In Memory of Ian

On the 22nd of August 1992, I said goodbye to my husband, Ian, as he drove off to join 3 friends, for a weekend ˜boys˜ break, to a friends hotel in Scotland, UK aboard his friends Light Aircraft. When the Hotelier friend, phoned the next day to ask where they were, it was the start of the worst nightmare of my life.

They located the wreckage some 6 hours later, 36 hours after they had set off, – there were no survivors Ian was 53 years of age.

The plane had hit the top of a small mountain, just I5 feet from the summit. It took me 2 years before I was able to climb up the mountain, to see the front of the plane still embedded in the rocks and those I5 feet looked more like 5 – just a few small rocks more and they’d have made it! – Maybe. 

One of the biggest problems I faced, was the isolation in this type of grief, I knew a few people who had lost loved ones suddenly, through heart attacks, etc. but no-one who had gone through this and I desperately needed to ˜sound off˜ with some-one else who had ˜been here˜ before me, someone who could reassure me that what I was feeling, thinking, and imagining they also had experienced.

All those months of pain, suffering and anguish created a thirst for knowledge of bereavement issues, originally searching for a kindred spirit (but never found one until I stumbled across the ACCESS Web Site). 

Eventually I completed Counseling and Support Training and joined a team of Bereavement Counselors for a UK national, voluntary Bereavement Care Group.

But, every time another Light Aircraft Crash was shown on TV, my heart went out to those poor relatives and loved ones, possibly experiencing the isolation that I experienced, in this type of bereavement.

I’ll never know why Ian was taken and why I’m still here, but I do feel that I’m meant to make it count for something, and that everything that has happened since has led me to this point in time, a point I think Ian would have been proud of, I have at last, launched my own Light Aircraft Crash Bereavement Support group  LACBS, complete with a web page and an email address – No mean feat, with my flaky knowledge of computers. It took me a day to work out what they meant in the book by the cursor!

So, yes, I eventually found the light at the end of the very long, very dark tunnel, as so many others have. But I hope I’m going to be able to stand at the end holding the light high for others to follow, for quite a while yet.

Madeline Adey, UK, lost her husband, Ian Shaw, 53, on August 22, 1992 aboard a Light Aircraft

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