Fri | Sep 20, 2019

Mary Wilson still mourns death of her son, 25 years later

Published:Saturday | August 24, 2019 | 12:18 AM

The Supremes’ Mary Wilson “will never get over” the death of her son.

The 75-year-old singer – who was the founder and longest member of the legendary group – tragically lost her then 14-year-old son, Rafael, in a car crash in which she was behind the wheel of her Jeep Cherokee in January 1994, and although she got through the ordeal with “resilience”, she’ll never forgive herself.

Speaking to Dan Wootton on The Dan Wootton Interview, she said: “I was driving the car. I had not been drinking or anything like that. It was really devastating. I think the only thing that got me through was probably just being who I am. I am very resilient.

“My other son said to me, ‘Mum, losing Rafael was like having a hole in my heart.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, you’re right, it’s like a hole, but you’ve still got your heart, you still have your heart.’ And I think that’s what got me through, still having that heart and knowing life can be up and it can be down and you’ve got to learn how to roll with the punches, as they say. I mean, I’m not over it, I’ll never be over it.”

Mary has pictures of Rafael all over her house, and sometimes she’ll look at them and “just burst into tears” as she reflects on the tragic accident 25 years ago.

She explained: “I have his picture all over my house, and sometimes I will look at it, and I’ll just burst into tears. And sometimes I’ll just smile, you know. You’ve just got to, something in you, you’ve got to have that.”

Rafael – who was travelling to Las Vegas at the time with his mother – died from internal injuries after the car swerved off the highway and flipped, landing on upright on the left shoulder, and he was thrown out of the passenger door.