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

Category: Happiness

How I lifted our mood at the hospital?


How I lifted our mood at the hospital?

Well after the last few less than happy blog posts I thought I would throw in an amusing one that may make you smile.

Helen and I spent a ridiculous amount of time in hospitals through our journey and we ended up being able to walk around the Bath Royal United Hospital without a worry about where we were going. We just knew where we were going as we had walked the corridors countless times before. In fact we could’ve easily taken a job at the front desk helping people find their way.

We also spent a lot of time just waiting in the waiting rooms for treatments, procedures, appointments and result so we had a lot of time to kill. Bearing in mind what we were there for we were sometimes both sat in silence, deep in thought and worried about what could happen, what was going to happen or what the results were going to be.

It was then that I would pull out my special hospital joke that would always lighten up the mood a bit. Even though after a while Helen knew the joke she would always laugh at me.. I don’t think you can ever beat someone just being silly.

So when you are next in a hospital and the mood is not so nice remember this joke that will be sure to lift up your mood.

Doctor, Grief, bereavement, cancer


Here goes… are you ready?


Who is the coolest guy in the hospital?







The Ultrasound guy

And there you have it…. Enjoy!

Force a Smile in the face of Adversity


The last few posts have been a little sad and depressing so thought I would mention something I use to do all the time when times were not so great.

Forcing a smile.



I use to make Helen do it all the time. When she was down and we had finished talking about whatever rubbish we were sad about I use to try and get a smile out of her even if she didn’t want too. I just kept on and on and on telling her to just put a big smile on that face. She use to get annoyed at me because I wouldn’t stop until she did smile. After a while I would start acting stupid and she knew I wouldn’t give up so that in itself would make her smile. Even if it was a ‘oh shut up Mike you’re just annoying’ type smile. But once that smile was on her face she would always instantly laugh and feel much better.

It doesn’t solve anything or make things go away, it just makes you feel better inside which in turn makes things that little bit easier.

I use to do the same with high fives… When something was good I use to try and get Helen to do a high five. Again I think she thought I was just acting like a kid when I wouldn’t give up. She would do it and it would always make her chuckle.

The power of a smile is amazing no matter what you are going through. For me it just seems to make me feel different inside, almost lighter in a way and just makes me feel better about things. Like I said it doesn’t solve anything but just changes your mindset a little. After all if you have to deal with something you may as well deal with it with a smile on your face rather than be totally desperate and miserable.. Not always easy I know and timing needs to be right. I wouldn’t recommend smiling and laughing during a funeral ceremony… Others may think your a little mad.

Also….. Even when times are bad it’s a good idea to try and make sure you have some good times and laughs. The way I see it is that you don’t want to have to remember all bad stuff. It would be nice to have some good times to remember plus there is that added benefit of how it makes you feel at the time. Helen and I use to just stop indulging ourselves in whatever crap we were dealing with, Park it away for a bit and try for some normality. Our normality wasn’t your average normality but it was normal to us. So we took what goodness we could from it and enjoyed it.


Questioning Myself


I know I have made it clear on The Aim  page why I have started doing this blog but I have no idea why I suddenly had the urge to do it. It just seemed like the right thing to do and before I knew it I had developed the website and I was ready to write my first blog post. I hesitated at that point wondering what to do…. 2 reason why I continued.

1. Because I had got this far I may as well give it a go

2. I figured something was pushing me in this direction so I should just go with it as I knew I had something to give

So, I wrote some blogs, launched it and the response has been fantastic.

So why at the weekend have I again questioned myself about it. Questions like..


1. Why am I actually doing this?

2. Should I continue to focus on it?

3. If I do continue how do I reach out to more people? After all the point of this is to help people so I need to find the people who may think this could help them.


After thinking it through I realised that a lot of it boils down to the fact that I don’t want this to be about my story. About my wife and her struggles. Obviously that is the background but I want to steer this towards how we dealt with adversity in a positive way with humour and laughter and how that has continued on. This is obviously in my power to take it in the right direction.

