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Derek Williams


I recently lost my best friend and confidant, Derek "Durty" Williams, in a tragic motorcycle accident in the early morning hours of August 10, 2013. Many days I've spent blaming myself for his death because he had asked me to come see him the night of his accident but I had blown him off because I did not feel like driving the 45 minutes to get to his home in Garden Grove, CA. The morning I received the call he had died was the worst day of my life but with two little girls I could not let them see how destroyed I was. I never spoke of his death or how he died in front of them. He had been like an uncle to my girls and they loved him.

Today 10/21/13 my daughter began talking about how Derek had fallen off his motorcycle and was very hurt. She said that it was very dark and that he was covered in dirt. I have to emphasize, I have NEVER spoken to or in front of my kids about how he died. It is not so much the mention of Derek that has me alarmed but the fact that she keeps touching on that fact that he "fell off his motorcycle and is very hurt." Also the mention of it being very dark has raised alarm bells because he was killed at 12:45AM. I don't know whether to take this as a gift that he is reaching out to us or if I should be scared. I really do not want him telling her negative things about himself as it will only scare her if this is in fact what he is doing.

I have also experienced something myself but everyone I've told thinks I am crazy so I have kept it to myself. About 2 weeks after Derek's death, I decided to get on my motorcycle because before then, I just could not bear to even look at it because I cried every time I did. As soon as I sat on the motorcycle I immediately felt a weird sensation, almost like a sense of being out of body, like I was looking down at myself. I know it sounds so weird but I will describe the rest of this story as best I can. As I rode I felt an overwhelming sense of confidence (VERY unlike my riding style). I was taking turns as high speeds, riding my bike as high RPMs which was very much the way Derek rode. It is so hard to describe this instance besides just simply, I was not the one riding the bike. Like I said I could see myself riding but it wasn't really me riding. The technique, style and experience was not mine.

It has not happened again since that day. I don't know how to verify that this is going on or what to do about it.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, MonicaFreeman, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Swimsinfire (11 stories) (556 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-07)
So a lot of people on this site have had this happen. He just wanted to see you guys and he's not going anywhere els until he does. Sounds like a great, loyal friend. That's a lot of love. I think Isandhu put it well, now he's said goodby to everyone, (gave you a riding lesson,) and he should go to the light. You can help him by just saying a thoughtfull goodby, and tell him to go to the light. I'm very sorry for you loss. Please don't feel like it's your fault.
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (432 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-05)
I agree with elf and Isandhu Monica. I think you should explain to your daughter what happened to Uncle Derek and that she has nothing to be afraid of. That he was a very close friend and he would do nothing to harm her. Tell her Uncle Derek is not hurting anymore and maybe he's just reaching out to let you know he's okay and that although you miss him, he's in a good place now.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3159 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-04)
I'm sorry for your loss.
Do not blame yourself for your friend's death, everyone has a path to walk and you could have done nothing to change his destiny.

Like a mother I understand your need to protect your children from any form of pain, but death is the only "for sure" thing in life and there is no way you could hide forever what happened to uncle Derek; perhaps this is the moment to tell them... Remember that "the truth shall set you free", and I am NOT preaching 😉

My less than good English is an obstacle to tell you all of what I think, but both Isandhu and elfstone make a good point on their comments.

Wishing you the best.
elfstone810 (227 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-04)
So sorry for your loss, Monica. Like isandhu said, your experience with the motorcycle could very well have just been a normal reaction to your loss. When we're grieving for someone, it's not unusual to subconsciously adopt their habits and mannerisms. It's maybe a way to try to keep them close?

As for your daughter's inexplicable knowledge of Derek's accident, maybe he's trying to reach out to you and you can't see him but she can. Children are often more sensitive than adults about this stuff. Surely, if he loved your kids in life, Derek wouldn't do anything to harm them after his death. Maybe he's confused himself about what happened.

I think, if she mentioned him being hurt again, I'd tell her, "yes, but if he goes into the light he'll be okay." That way you could reassure her plus, if she is communicating with him, maybe she could pass on the message?
lsandhu (2 stories) (360 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-04)
Regarding your feelings the first time you rode your bike, it seems more likely to me that you have been more deeply affected by your friend's death than you have admitted to yourself, and your grief is manifesting itself in these strange ways, making you think strange thoughts and take uncharacteristic risks. Perhaps it is partly grief and partly the reality of your own mortality, which has been brought home to you by his accident. However, there is also the possibility that your friend is trying to reach out to you in some way. Maybe it will help to tell him that you miss him and forgive him (for being reckless) and it is time for him to move on and please do not scare your daughter any more. Perhaps you should find a gentle way to explain to your children what happened to Uncle Derek. I understand that you want to protect them, but they deserve to know something about what happened. They, and perhaps Uncle Derek, need some closure. I am sorry for your loss. Let us know if anything further develops.

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