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

Bereavement, Life, Happiness, Grief, Widower

Life is good but still not always e...

  It's been a long while since the last blog post and although there have been a few times where I have felt the need to write that need quickly...

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...

Life is good but still not always easy

 

It’s been a long while since the last blog post and although there have been a few times where I have felt the need to write that need quickly fades. I originally set this up to both help myself and others with grief and I guess selfishly I’ve stopped posting because I’ve just not needed to. It’s not that I have stopped grieving as I think personally I always will to some extent; it’s just that I am better equipped to deal with it as time has passed.

Now though I have decided I wanted to write something; for two reason.. 1. To update where we are in our lives and 2. To summarise the last year or so for my family and I.

Life for us is great. Yes I have lost my wife and my children have lost their mum but we live a very good life filled with immense fun and laughter. The kids are growing so fast, doing well at school and the happy, smiley faces they have always had continue on just as strong..

I still find myself having to deal with difficult times like when Olivia she said she feels like she’s never had a mother. I totally understand that statement. She was 4 when Helen passed away and her memory of Helen is minimal. Probably mixed up with the pictures and movies I have together with the need for the family to keep her alive through our memories. Still it’s a disgusting thing to hear your daughter say.

In a recent conversation the kids were talking to me about how they just have a dad. I suggested to them that it’s normal for them to just have me and that they don’t/won’t know what it’s like to have two parents. Kids just know what they know. I liken it in a way to my father being disabled. It was just the way it was and to me it was normal. I never got to play football with him or run around a park etc. because he was in a wheel chair and that’s the way it was. I never thought anything about it. I just enjoy pushing him around in his chair and slapping his bald head as it was always at a good height.  Obviously losing your mum as such a young age is a worse thing to have to deal with which also has lasting effects but I can see the kids accepting the way things are. They just have a dad and their mum is gone.. for them it’s just the way it is.

Even now over 3 years on parts of Helen and her memory continue to disappear due to things you may not even think about but is so prominent for me. I have changed the car we bought together. I have redecorated some of the house that we did together. Some of the clothes I bought with her I have got rid of. Even down to plates we both used or cups. A slow process but the parts of Helen are still disappearing. For me though I don’t need material things to remember her. I don’t go to the crematorium that much because I really don’t feel the need. I have the memories and the feelings I still hold for her and carry them with me always.

Another milestone that we are moving toward is the fact that the kids have nearly lived half their lives without a mum. After that time passes that gap will just continue to grow. Another stupid milestone that doesn’t really mean much but for some reason  it’s something I think about and another tough thing for me to deal with.

Rightly or wrongly the kids do talk less about mummy these days. It’s not that they have forgotten but more I think that they are accepting their lives as they are. Interestingly though mummy still features plenty in their lives. I find it intriguing that they talk about her like she is still here and that she is still their mum which of course she always will be whether she’s here or not. They openly talk about mummy and it’s clear to me they both have this huge love for her and are happy to talk about her not being here. This I think shows how important it is to talk to kids about anything that is happening. They can deal with much more than we give credit for.

I am obviously bias about my own kids but I think they are both amazing. Such happy, fun, well mannered, rounded and polite kids. We have so much fun together and I feel blessed to have the time I do with them. Marley had his long hair cut recently and it really affected me. The cute little boy with long whity blond hair that Helen I and knew suddenly has short boys hair and to me he went from my little baby boy to a young lad. It both made me sad and happy at the same time.

Also they are both doing really well at school; Marley loves learning and just seems to enjoy anything he does. Olivia being a little more complicated (she is a female after all) has struggled over the last few years but recently I’ve seen a massive shift in her. Like me she may not be the most academic person in the world but watching her love for children, the patients she has and her caring nature is just awe inspiring to me. Helen amazed me when the kids were small because her caring nature, patients and time she would have for the kids was tremendous. Even if Helen was exhausted from lack of sleep or from the drugs she had to take she would always find energy to deal with the kids to make sure they were ok. It’s like Helen lives on through Olivia. Life isn’t about getting good grades in my opinion. It’s about being happy, being able to socialise, communicate and have fun. My two kids have all this in abundance and for what they have been through and continue to go through I find that amazing.

The worse thing I continue to live with is the fact that Helen can’t see her kids, feel proud of them, laugh with them, just be with them. Similarly I hate that I can’t share our children with her, sit and watch them together as they play, read, laugh together. Also that the kids can’t give their mum a hug or hear her tell them how much she loves them or how proud she is. I make a lot of effort to make sure they know how much she would love them and how proud she would be.. even that never feels enough.

Like I said though life is great. We are all happy and healthy and for me that’s all we can ever ask for.

Bereavement, Life, Happiness, Grief, Widower

 

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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