Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

holiday hand

I’m sure I’m not the only person who used to experience what I call ‘holiday hand’ in their school days. After six weeks off for summer, when my hand was more likely to be holding an ice cream than a pencil or a pen, I’d completely lose the ability to write. My right hand would scrawl like an untrained left hand and it would feel a strange sensation of complete detachment from its usually conjoined wrist and upper arm.

“I can’t write, Miss!”

“Sir, my hand’s not working!”

It’s stuff an observational comedian could have a field day with.

Anyway, the grown-up me has just had a week off work to move house. It wasn’t anything like a holiday given the emotional impact and upheaval of leaving the last home my son and I would ever live in with my wife, but this morning I was hit by a feeling a bit like ‘holiday hand’.

After just one week off work (and very little ice cream) I’m pleased to say that I can still write, but as I dropped my son off at nursery this morning I felt like I’d lost an arm. I’ve been busy, stressed and in pain these last few days, but just knowing he was close by no doubt made it all a little easier than it otherwise might have been.

I keep joking that I’ll be the one crying my eyes out on his first day at school. Well the sudden rush of sadness that overcame me as he happily ran off to greet his friends this morning made me realise it’s no joke.

I’ll be in bits. I already am.


4 comments on “holiday hand

  1. Jenny Grimson
    April 23, 2013

    I wish I could take away the pain for you and you son. I lost my husband last month and am in hell at the moment. If I could change it for everyone I would. I want to take the pain away for my two children. im still very angry. angry that my husbands life was robbed from him after 30 months of chemo and fighting cancer. He was in remission and had his last chemo in December, but the strain of it all took its toll on his heart and everything started to fail. He should be here enjoying family life with the kids and i after two and half years of sh*t. I so wish I could just wake up and it be a nightmare.
    I bought him a christmas present that said ‘2013 is our year’ – how wrong i was.
    Huge hugs x

      April 23, 2013

      I’m so sorry for you all. Sadly I’ve learnt that there’s nothing anyone can do or say to make it better. The only advice I can offer is to just be and to let yourself feel the feelings. People will tell you to be strong but you don’t have to be if you don’t feel like it or don’t have it in you. Thinking about you xx

  2. Caroline Ingram
    April 23, 2013

    you will be, I think all parents are a little bit, every day (even if they don’t admit it) but it’ll be fine so long as he runs off happily to greet his friends as you can be happy when he is happy 🙂

  3. Felicity Wilson
    April 23, 2013

    I’d not heard of the “holiday hand” before but I geddit! Let me repay you with my late grandmother’s description of having a “working” hand & a “lady’s” hand.
    Not sure which hand would serve as ice cream support but do know which one would hold the champagne flute!
    Wishing you bubbles & happiness in your new abode.

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