When 63-year-old Robin Gardner died, her family was struck with unimaginable grief. The Maine resident was hit and killed by another driver around 7:30 a.m. on Route 16.
The other driver was her daughter’s 25-year-old brother-in-law, who was reportedly texting and driving.
Robin’s family members were understandably beside themselves, but her son, 35-year-old Alex Gardner, was especially so. In fact, according to WLBZ, the family believes Alex was so distraught that he took his own life.
Just days after Robin was killed, Alex reportedly went out to buy an outfit for his mother’s funeral. Tragically, he never returned. Officials discovered his vehicle near the exact spot his mother died; it had crashed into a tree — something his family thinks was intentional.
His sister Brooke Gardner told WLBZ:
“Alex couldn’t cope. He couldn’t comprehend that he was not there to protect my mom.”
Alex’s other sister, Celeste Creighton, felt the same way, telling the outlet her brother and mother were very close:
“He was a momma’s boy.”
Brooke continued, saying the whole family was that close, and now their grief has doubled:
“We do everything together, we are such a close family and it’s just to think that two of us are missing right now.”
She told WLBZ she believed Alex would eventually be OK after their mother’s passing, but now she’s sadly learned she was wrong. She does know, however, that her brother’s actions stemmed from a deep pain, and that he wouldn’t have killed himself “just to do it”:
“I thought he would make it through it but he couldn’t he just couldn’t do it. He wouldn’t have done that just to do it, he just missed her so much, it was unbearable.”
His death, however, has now left their family with mixed feelings. Of course, they’re horrified that their brother felt he couldn’t bare to live another day — and they’re grief-ridden over both his and their mother’s deaths — but they also said they believe Alex and Robin are reunited somewhere which has seemingly given them some sense of peace.
Brooke told the outlet that upon learning of her brother’s crash, she instantly thought of her mom and comforting each other:
“I know that my brother is with his mom right now. When I found out, that was the first picture in my mind, my mom embracing her son.”
Now, both sisters say they need to focus on their faith and remaining family members to get through the tough time, and they told WLBZ they’ve vowed to live the rest of their lives out the way they know their mom and brother would have wanted them to. Brooke said:
“I don’t know how you move on from something like this, I just know that God can take broken pieces and he can make something beautiful out them and I know that Alex is at peace.
I just have to trust that there is a silver lining to this, that something good will come of it.”
The family has no doubt dealt with a great deal of loss the last week, but it’s clear they’re somewhat comforted by the thought that their mother and brother are now at peace, and most importantly, together — a sentiment many people dealing with loss might relate to.