The life of a young widowed father with the will to help others with advice and positivity.

Child bereavement

Moving Forward

  I set up this blog for two main reasons. 1 – To help me get my thoughts, feelings and emotions in order and writing was the only way I co...

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My Simple rules of life

  Just a couple of simple rules of how I live my and why. Rule 1 = Just be Happy During the last few weeks of my wife's life we had many...

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Son’s First day at school

Son's First day at school For a long time I have been very much looking forward to my son starting school. This is mainly because I know he is read...

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16 months a Widower

  It’s been about 2 month since I have written a Blog Post which even surprised me when I figured it out. I never intended to suddenly stop but ...

Moving Forward

 

I set up this blog for two main reasons.

1 – To help me get my thoughts, feelings and emotions in order and writing was the only way I could make some sense of things.

2 – I hoped that what I had to say would help others in similar positions.

It’s been 7 or 8 now month since my last post and I often think about whether I should still be posting or just leave it be. To be honest I just don’t feel the need to write anymore which I guess for me is a good thing. Time continues to move forward and I now feel content with my new life however of course I still live with a cloud above me for my own loss and the loss for my children but most of the time we are very happy.

Since the last blog we have lived through a 2nd Christmas without Mummy which was a thousand times happier than the 1st Christmas as we had a fantastic festive time with family and friends. We got through Mother’s day and Helen’s Birthday where we took time out to remember Mummy. The 2nd Anniversary of Helen’s passing where we again all got together as a family and shared our funny stories of Helen. All these anniversaries and special family times were much easier but of course we still felt sadness at times while we wished that certain person was still with us.

My son is thriving in his first year at school and continues to grow into such an amazing little boy. My daughter is also having a much better year at school and doing fantastically well. So even after such awful pain we are living a happy life. Which is all I can ask for.

One thing I always struggle to get my head around is that I am now 37 years old, my daughter will be 7 soon and son will be 6 at the end of the year. When Helen passed away I was 34 and the kids were 4 and 3. We’re all growing older while Helen stays 34 forever… This to me just doesn’t feel right or fair.

Even though I don’t blog so much this site is still very much live and I continue to receive contact from many people from all over the world. Sadly though it’s from people who have stumbled across the site searching for help when they themselves are living in desperate times. This blog goes some way to helping them realise that life does move on and happiness can continue.

Also ever since the blog was created I have been contacted by many companies asking me to review products (and blog about them) or advertise on my site. I’ve never had any intention of making any money out of this so have always declined any offer. This site is here to help people like me not for me to make money from.

I have recently though been contacted by Co-operative Funeral Care who have teamed up with Child Bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing Service (CHUMS). They are launching a series of short animated films aimed at helping bereaved children to cope with the loss of a loved one and are offering the films as a free resource to local schools, medical professionals, community groups and bereaved families. The launch follows on from the success of their previous Amy and Tom books, which were a tool for bereaved primary school children.

Child bereavement is obviously something close to my heart so I agreed to review the material and help spread the word. The DVD in my opinion is actually a great resource for Children. Aimed directly for children at their level it covers many relevant issues:

  • How it’s OK to feel sad, angry and happy
  • Counselling
  • People not knowing what to say
  • Realisation that most feeling emotions are normal.
  • How it’s great to meet people in the same situation
  • Anniversaries
  • Life does get easier as time moves on.
  • Great to remember the good times

The link to follow for this is below and I would certainly recommend for bereaved children.

http://www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk/after-the-funeral/featured-articles/bereavement-support-for-young-children/

Child bereavement

 

My Simple rules of life

 

Just a couple of simple rules of how I live my and why.

Rule 1 = Just be Happy

During the last few weeks of my wife’s life we had many very deep conversations. But there has always been something she said to me that stood out above all the rest. And that was when she said plain and simply that she wanted me to be happy. Such a simple thing to say but she said it in way that she really did mean it and on reflection that’s what any of us wish for isn’t it? When I put myself in Helen’s shoes which I often do this is exactly what I would want for Helen, my kids, my family and friends. I honestly can’t think of any other way to be apart from Just be happy.

Rule 2 = Live the best life I can live

I live with another simple rule to get me through. My wife fought hard to stay with us and to remain happy but sadly she lost her life. I know very well how annoyed she would be if the illness that took her life away continued to affect the lives of her loved ones. So the rule is simply to live the best life I can for me and my kids. My wife deserves it.

