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

Archive for: December 2013

Facing a new year as a Widower

 

Facing a new year as a Widower.

It would be so easy for me to say how glad I will be to see the back of 2013 since it brought immense sadness to my life. But actually as ever I look at the positives rather than the negatives..

Of course it will go down as the worst year of my life so far… Caring for my wife and watching her get weaker and weaker by the day and then watching her last breaths. A truly awful time that I will never ever forget.

However, in 2013 I was able to express to Helen how much I loved her and we were able to spend some very special moments together. This again is something I will never forget. The simple fact that Helen knew she couldn’t have been loved any more by anyone else when she died made our parting that much easier to bare.

In 2013 Helen was relieved of all her pain and suffering. A human can only take so much and if it wasn’t going to get easier then the end result for her was sadly the best.

In 2013 I surprised myself in how I have dealt with the loss and how strong I have actually been. I learnt how strong I can be through the years of helping us all get through the cancer journey but this was an even greater test. Even knowing that 2013 would be Helen’s last didn’t even come close to preparing me for it yet I think I am doing pretty well.

In 2013 I have watched in awe as my children continue to grow into very happy, fun and caring kids all while dealing with the loss of their mummy. When I told them Mummy was dead they never understood the magnitude of what that actually means. Neither did I actually and they probably still don’t. No child should have to face what they have had to deal with at such an early age yet although we have had some tough times they are coping amazingly well.

In 2013 I turned my sadness/story/positivity into a Blog and wrote 39 Blog Posts that reached 155 countries across the globe. It’s constantly helping many people as others sadly face similar circumstances.

In 2013 I have met some amazing and inspiring people in the same boat as me who have all helped me through this difficult time more so than anything else.

In 2013 I pushed myself and achieved one of my dreams which was to be on stage in a musical. It wasn’t the west end or anything; rather with a local amateur group and I sang and acted in front of people which was always a huge fear of mine. But I still just done it because I could.

So although 2013 has been awful in many ways there is lots to be thankful for and lots to take away from it. I wish Helen was here with me and the kids but the simple and sad fact is that she isn’t and I can’t do anything about that. I will just continue to be thankful for the time I had with Helen and for all she has given me.

Clearly positive, coaching

 

I personal feel like a different person to the one I was this time last year. I feel somehow empowered to do the things I really want to do and live the way I want to. I am less driven by money and procession but rather about the gratitude of what I have in life.. I have air in my lungs, my health and 2 amazing healthy kids so for me that is the main things in my life. I now know more than most that nothing lasts forever so I want to enjoy what I have when I have it rather than waiting for the right moments.

2014 will be more about helping the kids get through and me building my new life following the path I have been given. One day I will die so I may as well make the most of what I have.

Oh and I probably need to shed a few pounds too 🙂

Happy new year to you all x

 

How was Christmas as a Widower

 

How was Christmas as a Widower?

Well, after making the decision to give my kids the Christmas they would’ve had and deserve I immersed myself in making that happen. Decorations, Presents, build up and all the other stuff that makes this time of year magical for Kids. What I never realised though is how hard it would be to do it all when doing it on my own. It made me think about how as a kid I took for granted all that my parents did for me and my brothers. Lots of planning and hard work go into making an event perfect for the kids and for the kids it all just happens as if by magic. The kids never realised their parents are knackered from preparation and planning. But that’s part of our role hey.. to give our kids the most amazing time.

Also I am not that good with working out what presents to get people. I am fine with getting the kids stuff but Helen was great at knowing what to buy everyone else and would help wrap them all and prepare. I had to do this all alone and it was exhausting. Thinking back I think it’s crazy how stressed I got about making sure I got all the right people the right presents. Really; does it actually matter these days when most people buy themselves whatever they want anyway and I am sure they would have all understood. Still I worked hard to get it right so people wouldn’t see me as a failure and so the Christmas we all had would be very similar to the one we would’ve had if Helen was here. In the end everyone got nice presents, we managed to see most people and for the kids it was a magical exciting time. I watched with a massive smile as my kids woke on Christmas morning to a stocking and many presents. They were both so very excited especially when they saw that Father Christmas had taken a bite out of the Mince Pie and Rudolf had munched on the Carrot.

