just how

Nothing poetic. Nothing profound. And the shortest post I’ve ever written.

But as I pack up our old life to build a new home with my son, I’m suddenly left dumbstruck by how the hell this horrendous situation has come to pass.

I’ve just felt myself stabbed by the pain of my wife losing her life long before the use by date on her cosmetics, which I’m struggling to know what to do with.

I’m newly devastated that the female presence in our lives has gone, as its absence reveals itself in unworn jewellery, hair pins and lingerie all around our room.

I’ve never ever faced my future with such a heavy heart or with such a bad taste in my mouth for clichés about new beginnings.

And for once I’ve nothing else to say.

40 replies on “just how”

I know this is hard and I wish you a lot of ‘courage et patience’ for this new beginning. Make your new house as cosy, warm and stylish as Desreen would have done, with a little girly touch here and there…
Lots of love,
Emilie x

Mate, with you on all that. It does get better, and easier, but the pain remains and catches you when you least expect it. I remember the devastation of going in the loft and having to go through all Hannah’s clothes when I moved with the kids about 6 months after she died. Nearly every item was a memory, a place, a conversation, a closeness. I get caught out still all the time, a few years on (and newly married), by seeing Hannah’s handwriting in various places still. Its like she’s that close but she isnt. I feel for you going through this stage and I am sorry. I hope writing the blog is helpful for you and that it helps just a little bit knowing other men know what its like. It definitely helps me.

Thanks Ben. It’s hard to explain. I don’t feel like it helps me but I feel as certain release when I commit my thoughts to words. I guess I’m contradicting myself in saying that but I don’t get a sense of ‘Whoopee, that’s me sorted!’

I’m motivated by the thought that the writing can help others and that, one day, it’ll allow my son to understand.

Every morning just getting up and getting on with it is a major achievement, so sometimes it’s ok to just feel sad and wallow. All of us in this horrible situation do it, just don’t feel guilty or be to hard on yourself & see what mood tomorrow brings. Xxx

This is the saddest post I’ve read, You DO have a future Ben…Just look at your wonderful son, and know that we are all here for you. xxx

I don’t know if we ever fully understand how it is possible that we have lost our life partner, the mother/father of our children or that a young person has been torn from life and all what it has to offer. It is nearly 8 years since my husband and father of my two boys was torn from our side and I still sometimes find it unfathomable. I can only offer you the biggest of hugs for those important moments – long or short – where one just simply doesn’t want to be strong and cope even if one could. Here’s a poem which I got via WAY in 2006.


Hold me close and go away
Please visit me and please don’t stay
Talk to me but please don’t speak
I need you NOW – come back next week.

Emotions muddled, needs unknown
To be with others or on my own?
To scream out loud? To rant and shout?
Or hide away and push you out?

I smile at you – “She’s not that bad”
I shout at you – “She’s going mad”
I speak to you – “What do i say?”
I show my tears – “Quick, walk away”

It’s not catching, the grief I feel
I can’t pretend that it’s not real
I carry on as best I know
But this pain inside just won’t go.

So true friends, please, accept the lot
I shout, I cry, I lose the plot
I don’t know what I need today
So hold me close and go away.

I am sorry but I don’t – I am sure the WAY newsletter people would be able to tell.

I’ve been following your blog and commented every now and then since the morning I sat in a hotel room in Manchester watching you live on BBC. I can relate to you extremely well and would be happy to be a guest blogger if you were ever looking for one. Lottie

I don’t think I’m looking for or expecting a new beginning so at least I can’t be disappointed. I’ve just bought some bricks and mortar. Hopefully one day it’ll feel like a home but we’ll cross that threshold when we come to it x

Thank you for your honesty. Forget rubbish about being strong. Feel the emotions. Show your little man that we are all confused and bewildered at times and show him what true love is. Thinking of you x

It’s the intrusion of stark reality that hits you every now and again , you’ll be ok just keep that bottle of Perfume, I have a bottle
Of issey miake its a comforting thing to cling onto when im at my lowest, nothing else to give apart from good thoughts and hugs as do your friends xx

Sometimes it can be helpful to start a little ritual of giving yourself a mark out of 10 each day when your little boy is tucked up in bed. Some days you may be minus 84, others, 1 1/2.
Also, when friends & family offer their help, accept.

Hi Ben,
i”ve been following you for a few weeks now & everything you say I can empathise with. It”s been 3 years now for me and all I can say is:
‘you will get through this and you will stay strong for your boy, even though your heart has been torn apart as mine has’
If we didn’t have our special little miracles there would be no point!

Sending love & strength. X

I remember going through my mother in law’s belongings not long after she passed. In her handbag was receipts, even old tissues. I wondered how we could bare to through any of it away.

Unfortunately there is nothing you or anyone can say because absolutely no one can put ‘things’ right.
It’s so difficult to bend your mind around this one so sometimes it’s better to not even try.
Lots of love to you both xx ali

I’m with you on that. The more I write the more I realise that these moments are kind of episodic. I never feel any feeling or think any thought all of the time. Expect from loneliness and missing my wife.

You keep making me cry Ben , Nothing that I say, to empathise with you will take away that feeling inside your heart.Although I can talk to your mind and say take your time Ben, just take your time x

I’m sitting at home alone, surrounded by the essence of my wife, her eye for detail; her taste in art, every niche echoes her being. I loved all those things about her and can’t imagine putting anything in boxes. We had no children, no close family with whom I can share my pain or the memories I’m surrounded by.

Its four months since my wife died, and I had never felt alone in the previous 37 years.

Wow that poem by from WAY via Lottiesc is amazing.

Thinking of you and Jackson in your new home and wishing you all the best. x

Gday mate hang in there, i lost my wife six months ago i know it’s hard, i have trouble, but we have to keep going, The pain hopefully, will subside,be strong,that’s what they would wont, all the best mate, we are all with you, Cheers Wyn.

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