It was the nightmare that keeps parents across the country awake at night. On March 20th of 1991 Eric Clapton had his entire world turned upside down when he suffered a terrible tragedy.
Conor Clapton, Eric Clapton’s son, was only four years old when he suffered a fatal accident. Conor fell out of a window on the 53rd floor of a New York City building. When Eric arrived on the scene he was absolutely horrified, as any parent would be. Parents are never supposed to bury their children because the pain is so great.
After the accident, Eric Clapton dedicated himself to raise awareness for making sure windows are childproof and making sure stairs are also safe for children. He was doing everything in his power to make sure no other parent would have to grieve the way he did to something that could’ve been prevented.
Afterwards, Eric Clapton decided to write the song “Tears in Heaven” about the grief and unending feeling of loss that he suffered after his beloved son’s death. “Tears In Heaven” would go on to be Eric Clapton’s best-selling single in the United States. The song’s emotional connection touched the heart of millions of listeners. Through pain Eric Clapton was able to connect with more listeners than ever before.
However unknown to most people is that after Eric Clapton attended Conor’s funeral in 1991, he quietly received a letter that would leave him speechless.
On August 21, 1986 Conor Clapton was born to Eric Clapton and Italian Model Lory Del Santo.
Eric Clapton was fighting an addiction with alcohol, but Eric’s dedication to being a good father for his son gave him the strength to beat his addiction. Eric told 60 Minutes about how meeting his son gave him the motivation to beat an addiction he had struggled with for years.
When he was born, I was drinking and he was really the chief reason taht I went back to treatment because I really did love this boy. I thought, ‘I know he’s a little baby, but he can see what I’m doing and I’m tired of this.’
On March 19, 1991, Eric took his son Conor to the circus. This would become one of Eric’s favorite memories with his son. Sadly, it would also be one of the last memories he would ever have of his son..
The very next day, the unthinkable happened.
Conor was left alone in the New York City high-rise condo for mere seconds when he fell out of an open window on the 53rd floor. The accident and media frenzy would put Eric through emotional turmoil as he attempted to come to grips with reality. Eric was experiencing a nightmare every parent has had at least once. But that wasn’t all as Eric was also in the media spotlight in front of millions. It’s enough to make anyone lose their grip.
But after Conor’s funeral Eric received a letter that had been written by Conor. The letter told Eric how much Conor loved him and missed him.
Not long afterwards, Eric would find the courage to write “Tears In Heaven”, a song dedicated to his son that will bring anyone to tears.The song is packed full of gut-wrenching emotion and Eric Clapton manages to convey the pain of losing Conor perfectly.
The song went on to become not only the best-selling single for Eric Clapton, but it would also become one of the best-selling pop songs of the 1990s.It seemed that many were able to relate Eric’s honest song about pain and loss.
However the song wasn’t the only way Eric would honor his son, as he also campaigned for childproofing windows and staircases. Eric knew that no other parent should ever have to suffer the way he did. Even just one life saved from his campaigning would make it all worth it.