She was driving home one afternoon with her son in the back seat, when she felt what she thought was a panic attack coming on. She turned into a side street and parked up, and then called her husband to explain. She said she would be home in about fifteen minutes. Twenty four hours later, the police, responding to a missing persons alert, found her car. She was dead, with her body turned around in the driver’s seat to face her son. She had no known medical conditions and the cause of death remains unexplained so far.
My first reaction was a sense of horror at the ordeal suffered by the little boy – trapped for twenty four hours alone in a car with the body of his dead mother. Surprisingly, he showed little sign of distress apart from complaining of the cold, and is still showing no indications of trauma. Why is that, I wonder?
Is he simply displaying a high level of resilience, as children sometimes do to a surprising extent? Is he too young to understand the gravity of the situation? Or could it be that his mother – a very devoted mother by all accounts – somehow managed to reach out from beyond the veil to comfort him? The police thought it odd that the car keys weren’t in the ignition; they were on the back seat with the child.