It sounds silly now how I got so stressed about it all but then I think most people do through the build up to Christmas don’t they. Plus I still have the 2 kids and a very busy full job so anything added to that can easily tip me over the edge. No one saw the sheer madness and stress I put myself in just because of all the stuff I needed to do to make a perfect Christmas. If they did I am sure they would’ve told me not to worry about it anyway.

I learnt many things though.

Firstly not to put myself under unnecessary stress. It’s just not worth it and no one will thank me for it.

Secondly I noticed that the kids seemed to enjoy the presents that cost £2 rather than the ones that cost £20. The simple ones were the most effective

Thirdly it wasn’t the presents that actually mattered to the kids. They were at their most happiest when I was actually sat on the carpet with them playing with those presents. That quality time was much more important to them rather than the item itself.

And that third point made me realise even more that presents are just a material objects.. Just a thing… a procession. I honestly don’t remember half the stuff I got the kids for Christmas but I do remember the great times we had playing together with some of the stuff they got. I also enjoyed more the time I spent with family and friends rather than the presents I received.

So another lesson learnt. The greatest gift I can received is people’s time and company.

As for being alone over Christmas… well I was so busy trying to get it all right that Helen took a back seat in my brain. It was only the day before Christmas eve when the reality hit me. It was more that Helen loved Christmas and would have loved seeing the kids having fun that hurt rather than her not being there with me.

Christmas was a busy one for many reasons plus we all got ill so overall I didn’t actually have too much time to think about Helen not being with us. Maybe thats a good thing.. maybe not.. I don’t know although Helen was the first thing that popped into my head as Olivia came into my room Christmas morning dragging her stocking. It was like Helen was there waiting for me to wake and nudged me straight away so not to forget her. But once the kids were up it’s difficult to be sad with 2 kids laughing and screaming with excitement.

I can’t forget Helen whatever I do so Christmas was just another time I wished she was here. A few evenings I led in bed awake contemplating the finality of her death. The fact she will never be back to cuddle me. My kids will never had their real Mum and I am still alone with me being our kids sole responsibility for the rest of their lives. Daunting and sad.

It was a nice Christmas full of fun, laughter, Calpol and Flu tablets.

 

 

 

Important Pictures

 

Important Pictures

I have been looking through pictures and movies clips of the kids and Helen recently. This is one thing that many people have said to me is hard for them after losing a loved one. It stirs up so many emotions; some happy because they encapsulate that moment in time but some sad emotions too because that person is no longer with us.

For me although sometimes I do feel sad when I look at them I generally find it a good thing to do as it makes me remember the great things we did together and reminds me how great Helen was with the kids.

I sadly had the foresight of what was ultimately going to happen to Helen. A hard thing to realise but it did enabled me to say and do many things that has made the grieving process so much easier for me. One of those things was taking as many photos and movies clips as I possibly could. At the time it was very hard because Helen and I knew why I had that camera in my hand but we also knew how important it was for me but more so for the kids.

Even before I realised Helen’s fate I was always taking snaps throughout our life together. Now, the kids and I have those special moments in time digitally stored for us to look at whenever we want. I can look back at the times we first got together, before we were married and the times when we had kids. I am also able to watch those special times of Helen interacting with the kids as they changed from babies to toddlers.

I can look at these pics and clips generally with a huge grin on my face but the thing that I struggle with the most…The one thing that I find really hard is when I get to the folder by the name of 2013. There are a distinct lack of pictures of Helen in that folder which is obviously because Helen only saw 2 months of 2013 and for me they were the hardest of my whole life so picking up that camera was not a top priority….

Me and the kids are growing older and Helen is now only captured and frozen in those moments in time. All pictures going forward are just the 3 of us… Mummy.. my wife is nowhere to be seen.