This is how I live my life now. I do it if it makes me and my kids happy.

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Son’s First day at school

Son’s First day at school

For a long time I have been very much looking forward to my son starting school. This is mainly because I know he is ready and it will make my life much easier for the school run and pick up etc.

However the night before the big day ended like I never imagined. I was busy getting all the school stuff ready for the kids and I really started to feel the emotion of loss and sadness that my wife wouldn’t be there with us. I was kind of expecting this anyway but this time it was over whelming.

Then at bed time I walked into my daughters room and she was looking through her memory box and asked if I could read some of the stuff that mummy had written. I have no idea why she chose that night to look through it as it’s not something she often does. There are two note books; one that Helen wrote when Olivia was first born and includes messages to Olivia when Helen got ill initially. The second was a few short notes that Helen wrote a few weeks before she passed away… I started reading them to her and I simply couldn’t get through it at all without crying and feeling immense sadness. I had to put it away as the emotion was just so heavy for me to handle.

The next thing my Son started to cry telling me that he doesn’t remember mummy at all and he wished mummy could be there with me to take him to school. This was heart breaking for me, my poor son doesn’t remember his mum and can’t have her there to give him a reassuring kiss when he starts his first day at school. Both of these things broke my heart just that little bit more.

UntitledThe next morning though it was like none of that happened. My son woke up, got washed and into his uniform in lightening speed then said he didn’t want breakfast so he could get to school quicker. He was so excited to have his uniform on, school shoes on and the fact he was starting school with his friends. In the end it was a total success and Marley came out of school as happy as ever. Olivia also had a great day in her new class and said her teachers were really nice.

It seems crazy how the emotions can swing in such waves of extreme. For the kids I am sure its just another happy day. For me though it’s a slight kick in the stomach that will take a while for me to get over.

The great things though is that although of course I am still very sad about my loss and my children’s loss we are actually living a very happy and positive life and moving forward in the right direction. It’s also a reminder that day to day life is fine now; it’s just those special occasions where the emotions hit hard

It’s a cruel world but I am a very proud father.

 

16 months a Widower

 

It’s been about 2 month since I have written a Blog Post which even surprised me when I figured it out. I never intended to suddenly stop but I think for me it was just the right time when I no longer needed to write out my feelings to help me understand them. My head is now clear about what has happened and where I now am in life. It’s a good feeling to have although make no mistake I still get that shot in the stomach when my mind wonders back to events and Helen. I have also been very busy with work and life so once work is complete and I have done all the stuff a single parent would do I just want to sit and relax.

I have also just worked out that I’ve lived about 16 months without Helen and it just doesn’t seem possible that this amount of time could pass without Helen living it. As I mentioned my mind is clear now and there are a few things I know for sure without any doubt.

  1. I will never understand or really comprehend what has happened to me, to Helen and why.
  2. I still miss her and I know I always will. She was my best friend.
  3. I still feel the same love for her that I always did and again I know now that this will not change.
  4. Although I will never forget her I know I can build a new life for myself and I deserve a happy life.
  5. The pain I feel when I think about my kids never having their real mum again will always hurt more than I can ever describe.
  6. The pain I feel when I think about Helen missing out on our happy family will also always hurt more than I can ever describe.

Some of the above points are nice thoughts… Helen will always have a place in my heart. On the flip side some of these are just obvious life sentences and I don’t say that lightly. For instance when the kids make me laugh there is always a part of my that is in pain as I wish Helen was there to laugh with us and it gets me pretty much every time.

Like I said, I can build a new life for myself but you only get one Mum and I can’t bring that back for my kids. That is a hard thing to have to deal with but as I continually say to the kids there just isn’t anything I can do about it otherwise I would have already done it.

I’m a different person now and I like the person I have become. I don’t really take any messing around any more and life is too short so I don’t take things seriously at all. At the bottom of it all though is that I feel so bloody lucky to be alive and to breath air; so lucky to have my kids who are healthy. It’s difficult to comprehend even to myself when I say I am lucky because I watched my wife being taken from me but I honestly do feel very fortunate to have what I have.

I can watch my kids run to school ahead of me and smile as they both laugh and giggle. . I am lucky..

