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

Archive for: October 2013

Widowers Wedding Ring

 

Over the time of living in my new world as a widower there have been many questions that I needed to find answers too. Most of the questions I had are very common for people in my position so I plan to try and cover off some of these questions in this and future  blog posts with the hope that they help others find their own answers.

The first one is about the Wedding Ring and what on earth you do with it.

It’s these types of things that people think about when they have lost their husband/wife. Probably not something you would expect to think about until you are actually in this position though.

Should I keep it on my wedding finger?

Should I take it off completely?

Should I move it to another finger?

Should I melt it down to something else?

From my experience with my time on the WAY Foundation Facebook Page this question came up a lot and the answers were very varied. Some people not wanting to remove it at all. Some removing it straight away. Others leaving it on until they found someone else. This is certainly a personal decision for anyone and there is no right or wrong.

bereavement, grief, widower

 

For me though there were some clear facts that helped me make my decision…

I was no longer a married man. This in itself is a massive realisation to deal with but it was fact. The vows I took on my wedding day included. ‘in sickness and in health until death do us part’

So as I am the kind of person who thinks black is black and white is white; If it’s grey then its’ grey and so on. In my brain you should only have a wedding ring on if you are married. After all that’s is what it means isn’t it. A ring on your wedding finger means you are married.. No ring means you are not. Now I know it’s not that simple but to me it is.

The other deciding factor was that my marriage and my wedding ring means everything to me. I meant all of my vows, I loved Helen and will continue to love her forever.

So personally I had to remove the ring from my wedding finger. It just didn’t feel right being there but at the same time I wanted to keep it on to remind me of my wife and the love we shared.

It now resides on the third finger of my right hand which is where I want it to stay forever.

As I said before this is a very personal yet important decision for any widow and there is no right or wrong answer. This is just my thought process and my decision.

 

A Difficult Time

 

It’s been a difficult time.

You may have notice that I’ve not been posting too much recently. Well it’s simply because I have had to take some time out for myself. I have said in the past that I do believe there is a clear grief process which all people will follow in different ways and with different magnitudes. Well recently I have found it hard to be positive about my life and lost my way with finding my new direction. I have also been very busy with work, kids and general life stuff and also felt slightly ill so a combination of the 3 is not a good mixture for being clear and positive.

I have felt somewhat trapped in my world. I guess I have been in a state of not wanting to let go of the past or wanting to move forward and at the same time wanting to move on from this lonely nightmare. I have felt very alone with my own emotions and feelings with people not talking about Helen any more or asking me how I am REALLY doing. Now I knew this would happen.. people have their own lives and nearly 8 months have passed so people fall back into their own routines. Again I totally expected this and appreciate I am not the centre of anyone’s world apart from my kids. However it can be a lonely place in my shoes.

I have also felt anger recently. Anger about Helen not being here. This surprised me slightly because I know it was not her fault nor something she would have wanted but that feeling was there nonetheless. Thankfully this didn’t last long at all because it made me feel very guilty at the same time.

I have sometimes wanted to run away… But then I wondered what I would be running away from? There is no way I can get away from my own head and past experiences no matter where I go.

I have been getting sudden flashbacks. Flashbacks of the last couple of days of Helen’s life. The decision I had to make, the consequences of those decisions and of course watching the one I loved leave me.

I have also realised I am not a husband any more. That sounds slightly mad because that’s obvious but actually it’s a hard one to stomach when you really sit down and think about it. I am a single person/parent now. On my own bringing up 2 kids. How did that happen?

I have had to attend a parents evening alone. No wife/mum to share the successes and the things to work on.

I attended Olivia’s Harvest festival assembly alone. Olivia really wanted me to go to watch her sing and dance. Of course I wouldn’t miss that for the world and there she was… with her school friends performing with the biggest smile on her face. It was like there was only one reason she was doing it and that was for me to watch her. She was so proud as she wriggled her little hips and sang aloud. I was so proud but at the same time it felt like I was being cut from the inside knowing her mum wasn’t there to watch her.

Since the kids have been back at school I have watch with delight how Marley has grown in confidence. He has become a very popular boy at nursery and pre-school and every time I drop him off the first thing I hear as I walk through the doors is another child shout ‘Marley’. He kisses me and wonders off with his mates as happy as ever. He even had about 3 girls waiting at the door one morning.. Nice work Boy!

Although fantastic for me to see it still cuts deep to know Helen is missing them grow up. She is missing seeing them do all the things they are doing. She’s standing still now and we continue to move on. I can feel the shift in direction slowly happening as we move further away from Helen. Normal in life is gone from 4 to 3.

