WAG melanie coleman and grief

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Jun 1, 2022
I have not shared this on here before, but I have wanted to. I trained with Melanie Coleman, the gymnast that died after falling off the uneven bars just over three years ago. We were close, she was about nine years older than me and I really looked up to her. And now, three years later, it is really hitting me what happened. It happened at my gym at the time. I arrived about an hour after the accident. And for a very long time, I blamed myself, as I felt if I had arrived just two hours earlier, as I often did to watch the college girls, I would have given Mel a hug like normal and it would have delayed the accident.

Of course, I couldn't have known. And had I seen the accident occur, I would have been more traumatized by it than I already was. The aftermath of the accident was, it was a lot. My gym kind of brushed it off, but I was talking to a former teammate about it recently and she brought up that it did not feel real to anyone which is true. But I got really scared of all my skills after it, understandably.

If Mel had survived, she would be paralyzed from the neck down and she would not be living the life she would have wanted. So she is not suffering. But it is still really hard. So that leads to my question; did anyone else know Melanie? And even if not, how did your gyms deal with the accident, did they talk about it? Did any of your gymnasts or you become more fearful? And lastly, unrelated: I am trying desperately to find a photo of Melanie and me from when I was maybe eight years old. I thought she might have posted it on her Instagram, so I asked my friend who followed the private account before she died to check and it was not there. It is probably in Melanie's camera roll, anyone have any ideas for how to access or find it? I know it is probably impossible though.


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Apr 14, 2022
I am so sorry this happened. It must be horrifying for you.
But...it's not your fault. Feeling as if you could have prevented it is normal, but that's not your job. You do not have a crystal ball that tells you when to be early or late.

As far as the picture goes, maybe her family would be happy to hear from someone who cared about her. I'd very gently and respectfully contact them, and let it go if there's no response.

I hope you feel better soon.

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