My 4 year old son drowned in a town sponsored program

Almost 4 weeks ago my 4 year old son drowned in a town sponsered rec program. He was found under the dock. They wouldnt allow them to wear life jackets because there were too many kids. The dock was shaped like a lower case h where the kids are only supposed to be in the shallow u end. I cant find the words or strength to move on. He was my best friend, His 5 year old brother was with him and had to watch the whole thing. In Massachusetts for every 10 kids there needs to be 1 lifegaurd. There were over 40 kids and 2 life gaurds. I just cant get over the fact that he was looking for me for help. We will lose our house and everything else because I cant even think of working for anything other than child safety again.? Please help. His name was Christian Frechette from Sturbridge MASS. C



Dear Derek,
Our heart goes out to you. One month is such a short time.? It may be time for you to turn to your friends, family, and possibly your religious community for help and support.? Your responses are very normal.? It is our experience that other men have a similar response to loss.? Feelings of? “I should have been there” and? “I want to work to prevent this from happening to others are very normal responses.”? Reach out and let others help you.? Let others know your fears of losing your home.? Continue to tell your story to all that will listen.? Listen to the show and keep in touch.? My husband almost lost his business after Scott’s death but he made it through with the help of friends. He made it and so will you.? We know what you are going through.? We will post your e-mail on our blog.? Others may have helpful comments.? Take care.? Dr. Gloria



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  • I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words I can say that will take away your pain. Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. I lost my only child, Alicia, July 22, 2006 in a freak hiking accident. Had she slept one minute longer, she would still be here. Even a year later, the pain is still there. But somehow we make it through. I took baby steps…one step at a very slowly. And I continue to take those baby steps. I take each at a time. I wish I could find words to comfort you ..but there are no words. I can say that I believe that your son and my daughter are in a wonderful place. I witnessed my mother’s passing and I promise you that she went to someone she knew…and she was so happy as she crossed over! My daughter came to me after she died and she not only let me see her joy but she let me FEEL her joy! I cannot even begin to describe the joy I felt inside…more wonderful than you can ever imagine! But I know that does not take away our pain. There are no answers to why it happened and yet I still struggle with that. One of the things that I always worried about with Alicia is that she be safe. Well, now nothing can ever hurt her! I know she is safe in God’s arms. And I know she will be there waiting for me when it is my turn to cross over to the joy of heaven. Please know that I am thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you just want to talk or if I can help in any way. I have found a lot of support in an internet community: The people there are wonderful, supportive, and loving. They have really helped me along on my grief journey. And they continue to help me. We all help each other! Lots of hugs! Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Lana

  • Susan says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your son, Christian. The agony you are feeling right now must be unbearable. I lost an infant daughter ten years ago this September, and I do not think I would have had the strength to pull through for my own sake, or even my husband’s. For a long time, I survived, forcing myself both to grieve fully and to heal inch by inch, only for the sake of my surviving older daughter. She had lost a sister that should have been her best friend for life, and I was determined she would not lose her mother, too.

    What helped me more than anything was the presence — through words, through phone conversations, eventually through a support group — of others who had lost a child. Time will not heal your loss or take away your pain, but because of the love you have for both your sons your heart will grow stronger in the broken places. I promise.

    Lana, your loving response helped me so much. I have had two beautiful children since I lost my little daughter, and not a waking hour goes by when I do not realize how lucky I am. But with the tenth anniversary looming, I was blindsided today listening to a bereaved father on the radio discuss his late son’s brave battle with cancer. The interviewer asked him if it was “difficult” dealing with his loss, and without a second’s hesitation the father replied, “Every minute of every day is difficult.” SUddenly the years fell away and I was free falling, thinking of all that might and should have been.

    For you to have the love and faith you do after losing your only child was like a star appearing in a dark sky for me. May you often feel your daughter’s presence — I think that channel will remain open. You will always, always be Alicia’s mother, and you are a miracle to me.

    God bless and watch over you both. Susan

  • Derek says:

    Thank you both for such kind words. I am trying to find god again and trust there is a plan. I am starting a non-profit organization and working with the Massachusetts Dept of Public Health to make some serious changes. I cant let him go for nothing. I still cant stop crying.

  • Chlin says:

    Derek, I also lost my child around the same time you did to drowning. He was only 18 months when he got outside and drown in our pool. It was on my watch and I am finding it very hard to forgive myself. If you want someone to talk to who is going through the same or simular emotions as you at this moment please contact me. Maybe we can help each other.

  • Hope says:

    I extend my deepest heartfelt sympathy and condolences…somehow I just found your story and I live in western Massachusetts. I know someone whose brother was affected by a public health issue and he went on to become very active in prevention and trying to help others. Sending special angels, strength and courage for you tonight from western Massachusetts. sincerely, Hope

  • Derek says:

    Chlin and Hope, thank you for your kind words. Chlin if you want to talk anytime please email me at [email protected]. Hopefully we can help each other. I still have trouble getting throgh the day.

  • Derek says:

    We just went to court, how much worse can this get, 8 grand in 60 days or we lose our house too. I am back at work but some people just dont care.

    For anyone that is interested in contributing to the Christian E Frechette Memorial Fund (No I will lose my house before I touch that money) it is through TD Banknorth in Lowell Mass. We are getting our 501c3 status so we can ensure everyone is required to wear a life jacket. The money we have recieved so far we are using to build a brand new Playworld system at his pre-school and a memorial bench down on the lake.

    Thanks again,

  • Derek says:

    Sorry the bank is located at 295 Park St Worcester Mass if anyone cares to donate. Thank you.

  • Mieyonna says:

    My baby boy Mason Gage Nunez drown in my mother in laws pool on June 8, 2008. We were all having a good time…..hes always had an unholy fear of the water and that day we had just gotten him to let go of the side of the pool with his floaties…..ALWAYS with the floaties. He would hold to you with a mighty grip even with those, life vests…anything. He was sooo proud that he could hold our hand and not be afraid….said he was a big boy.
    Everyone was hungry so we all got out, he had to go to the bathroom so I helped and dryed him up a bit. He sat on the couch asking to spend the night with paw paw……I walked out the front door to check on my oldest girls 10 and 13 and walked in about 4 minutes later…..maybe less. Everyone was calling him. I went at a dead run for the pool along with everyone else, and there he was, floating and blue.
    Im a medic…..trained. But I couldnt save my baby. It haunts me. Did he suffer? Did he call me? Did he think I just left him there? What went through his little five year old mind? He had only been five since Feb. 25. He was so little. Couldnt tie his shoes, never rode a big boy bike.
    He LOVED T-ball. We have a memorial set up for him to do something for our local ball field. His team (the same boys he has played with for three years) were all dressed out in uniform, as was my baby, at the funeral.
    I dont know if up is up or down, if right is right or left is left. We all think that our kids depend on US……but we depend on them more than we think. Ive lived with cronic depression for years…..he got me up, got me going. He would wake up and tap my cheek and say, “suns up mommy, lets get some waffles”. I HAD to get up… can you NOT when its that sweet.
    Now what do I do? My other kids are older, into their own things. My life will never be the same again.
    I find myself looking up at the sky, saying hello, praying and praying that he is happy and in a wonderful place with god. I just wish I could have 2 minutes to tell him Im sorry for not getting there in time…..that I should have took him out front with me. We had been fishing that morning and I was sooooo tired….I should have said no when they all wanted to go to grandmas. We should have just went home and everything would be normal right now.
    My husbands name died with my son. He was the legacy….my best friend, my baby and my little man.
    His name is Mason…..Mammas Mae Mae man.