Grief recovery, loss of child, healing after death & loss 

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Michelle Shelton 480-577-8272
Home Uncategorized He didn’t die in the Fire….he died before

He didn’t die in the Fire….he died before

Please read this article at your own risk. There are details of the fire and the accident in which Phillip was killed. The first part is the actual news article that appeared in both print and online.

Two Die in Firery Crash near Yuma, Arizona
















The Newspaper said, two killed in a fiery crash. When the police officers came to our door…I knew it wasn't going to be good news. I could see the serious looks on their faces and I didn't want Paul to answer the door. I heard the officer ask Paul, "Are you Mr. Shelton?" He replied. "Yes." Then I heard the officer ask, "Do you have a son named Phillip Shelton?"

Oh my God. At that point I heard him say something about a bad accident on I8. I became hysterical. Is he DEAD? Did Phillip DIE? I was yelling this hysterically.

I remember running into my daughters room and saying, Oh my God, Oh my God…over and over I repeadted it while I sobbed and held my stomach. She was shouting at me…MOM WHAT? What happened? MOM? I just kept saying Phillip, Phillip, Phillip.

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. I had left the room while the officers gave Paul the details of the accident. None of that mattered anymore. All that mattered was my baby was gone. My toddler, my little man, my teenager, my young man, the father of my granddaughter. I have these memories of the stages of his life. Phil as a baby. Phil as a toddler. Phil as an eight year old. Phil as a 12 year old. Phil as a teenager, a 19 year old, a 22 year old young man starting his family. Learning to work and support others.

Later that night I told Paul I simply wanted to go get Phil. I wanted to hold him. I wanted to unwrap him and look at his fingers and toes the way I did when he was first born. I didn't care if he was dead…I just wanted to hold him again.

I remember the look that came across his face. He said, "No Shelly, you can't do that." I didn't understand. Then he continued, "There was a fire Shelly, Phil is gone, he was burnt up in the car."

For several days I couldn't handle this information. My mind raced. I envisioned him pressed against the window yelling for someone to help him…scratching and clawing to get out of the pain of the fire. I wanted to reach into my body and rip out my heart so it would stop hurting.

It has been a couple of weeks now and we have talked to witnesses. We have talked to people who were the first responders to the accident. Phillip and Alyssa were both dead on impact. They did not die in the fire. Their bodies were badly burnt but they did not die in the fire. This gives my pained heart some peace.

I miss you Phillip. I am not sure how to get along without you. You have been such a part of my life for so long. Your boots still sit inside my back door. It sort of seems like you might come back if I leave them there. I know you will need them for work.



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