Posts tagged “Loss of partner”

I remember vividly within days of my husband Kevin dying being asked about his stuff. Honestly! You would imagine that there would be a whole host of other topics people would ask about before this, but no. Everyone wanted to know "have you done anything about the clothes yet?" 
If you are reading this and grieving yourself I bet you will have immediately noticed that these possessions which sat next to his skin have been de-personalised. THE clothes, not his clothes. "The Clothes", as if they are wild animals which left untamed & uncaptured will riot around the house (ie your life) out of control.  
So having lived this, discussed this with dozens of other grieving people and read hundreds of accounts of dealing with these wild beasties here is my suggested way to go about it:  
Clothes after a bereavement
 
Whether you always made a big deal of Father’s Day or it barely raised a mention in your household there is no doubt that this year it will feel like it’s everywhere and unrelenting.  
 
Continual reminders of the life you no longer have, rubbing salt into your wounded heart. 
 
Unfortunately, however much you want to put your head under the duvet and not come out until Tuesday you can’t. You have to continue to be both parents to your kids who also are being bombarded with images of kids playing or bonding with their Dad’s. So what can you do to get through this as best you can? 
 
1) Make it a team effort 
Talk to your kids ahead of time to discuss what they’d like to do to mark the day or not mark it at all. Be sure to let them air their ideas and show them you have listened equally you have your say too – if something is going to be too difficult for you it is OK to say so. 
Father and child in the sunset
 
Age is not a factor here, as in it doesn't matter how old you are. 
If your Dad has died Father’s Day sucks. Yes I know that is an American phrase but it’s one that I think says it all really succinctly without swearing. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has died Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has run away or gone missing Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Mum whose husband has died Father’s Day sucks. 
dad with child
 
In 2006 my husband Kevin died aged 41 from the most curable form of cancer. When his life ended so did my world. When people said (trying to be helpful) he’s out of pain I’d look at them in dumb shock. On a bad moment I’d reply “lucky him, mine has just got unbearable.” 
 
How I could still be alive and in so much pain? I wouldn’t let myself think of continuing to live with this pain and without him, I started to exist from moment to moment, these were the darkest days of my life. I remember sitting on the harbour wall in Malta at Christmas – I’d fled there to try to escape – leaning forward and contemplating letting go and falling in. 
Kevin Batchelor - husband of Carole Henderson MD Grief Recovery UK
If you’ve experienced a major bereavement, then I’m sure you’ll have discovered that your feelings are unlike  
anything else you have experienced. You may also have discovered that it feels unlike any other loss you may have experienced before because all relationships are unique and therefore your grief is just as unique as you & your relationship are. 
 
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people being told that they are 
Young Widow Quote "things are hard enough without others making you feel it's wrong to want to be alone and want you to make more effort"
All relationships are unique – so an article like this can only serve as a starting point for you and your unique situation. If you have more than one child, then each of them will have had their own unique relationship with their Mum, reflecting their own unique lives and experiences so it won’t be surprising to find that feelings around this annual event will be different for each of you. 
Therefore, our first suggestion is to talk about Mother’s Day before it happens; have some suggestions on what to do on the day and ask them what they want to do, either by talking about your idea and asking for reactions or letting them go first. Even the very youngest may have strong feelings, be prepared for this. 
There aren't very many days when a thought about Kevin doesn't cross my mind. It’s not really surprising that there are still so many associations that trigger these, after all, we were together for most of my adult life. Familiar objects, tunes, posts from his family on Facebook, even certain foods will trigger fond memories or more rarely a remembered aggravation. The thoughts are not painful they are merely there. A fact of life after a death.Each year it is different, because each year I am different but I still notice the anniversaries – of the day we got married, of his birthday and of his death. 
I have a bear called Boss. Not a real bear of course, he’s a teddy bear, somewhat unusual in colour as he is black & orange. He came into my life about 7 years ago after my husband Kevin died and I wanted something to help me think of him when I went to sleep and cuddling a photo just didn’t do it for me. A family friend offered to make me a bear from one of Kevin’s favourite shirts and Boss was born. 
I get asked this question quite often so I thought today would be a good idea to answer it. You see today is an anniversary. It is 6 years to the day since my much loved husband Kevin died following a short battle with skin cancer. I found The Grief Recovery Handbook in the year after he died and taking the actions detailed in the book was transformational. I think you already would have guessed I found it useful, after all here I am now running Grief Recovery UK! However did it mean I was instantly cured? No of course not. 
Is it possible to recover from grief? this blog answers the question
I was with a friend last week who suddenly said to me, “ Carole you’re the best lemonade maker I know.” This caught me by surprise and I raised my eyebrows at her accordingly – after all we were sitting drinking tea on a very cold winter’s day. The last thing I’d been thinking of was lemonade. 
 
Seeing my quizzical look she explained – you know that expression “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” Well you always seem to be able to find the positive in any situation. That set me thinking. 
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