family. ‘Emily I need to tell Brenda. His family need to know before anyone else tells them. Bye’. 

I couldnt find Brenda’s number, I begged the police officer to give me Joshs phone so I could ring her from that. But of course they couldn’t, it was evidence. I told them his sister was a doctor at Swindon hospital and that it would be best to contact Victoria. 

Back outside for another cigarette, I rang my mum who was on her way from Devon to pick my step father up from Heathrow. I asked my mum to call me back when she’s reached the nearest service station and had parked the car. 7 minutes later I jumped out of my skin when my phone started ringing and ‘Mum’ lit up the screen. I explained what had happened and asked my Mum to come to Essex. I needed my Mum, my rock but most of all a Mum hug. She said she’s be here as soon as she could and that she loved me. 

Back inside the police officer couldn’t get hold of Victoria, he said ‘if we can’t get hold of Brenda than we will have to ask you to formally identify Joshua’. I stuttered ‘N-n-no I can’t. Please don’t ask me to’. He then said he had to go back to the scene and asked how long my mum would be. I knew she was less than 10 minutes away and assured him I’d be ok.

Joshs family finally got the news, the police met Victoria at the hospital and took her to Brenda at work in Swindon. Within an hour I had a phone call from Victoria asking how I was, if I needed anything or somewhere to stay. The lovely lady had just found out her brother has died and she’s asking if I’m ok? I was blown away. 

Mum and Lewis arrived with open arms and tissues at the ready. I asked if I could go back to Devon with them as I didn’t want to be in the house alone. I arranged for Poppy to stay at a friends and packed a bag of random things. 3 odd socks, a coat, pj bottoms and a jumper of Joshs. Jumped in my car with my mum and drove back to Devon. Over and over again we had the same conversation about what had happened. Mum had arranged for me to stay with Emily as my Mum now lives abroad and is staying with friends. 

Back in devon I met Emily and broke down in tears. I asked Emily not to tell Chloe what had happened as it’s was her special day and I didn’t want anything to put a dampener on it. Emily went into McDonalds to get me a hot chocolate with lots of sugar when Chloe’s partner Dave parked his car next to ours. Emily came out and said to Dave she needed to speak with him. She explained what had happened and he came over and gave me a hug. Told me how sorry he was for my loss. I shurgged it off and told him I was so happy for him and Chloe on the safe arrival of their baby then turned around and got back into the car. Then the tears began to flow again. 

As I climbed into bed, Emily began to tell me how everything may seem so dark and unforgivable now but one day it will get better. I rolled over and began silently crying while she stroked my hair. I fell asleep looking at his photo on my phone. 

The next morning it was still surreal. I decided I needed to go back to Essex to sort things out and speak with his family. Back to Essex I went, tank full of diesel and my trusty bag of random belongings. 

I gathered my things from the house and moved into my Dads house in Devon. 

12th August was the date of the funeral. Hundreds of bikers attended, there wasn’t enough room in the church for those that attended. Joshs coffin has pictures of his track day at Snetterton on. We released white doves outside the church after the service and headed to the wake. After a few hours people started to leave, leaving only his close friends and family behind. I decided I was going to go back to Devon the day after the funeral. 

2 years later and the case was bought to the court. We heard how a mk 5 golf had started doing U turn when Josh was level with the car. He hit the A pillar, flew over the bonnet hit a big road sign and ended up on the verge of the road. His boot landed in the field behind him and he’s phone smashed in his leathers pocket. 

He driver admitted to not indicating or checking his mirrors, he said he didn’t see Josh until he heard the bang and then saw him flying over his car. 

After a week of sitting through evidence, hearing the injuries Josh had died from; broken neck, broken ribs .. the list was endless. In the end the driver didn’t get charged with death by careless driving. He apologised for what had happened and said that he would never be able to forgive himself for his actions that day. 

As for me, even though it was only 4 years ago I still find myself not able to listen to songs I listened to with Josh. The smell of his aftershave still makes me tear up. I still hear his infectious laugh when I do or say something silly. I’m no where near the end of the grieving process .. if there even is one.

But I know that on the last day of his life, he was the happiest he’d ever been but most of all he knew he was loved. I’m heartbroken he lost his life so early, my partner was taken away far too soon. We had plans, children, a house, a dog and of course a garage of his own.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading my story. It’s taken sometime for me to be able to put into writing how I felt. 

Jess x

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You have me sobbing my way through your story.  I feel your pain.  All of us here, we've all had "that day", "that news", and it's the worst day of our lives.  No, grief does not have an expiration date, if only, but it does evolve and the intensity of pain eventually lessens.  It's been four years for you and you know how hard the struggle can be.

I'm sorry the person was never charged, I can't see that happening here, he should have got manslaughter, but even if he had, it would have been unlikely to bring any sense of resolution, because in the end, he's still dead and the other person still has their life.  Such is the unfairness of it all.

He was in the middle of living life, to it's fullest, with you as his partner, all of your hopes and dreams still ahead, so you might say his life stopped in the middle of some of the best of it.  That's hard for you because it arrested your life just as you should be living it to the fullest.  I'm so sorry.  My daughter is 36 and her life has been devastated, she hasn't gotten the white picket fence, family, children she'd hoped for.  And you're undoubtedly younger yet.  Hard enough my husband died just after his 51st birthday, we'd only met 6 1/2 years before, I thought that was way too young, there's just no sense in all of this, loss happens to the best of us it seems.

My heart goes out to you.  I wrote this based on what I've learned, I hope even one thing is of help to you as you proceed through your journey.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.


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Hi, I've just been reading your story. It sounds a dreadful shock and i can't imagine how you must have felt trying to hold it together for your friends. It must have been awful to have it all dragged out through a court case to get that outcome. It seems so cruel and unfair. I haven't got any great pearls of wisdom to make it all ok. Sometimes things are just so unfair and what we must live through feels impossible. Im having a morning like that. I live in Essex btw. Im going to stay with family, also in Essex as soon as the  funeral is over. Im glad you seem to have good friends and family. I hope its given you something on your journey writing your story. Im reading this Sunday morning, missing my husband (died 26/06/2018) hearing your story makes me feel connected to others, like you, who are struggling too. When i feel i can't go on (most mornings) i find it helps to realise im not the only one. But of course it doesn't make the loss and devastation any less painful. My heart goes out to you. Thanks for sharing your story.

Much love Col


Sorry  for typos...my tablet is tricky to type on- 

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Thank you for your lovely message and your words of wisdom. I realised I don’t give myself permission to smile as much as I should. I still find myself blaming me for saying to Josh he had to go to work. I know deep down it wasn’t me fault, but it’s that niggly feeling of what ifs and buts  

It sounds daft, but I slept a little easier after spending the evening writing everything out on here. 


Im terribly sorry for the loss your daughter and you have experienced. They say time is a healer, and I’m starting to believe it. 



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We hash and rehash everything we did or didn't do, assuming responsibility that is not ours to assume, taking on that guilt that does not belong to us, it's part of grief.  I believe it's an effort to find a different out come, but the only outcome is what happened and we finally realize that.





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