I can take them to new places and help them understand this crazy world.. I am lucky..

I can watch them grow and become their own people.. I am Lucky..

I am able to raise my own two amazing children.. I am Lucky..

But again… It’s always tainted with that wish to have my wife next it me holding hands so we can smile together and watch all this together

We are very happy just the 3 of us. Never a day goes by without a laugh and a joke. They love me and I love them. After what we have had to deal with over the last 4 years I can’t ask for more than that. I know 100% Helen would be so proud of the kids and who they are becoming as well as being proud of me to continue raising them in the ways we wanted.

Helen still lives on within her children and I am reminded of that regularly. Those looks, that cheekiness, the slight craziness, the obsessions, the worry, the caring and the love. All of what Helen was is within our two children so I never feel far away from her. I can’t thank her enough for giving me two perfect kids but as always I wish she was here by my side.

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A life without a Mum

 

A life without a Mum

I don’t think I will ever really come to terms with my loss or be able to accept it but at the same time I do now feel at peace with it. Maybe it’s because I know there is nothing I can do about it and because after experiencing what I have I try to focus hard on being happy and enjoying my life. I have seen death, I know what it looks like and I know it will come to me one day so until then I want to live my best life with my kids.

However the huge struggle I have recently and something I can’t get out of my head is that the kids have lost their mummy forever and that Helen is missing them grow up.

The kids and I were recently looking at some pictures of Helen and kids which were taken not long before she passed away. Those special moments captured in time but what really stood out so strong was how much older the kids look now and how Helen stays the same. It really is forever isn’t it! There really are no more special moments to cherish for the kids and their mum.

Another clear reminder of this was when I showed the kids some of Helen’s clothes I have kept. Olivia has been wanting to see them for a while but I have been putting it off because I was worried how it would effect her but at the weekend we had some spare time so I got them out for us all to see. I’ve not seen them since I put them away safe about a year ago and I must say it was a shock for me to see them. The memories came flooding back and as I expected Olivia was really taken back by it as well and was then really unsettled for the rest of the day. Her pure need for a mother figure was even more on show because we had a kids party to attend that day and she was glued to a young pretty mum that was there. Plus in front of that woman Olivia asked me if she could be her new mum…… Being quite use to this now I simply told her that the lady was married and had a family of her own but it showed me yet again what Olivia is missing in her life that I cannot fill.

Marley is different. He will get sad if we all get sad and listens to what Olivia says which again makes him sad but very rarely will he initiate anything. He was much younger and as I have featured so much in his life I guess he only ever really remembers me. At the same time though I know he misses a mum too. That female touch to scoop him up and make him feel safe. Of course I can do that and I do it all the time but I can’t be that woman they both want.

That day was very tricky and that evening Olivia mentioned how unfair it is that everyone else has a mum and she doesn’t. Of course most of the children she knows have mummies but I explained that there are many children without mums and many without Dads. Some without both. I mentioned the widower friends I have that we have met a few times. The children in that family are without a mum just like her.

“Why me?” she said “Why did I have to be the one to be without a mum?”

My reply… “I know it’s not fair but we shouldn’t wish this on others and shouldn’t wish other people to die.”

We talked some more and I said how sad it was for me that I had lost my wife, best friend and soul mate. I expressed how said I am about that but then realised that actually I am generally so engrossed in the kids grief that I forget what I have lost. It’s pretty shit I can tell you!

But what stands out the most is not my loss but the fact that my beautiful children are without their mum and that Helen is missing this special time with her children. To be honest that fucking tears me up every time I think about it.

I know the kids will have a great life.. I will make sure of that but they will never have THEIR mum ever again. THEIR mum to take them to school, to pick them up, hug them when they are sad, laugh with them, the list is bloody endless.

Family

 

When my kid say something funny and make me laugh or when they learn something new or be cute I feel both so happy about that but then a pain where I wish Helen could have witness that too.

We’ll have bad days and good days and I do believe letting the kids do things like see Helen’s clothes is important for them. It reminds them of Helen and helps them along their journey.

I know there is no fix to this problem; only for me to continue doing what I am doing and keeping them happy but I hurts like hell knowing what they have lost and what Helen is missing. All Helen wanted was a happy family and to be a mum.

Tragic