Remembering them 

I make a conscious decision to not mention his name too much throughout the year, (yes, I sometimes fail, it’s hard not to with a tiny version of him as my little shadow) but one month, I can’t help it. July has come around for the past almost 5 years now, and the second that month shows it’s face, I think of him more. I simply can’t help it. To me it doesn’t mean that I am slipping back into grief, (although some days I feel like I am) it doesn’t mean that I am dwelling on it, it just means, that for that one month, I feel it a little more, I remember dates, days, moments, even more than I normally do. 

I have also made a conscious decision to get on with things, to live my life as best as I can, to the “fullest” as I have now trained myself to do. You see, we didn’t break up…. he died. They are two very different things, two very different feelings. The love is still there, the nice memories, the feeling of loss, all still very strong in my mind. We all seem to be experts on how someone is meant to cope with such loss, we all like to tell people how to be, how to feel. The best way is to just forget, to get on with it, well that may be so in your mind, but not mine. I’m simply not able to. It’s not in my make up.

The best way I cope, is to allow myself to feel. I go through all the emotions, bit by bit. I often feel guilty. Guilty that I am here, but he’s not. Guilty that I have met a new man and feel happy with him, guilty when some days I moan because some days are just hard.

This year it’s especially pinchy on the heart strings. Due to 2 leap years, the date, the 31st, falls on the exact day, the Sunday. To most people that wouldn’t mean much, but until you’ve experienced it, please try not to tell me how to feel. 

I know I make people feel uncomfortable when I mention his name. I know I make people feel uncomfortable when I tell them I’m a widow. (My dark sense of humour does however keep me highly amused when I see their face). But I can’t help it. Just think for a moment of how hard it is to go from having someone in your life every single day, to feeling like you shouldn’t mention their name anymore. Even 5 years on. I would like to think that if I died, that you wouldn’t be afraid to talk about me, to remember me. I like to think I’ve “touched” all of the people who know me enough, that they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable when they mention my name because of what people will think of them. It’s like if you mention their name, you’re guilty of dwelling, of wallowing. I am not dwelling. I am living. But while I do that, I will remember my husband, the father of our daughter he never got to meet. I get out of bed every day, I work full time, I go for walks/events/weekends away with my boyfriend, tiny human & husky & family, I play hockey, I go out, I go on holidays (a lot, it’s what I look forward to!). Does that sound like someone who is wallowing? Nope, not to me!

So all I ask of you, is that you don’t waste another moment worrying about how I’m doing this, and just focus on the fact that I very much am, even if you don’t necessarily agree with how I go about it. 

Huss X 

Live, Laugh (innappropriatly) Love!

Recently I had a wonderful evening with four wonderful friends. You might be thinking “wow, you were at dinner, how normal” but I can assure you, there is nothing “normal” about us. We met in the most heartbreaking of circumstances. 

Orla:

When my husband died I was inundated with email and texts of support. But one stands out in my mind. I received a Facebook message from a girl called Orla, who told me her husband had died suddenly just 24 days before Geoff. He was 36, and she too had been pregnant (with her 3rd child, still don’t know how she does it!!). At the time I discarded the mail, obviously in my head my pain was so much worse than hers,  but a mutual friend told me I really should go for coffee with her. We had our first “widow” date in Dundrum in 2012, and I just remember thinking to myself that Geoff had most certainly sent her to me! We realised we had the most messed up bond, and it was so comforting to know she “got it”. Her hubby had died suddenly at home, and she was pregnant with their son. They already had 2 year old twins. We decided to make it a regular thing, and that we did! 

Mary: 

I’m sitting at Geoffs grave one day and a girl comes over to me and asked me quite sweetly “Hi, are you Sinéad, I’m Mary”. I had been on Joe Duffy not long before that and she had heard me (I know, I know, I’m not even 70 yet). Initially I’m thinking “here we go, and other one who wants to tell me they’re so sorry… blah blah” but she then informed me her hubby was buried just opposite Geoff (same row!) and he had died suddenly just 18 days before him!!!!(At this point I’m looking for the camera somewhere!) I remember feeling so sorry for her loss, completely forgetting about my own for that split second. She was just 34 when he died. I told her about my wonderful new friend Orla…..

Joanne: 

Orla had met the lovely Joanne, again through mutual friends, who’s hubby had died after a 5 year battle with cancer in 2009, at 30. A Mom of 1, to a bouncing 14 month old and again, pregnant with no.2 when he died. They had become quite close and she suggested we all go for dinner together. As it turned out my godmother also knew her, and had mentioned her to me soon after we had met, such a small world we live in! 

The 4 of us met,  like a weird blind/double date type thing in Fillies in Leopardstown. It was like we had always known each other. We talked/cried/laughed and the one thing we had in common was our ridiculously dark sense of humour, which no one else got. We all live within 15 minutes of each other. Scary I know, but yet incredibly comforting. 

Since then we meet on a regular basis and have our own little “Merry Widows” whatsapp group to keep in touch and organise our next date. We even took the plunge and went on a night away in January together, and it was one of the best nights I have had in the past 4.5 years. 