However, with all this going on in my tiny bald pea head I knew I had to let it happen. It’s one of the biggest things I have learnt through this process; that I have no real control over it and I need to follow the paths it takes me. I follow them while keeping a close on them at the same time. If I feel it’s taking me under or I am stuck in that state for too long I know I need to act. Thankfully though I feel I am now coming out the other side of this episode. Not stronger, not weaker.. I just got through it but I didn’t much like it.

By the way.. I really do have a small head. I often look at boys hats when I am out shopping as they generally fit me better.

Bereavement, Grief, Widow, Widower, Bereavement Counselling, Child bereavement, Carer, Terminal Illness, Death, Loss, Grieving

 

How I am Feeling

 

How I am Feeling

Again the grief process is taking me on it’s own little journey because I have been feeling very emotional and alone recently. I say it’s taking me on this journey because that’s how it feels; like I have no control over how I feel, what I think or how strong I can be to deal with it. For me it really does come in waves because over the last few weeks I have been doing OK but now here I am fighting with my emotions.

Either I am a great actor or my busy life distracts me from my emotions because during the day I am fine and no one would know what I have been through and continue to go through. It’s only when the kids are asleep and I am home alone that I get hit with the real emotion.

I feel like no one knows what is going on in my head which I know is strange because why would they. I also feel like I am the only one grieving for Helen which I know is not the case. I guess it’s because I feel very alone in my own grief and in general life. I feel like people think it’s better to not talk about it at all when I see them. Maybe it’s easier for them or maybe because they think it’s better for me.. I’m not sure.. but I feel like I need to talk about it and talk about it in depth.

Thinking this through as I always do I believe I feel this way because over the last few months I have not talked about it. I have not had the opportunity or need so it’s just been lingering in my own little head without any escape.

Although very low at the moment the spectrum of emotions have been very vast. I have laughed more recently than I have for ages; real uncontrollable laughing and that feels good and I don’t feel guilty about it either. At the same time though I have also cried many times recently… real desperate tears which is unlike me because I am not a cryer. I said it before but I am not a cryer because I think I am a tough man.. in fact I love candles and nice smelly stuff and crying is good. I just don’t really cry and actually I don’t feel like it helps me in anyway.

Bereavement, Grief, Widow, Widower, Bereavement Counselling, Child bereavement, Carer, Terminal Illness, Death, Loss, Grieving

 

I have spoken to a few people in my shoes about how I feel and it’s certainly not uncommon to have these feelings.  Just part of the process and I know in a week or two I will feel better. It’s just horrible when in this state but it’s made me realise I need to talk. I know this will help.

To find happiness I need to follow the road

A different meaning of the word Mum

 

A different meaning of the word Mum

One thing that I always really struggle with now is the word Mummy. For me and mainly for the kids the real meaning of the word mum is now totally different and will be that way for their whole lives. Everyone has a Mum don’t they??

It’s very hard as a parent in this situation because I want nothing more than to make sure my children are happy and I would do anything for them and give them what they really need. But…. The one thing my kids would want more than anything else in the world is their mummy and that’s the one thing I can’t give them. That in itself is a life sentence that I find hard to swallow.

widower

 

Olivia tonight was sad again and really wanted mummy. While I was explaining again that Mummy could never come back I had this feeling bubble up in my stomach about how I would feel if I could have her back. I felt pure excitement, elation and happiness at that thought but then I started to listen to my own words…. “She is never coming back” Needless to say Livy and I were on the sofa crying together.

 

I will say it again.. everyone has a mum don’t they? Now I certainly know first hand this isn’t the case but it just seems that is the way. I guess because I now live very much in a Mums world.. they are bloody everywhere I go.

School runs, School events, Birthday Parties, Play dates.. generally all Mums. Luckily all the mums are really nice so we all get on well but I know its very strange for the kids. All their friends have Mum’s. All their friends say “mummy” and someone answers to that name….. Ooops that part has just made my eyes moist.

My kids will probably never say mummy again and have someone respond……. maybe they will but that meaning will still be different.

As Olivia is still very young I do think not having a Mum will just be a way of life.. It will be just how it is but there are times when I see Olivia craving that type of relationship. Again I can give her most things in life but I can’t be a mum.. As gentle as I am I will never be as gentle as a mum. I can’t even take her into the girls toilets which I know she loves to do. Most times when I am with friends Olivia will always find a mum or a woman to cling too. She loves that female company and I am happy to let it happen as that’s the one things I can’t give her.

Marley is different. I know he misses mummy just like Olivia but he is younger and I have always been a massive part of his life. He does get very sad as well though.. why wouldn’t he? He still missed those gentle mummy cuddles that I can’t give him.. I try though but I always have to end it with a daddy squeeze.

So…. the word Mummy.. such a precious important word that so many people take for granted.. I know I have many times but it’s one word that means the world and is irreplaceable.