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

Category: Featured

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

 

Labelled a Widower

 

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

As soon as my wife passed away my status changed from married to widower in the blink of an eye. A label I don’t like too much but it’s been forced upon me. It’s not because of what it stands for because that’s out if my control and everything has to have a name. But, it’s because its seen as a negative thing. I see it as a negative thing and people on the outside looking in also see it like that. Of course though it is negative; It means my wife is no longer alive and that sparks off negative thoughts and emotions in me and in others. Everything has to have a name I guess..

Single Parent sounds much better and although that’s what I am however it just doesn’t tell the whole story.

One word… Widower… The story to a certain extent is told.

Being a widower could feel like I am not normal in some way. It certainly doesn’t seem normal to me but what is normal?

When Helen was too ill to leave the house or we had multiple trips to the hospital to attend we used to crave a normal life. A life where Helen was healthy and busy being a Mum and me at work being a Dad. Is that normal though? Helen in her wisdom would always remind us both that our life was normal. It was our kind of normal and our way of life, there is no standard life plan out there.

I am a widower now and a single parent to two young children. This means I can be a very lonely and I do have increased responsibility of my 2 children. I worry about my own health as the sole parent and sometimes worry I am doing the right thing by them. But….. this way of life is now my kind of normal. Not what I would have planned but it’s the way it is.

Together with this new label I have been automatically enrolled into instant membership to a horrible little club. It’s a club that’s doesn’t even exist but there is an obvious appreciation between people who are in this non-existent club. It’s a club of widowers and although I don’t want the label or want to be in this club I do find comfort in it. As a Widower I have experienced and continue to experience things that most will not. But due to the wonders of the internet and social sites I have met some amazing people wearing my type of shoes and living my type of normal. It makes me feel more normal.

I still don’t like the label much but following Helen’s advice and the people I have met  I have learnt to accept the label and my new kind of normal.

It’s just the way it is

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.