Again reality hits me. It’s not the obvious things that get me. I think that’s because I am able to prepare, understand and deal with the obvious.. It’s the stuff that I have no idea of that stops me in my tracks.
Happy Family

So not the pictures them selves but the fact that there will be no more pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Christmas as a Widower

 

Christmas is a time for family, friends, fun, laughter and happiness.. Oh and of course plenty of great food and cheeky drinks.

This year will be slightly different for me and my family. The one person who always made sure Christmas was a big deal is not with us…

This is My first Christmas as a widower so I thought I would take you through my thought process of how I got to where I am now.

Well my first thoughts were to get away…. Run far far away from my house, family… just from people I know…. take the kids away somewhere… anywhere…..  I just wanted to get away. This thought stuck in my head for a long time but somehow I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do.

I realised this would be me running away from something I can’t run away from; my head, my memories, my emotions and feelings. No matter how far I go I just can’t get away from myself.

Then old emotions started coming back to me of when I was a young single man; I never liked to be single over Christmas. It was great fun going to Christmas parties and going out with your mates but that was just an excuse to hit the town. Christmas for me is about spending time with the people you love and just enjoying each other. So what with the thoughts of being alone and wanting to get away I started to dread Christmas.

However one thing I would always remind myself was that for Helen Christmas was just as magical as when she was a kid. She loved it all. The excitement for the kids, seeing family, decorations, music… everything. She made sure everyone around her would get into the spirit of it whether they liked it or not. She always had a knack of doing things like that. She generally got her own way either by going on and on and on about something or simply by her amazing charismatic charm.

All these thoughts led me to one simple outcome. I say simple; the actual thought process to get here was not easy at all but in the end was actually quite obvious.

  1. I can’t run away from my emotions
  2. I am not alone because I have 2 beautiful, amazing kids who love and need me
  3. Those 2 little angels deserve a perfect, magical Christmas

So I have decided to make this Christmas as special as we would’ve done if Helen was by my side.

And that’s what I am doing. I know it will be hard at points for me and the kids but I will just focus on how happy and proud Helen would be if she was looking down on us having a special Christmas together.

Helen’s enthusiasm for Christmas will live on. It’s my duty to make sure of that no matter how hard it will be for me

Widower, Bereavment, First Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone ! x

 

 

9 months after Loss

 

Just over nine months have passed and somehow Christmas is just around the corner. How has that happened?

Although those nine months have flown by… so much has happened which feels quite strange as I also feel that my life has been at a standstill.

Taking my life from that one moment that I meet the woman of my dreams my life has been a roller coaster. We get engaged, get married, buy a house together and have a baby all in a very short space of time but it all just felt right. Life couldn’t have been more perfect. From there however the road we were on changed direction dramatically with the diagnosis of Cancer and then our happy lives swerved from perfect to a simple fight for survival.

One key aspect I have noticed is that the cancer related memories I have although so very easily accessible in my head are not at the forefront. This leaves me with the significant memories of all the happy milestones that we reached together and a life full of fun and laughter.

Recently though I find myself thinking about how I have got to where I am now in my life. I sit at home all alone wondering how on earth my life has turned out this way. Why have I lost my wife and how have I been left here alone with my 2 children. I obviously know how it’s happened but it feels very surreal how final the events of the past are.

Reality kicks in more and more as time goes on and I am reminded of it daily. My children always say they miss mummy and want her back and the only thing I can reiterate again and again to them is that she isn’t coming back. Even saying that myself is quite unbelievable and a hard hitting reminder of the harsh reality of life…  My Life

Helen now feels so far away. A distant memory.

The roller coaster ride that the grief process takes me on continues with full force. The highs are higher and the lows are lower. One minute the world is my oyster and I have the will to do anything and everything then the next all I want to do is shut myself away at home with my kids, lock the doors, shut the blinds and just be left alone in my safe little bubble.

I have no idea what the point of this Blog Post is to be honest. I guess it’s a simple post telling people how I feel just after 9 months on….