A young widowed father opening up about living with loss
On November 10th 2012 just after 8pm I left my friends’ home a happily married father. By 9.17pm I was sat outside their house in an ambulance, a widower in shock. I only remember the time because I noticed the hands on the clock were in the same position as when our son was born two years and three weeks earlier.
A lot of people know our story already (well at least part of it) because it was tragic enough to make national news and touching enough to keep people talking long after. This blog, however, is not really about telling the story. It’s about being a man that opens up about how it feels to lose the woman, with whom he shared eight years of his life, in an instant and what happened next.
In my shock and utter delirium straight after my wife was killed, I almost started blogging straight away (grief from sudden death does crazy things to your head). I’d always wanted to start a blog but wasn’t convinced I had anything that interesting to share.
I quickly realised I had more important things to focus on in raising a child as a sole parent than keeping a public diary. That was until I spoke to a man called Steve Smart at a charity called Care for the Family. They offer a telephone support network for widows and widowers, a kind of buddy system for when people connected by the death of a spouse need to talk to someone empathetically. He said that sadly there were very few male volunteers, perhaps because men find it hard to open up about their feelings. Fortunately for me I don’t. I use the word ‘fortunately’ because I think opening up now is going to make living in my own head somewhat less difficult in the future. That’s what the books I’m throwing myself into say anyway.
So, I’m not exactly sure where this blog is going. I’m not sure how I’ll tell my story and whether I’ll go back to the beginning or start from where I’m at now. But I can’t help but think that some poor bastard will wake up tomorrow morning, realise their wife has gone forever and that it wasn’t just a nightmare, and search for someone who can relate to the hell that they are going through. Perhaps if I keep writing they’ll find that someone. Perhaps a few more blokes will be encouraged to open up about how they feel. Perhaps the process might act as catharsis and make things easier on me. Perhaps when the next bloke calls Care for the Family there will be a few more guys to talk to.
Let’s see how things go…