With that my goal is to try to help people but I didn’t even know if I can help people with what I have to say. Should I focus on helping others when my own grief is still so raw?

But then I think about the updates I see from the WAY foundations Facebook page with often regular questions popping up from people. I have my answers to these question. Not necessarily the right answers for people but a different perspective with that positive twist I usually give.

I also questioned whether this is another thing for me to do to stop me thinking about the reality of what has happened. I often just find stuff to do in life to keep my mind occupied though I knew I would still write stuff down as I do that anyway because that helps me. Many times have I spent long nights just tapping away trying to extract some of the thoughts and emotions in my head. Even this post started taking its shape at 1am in the morning.

With all the writing I have been doing I already have about 30 blog posts themes ready to piece together. So why not share this?

I guess we all doubt ourselves sometimes and any new venture will exacerbate the doubt.

So still with these doubts the answers were given to me in I think an amazing way.

Last night I took some of my family out for some food to thank them for their help with the kids. I popped to the toilet with my daughter and on the way back the lady who owned the restaurant came to talk to me. She told me about someone she knew who found my site and who is going through some hardship of her own right now. She said my site was helping her get through these difficult times and that she checks it daily for any updates.

I was astonished. All those doubts faded away and it made me realise why I am doing this and that actually I can help people. In fact I know I already am and if this blog helps just one person then it’s met its target. Any more is a pure bonus for me.

Of course I should keep doing this and I should work harder to reach out to more people who may benefit from what I have to say.

I know I want to help people and I believe I can. I know Helen would approve as she was like me and would always lend her ear and help where she could.

So I shall continue to post blog updates and I will try and work out ways to reach out as far and as wide as I can.

If anyone out there can help me reach out further please get in touch.

Living Life


Living Life

This is my first attempt in potentially helping someone using my own experiences and thoughts. I don’t pretend to be an expert on anything at all nor am I a trained councillor. Maybe one person will read this and think I am nuts, another may read it and take the advice on-board which in turn will help them. Who knows.. maybe time will tell.

Life has to continue….

Helen and I were together for 7 years and half of that time we lived with a huge black cancer cloud above our heads. But… we had a great life together. This may sound mad but our lives were filled with fun and laughter all the way through our journey and all the way to the end.

The main reason for this is quite simply…. why the hell not?

We figured that we had enough sadness in our lives with the Cancer itself which in some respects was out of our control so why let it control the things we could control? We didn’t…. Life is quite simply for living so why live it with worry and sadness? You may as well live it with a smile on your face and laughter.

Now I appreciate there are some people in this world who have/had it harder then we ever did so I guess it may not be so easy to master this way of life. Life is so very hard sometimes and boy do I know it but I do think people themselves can make situations even worse if they allow it. Helen and I could’ve easily let the Breast Cancer cloud rule our lives and bring us into sadness and turmoil. The truth is it didn’t. Obviously we had some very sad and tough moments but I can honestly say that pretty quickly afterwards there would have been a smile and a laugh. We worked hard to find the positives in the situations and held on to that. We realised that life in itself is a blessing so we grasped at what bit of life we could and lived it.

So with this in mind it was important for me to fight hard with my own feelings and emotions to continue this way of life for my own sake and for my children. I realise even though my wife has lost her life which is so terribly sad that the children and I are entitled to continue our lives with laughter and happiness. It wasn’t anyone’s fault that Helen was unlucky to get Cancer plus I know we done all we could to keep her with us. Helen herself fought hard to remain alive and happy and I know she would never want us to let any sadness continue as we all move forward. She wanted us to be happy and not let the sadness of the Cancer and our circumstance continue in our lives.

So what’s the lesson here for me? No matter what has happened to me and my family our lives are still continuing so why live them with sadness? Never forget but move forward with a smile on your face and enjoy it!