The tragic story behind Eric Clapton's song "Tears in Heaven"
Lory del Santo was the proud mother of a 4-year-old boy and their life together was like something from a fairy tale. But on the happiest day of her little son's life, fate struck mercilessly. You might not know it, but you've probably shed many a tear over how his father handled the tragedy.
In 1985, the Italian model Lory met a dashing English man. It turned out later that he was a famous musician who was visiting Milan while on tour. They fell in love and began a relationship.
Some months later Lory learned she was pregnant. She was ecstatic, because she had always wished for a child and believed that the same was true for her boyfriend. Full of joy, she told him the news, but he didn't react as she hoped he would. He was not ready for a baby and the two separated in the end. Lory knew that he had problems and had to first sort out his own affairs. So she left him and continued to live her own life. Only shortly before the birth could the father accept the situation. They reunited and experienced the birth of their son Conor together in August, 1986.
Blissful times followed in their home in the English countryside.
The father noticed after some time, however, that he didn't feel the usual bond with his child; he had no idea how to behave around him. Whenever Conor was in his crib, his father would begin to drink. Not wanting to subject his son to his alcohol problem, he willingly had himself committed into a rehabilitation clinic.
His relationship with Lory became distant, but they remained in contact. Conor grew up together with his mother in Italy and his father visited him when he had time.
Conor was a cheerful boy who loved to listen to his father’s music while singing along.
March 19th, 1991 was the date that Conor’s father decided to change his life. For all of them it was a special day, for it was the first time that father and son did something together alone. They went to the circus in New York and had a more fun than ever before. From then on the father wanted to be in his son's life much more, to help care for him. They had already planned to go to the zoo the next day. Conor was so ecstatic that he couldn’t sleep properly. He was simply too excited about the time with his father.
In New York, Conor and his mother lived in a skyscraper. The morning after the trip to the circus, Conor was playing hide-and-seek with his nanny while he waited for his father. There was a janitor in the apartment to clean the glass windows — the outer walls of the building were made completely out of windows that were always kept closed and secured. But on that fateful day the janitor had opened one of the floor-level windows. And then the unthinkable happened: while Conor was trying to hide from his Nanny, he ran directly towards the open window. He thought that the window was closed and that he could hide behind the low wooden ledge on the floor.
The drama took its course: he plunged 49 stories from the apartment and landed on the roof of an adjacent building. Lory came running as she heard the cry of the nanny and broke down as she realized what had happened. Conor's father arrived five minutes later. The young boy was killed instantly. Just as the family was ready for a new and happy beginning, Conor was torn from their lives.
The father is none other than superstar Eric Clapton. He dealt with his unbearable pain in a way that we all know and have loved for years:
They could have had a happy life together, but fate was not willing. What remains are beautiful memories like these. Nevertheless, their last day together was the most beautiful day of their entire lives.
This story is infinitely tragic and shows how fragile life is. For that reason alone, we should enjoy the time we have with our loved ones. Share this moving story behind the hit "Tears in Heaven."