Mom Who Lost Kids, Parents in Christmas Fire Attempted Suicide: Report

PHOTO: Matthew and Madonna Badger embrace as the casket of one of their three daughters arrives for funeral services in this Jan. 5, 2012 in New York City.
Share
Copy

Madonna Badger, the New York woman who lost her three daughters and parents in a tragic Connecticut Christmas fire, attempted suicide last week.

Badger, 47, was reportedly hospitalized after hurting herself in an attempt to kill herself, the New York Daily News reported.

"She is okay...She is out [of the hospital] and somewhere safe," a relative told the paper. "It's just terrible--nobody could really hold up well under the circumstances."

One person close to Badger would not confirm the report, saying that the matter was very personal and difficult to discuss due to the circumstances, but also declined to deny the report.

The Stamford, Conn., fire in the early hours of Dec. 25 claimed the lives of Badger's parents Lomer and Pauline Johnson, and her three daughters Lily, 10, and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah. Badger and her friend Michael Borcina were the only survivors.

The fire was started by fireplace embers that had been cleared out of the fireplace and put in either a mud room attached to the house or a trash enclosure next to it, fire officials said. The embers were reportedly removed because the girls were afraid they would burn Santa Claus as he came down the chimney.

Though firefighters, Badger, Borcina and the grandparents all tried to save the little girls, they were unable to make it through walls of fire that kept pushing them back.

Badger is a well-known fashion advertising executive in New York who has worked on Calvin Klein campaigns. The fire happened at her $1.7 million Victorian home in Stamford that was being renovated by her boyfriend Borcina.

"Losing one person is sad and painful, but losing multiple people can be really overwhelming. One of the hardest things in life is to lose your children and to lose your three young daughters…the pain has just got to be so intense and overwhelming that it's hard to find much solace," Dr. Nadine Kaslow, Professor and Chief Psychologist at Emory the Emory University School of Medicine told ABCNews.com.

Kaslow said that even the strongest of people can sometimes turn to extreme measures when faced with extreme loss.

"Even if you're somebody that has good coping resources in general, that level of tragedy and trauma taxes everybody and you may feel that the only way out is to end your life," Kaslow said. "Sometimes people may think that by killing themselves, they could join their loved ones."

She said that people who have experienced such enormous loss need to be surrounded with as many family and friends as possible. She said therapy can be extremely helpful and that medication may also help.

"She's going to need understanding and empathy for her plight and not criticism for why she tried to kill herself," Kaslow said.

"This is such a recent death and I'm sure everywhere she turns there's reminders and sadness, there's no escaping for her," Kaslow said. "There are other ways to get through this pain; it just takes a long time. Slowly, over time, you re-enter life, but that's a process."

The bereaved mother was last seen in public at the Jan. 6 funeral for her three daughters at Manhattan's St. Thomas Church where more than 500 people came out to grieve the loss of the young girls.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...