I cannot begin to describe how lucky I am to have these incredible women in my life. They have listened to me rant, given me advice, and most importantly,  let me feel how I want to feel. There is no judgement, no uncomfortableness, nothing. They make me feel sane. It’s just 4 women, who have shared the most unimaginable pain you could ever think of, 4 women who had their whole lives ahead of them with their hubbies, 4 woman who have pieced their broken life back together again and have lived to tell the tale, 4 women who, to the naked eye, are absolutely amazing at looking “normal” but I can assure you, there is absolutely nothing “normal” about us! 

Mary had the most perfect words to describe us back in January:

“In Autumn 2011, through a serious of serendipitous meetings and bizarre coincidences, I met 3 extraordinary women in their early 30’s all of whom had recently lost their young husbands. All 3 were pregnant when their husbands died and although I had not experienced the unbelievable pain that comes with giving birth without your baby’s Dad in the world, the 4 of us still formed an extraordinary bond. Almost 5 years on we have laughed, cried, been unbelievably irreverent and gone through every up and down that grief throws at you. I’m privileged to know these three fantastic women as we’ve healed together. Here’s to all of us having wonderful futures, creating new memories while never forgetting the very special men that are gone but never forgotten. You’re an inspiring bunch. Lovely to have an evening away with you all. x Mary”

How lucky we are to have met each other, how privileged I am to be able to call them my friends. 

Huss X 

Please don’t think I miss him less

Please don’t think I miss him less, with every passing year….

Please don’t think I no longer take the time to shed a tear….
With each passing day and month, 

Life does continue on…

But please don’t think I’m all “Ok”…. 

I’m still trying to be strong…
I have my ups and downs you see, 

my happy times and blue….

Please don’t think as the years go by, 

That I no longer need all of you….
I try to keep things positive, 

I try, but sometimes fail…

For sometimes I can’t help it, 

I often feel so very frail….
My heart was smashed to pieces that day, 

And as the years go by, 

I’m piecing it back together…

Little by little…. That’s no word of a lie…
I have things to look forward to, 

A tiny human to guide on her way,

But please don’t think I need you less…

I need you all to stay. 
To wrap your arms around me…

Tell me it’s alright to feel this way…

But please don’t think I’m over it…

Just stay beside me and I’ll be ok  
Huss x

The Light…..

I’ve thought a lot about whether or not to post this, but feck it, here it goes!

#‎suicideprevention‬ ‪#‎aware‬ ‪#‎mystory‬ ‪#‎iamareason‬

I was just 30 when he died. A baby myself some might say, well I have never grown up so quick, so soon. I was 19 weeks pregnant, and can honestly say, hand on my heart, that that pregnancy is the only thing that kept me here. We were married a wonderful 7 months. Life was amazing, happy, exciting. Then my reality hit. Widowed, nowhere to live, no life insurance and moving back from London to live with my parents, pregnant with our little Bubba. I have never felt a wave of darkness wash over me as quick as I did that day.

I don’t remember a huge amount from the moment I got that news… “I’m sorry we did everything we could, he didn’t make it”. I laughed nervously. Then I passed out. I don’t remember much, apart from being surrounded by people/faces all the time, until in and around the time my waters broke, at 1am on the 11th of December 2011. There it was. The moment I had been waiting for, to hold our beautiful baby, the one we had made together, the reason I was still here! I had no idea how I was going to do this but but with my Mom & Sister by my side, she made her appearance. Our beautiful, perfect baby girl. I felt a new wave of relief, but also devastation. She was out, (albeit 2 weeks early) she survived 19 weeks of me crying, unable to eat, unable to breathe, panic attacks. She was perfect. But he wasn’t here. Nothing could have prepared me for that bit. The pain in my heart that he would never get to meet her.
She is 4 now. And the light in my world. She knows just what to say, when to say it (sometimes a little too much!) She makes me smile and laugh in ways that I never thought I’d be able to again. She talks openly about the man she never met, her Daddy. It’s her “normal”.

It’s been a roller coaster ride since July 2011, but a journey I am proud of. I forced myself to live. I met a wonderful man in 2013, and to be honest, he deserves a Nobel peace prize for putting up with me at this stage. He’s been by my side, through all of my emotions, my tears, my frustrations. He is simply amazing. My baby girl adores him too. We are making awesome new memories, but I will always treasure my old ones.

I’m still living with my parents, still trying to save to have our own dream home, starting over, but I am doing it. There is light at the end of my once very dark, very scary tunnel. After swearing I’d never ever meet anyone again, here I am, in love. Having said I would never have more children, here I am, hoping some day my beautiful baby girl will get to be a big sister. After Having said I couldn’t do this without him, here I am, doing it.

There is always hope. Time is a wonderful thing we all take for granted in everything we do. I have my ups and downs. I’d be lying if I said that I had never thought about how much better off everyone would be if I wasn’t around, but those thoughts pass. There are days where I really just want to curl up under a duvet and not leave the house, but I make myself, because I know that feeling will pass, I know things get better, I’m living proof. When you hit the bottom, the ONLY way is up again.

So when you are feeling like this is it, like you can’t do this anymore, just wait… Just take your time. Take a deep breath and surround yourself with the people/things that make you feel better, that make you feel happy. Talk to people, they will want to help but they need to know you feel that way (we are scarily amazing at hiding how bad we can feel). Do that for as long as it takes, because time will help you rebuild, it will help you feel better. That I promise you.

Huss x