Choices

People saying you need to grieve is the equivalent of saying when you have surgery make sure you do it without anaesthetic because you need to be aware of what the surgeon is doing, you need to feel each cut, pull and removal of the particular body part that needs fixing. Grief is an emotional and physical pain that is so gut wrenching it takes on a life of its own which cannot be caged and harnessed or put in a pretty box only to be opened on special occasions.

Why do I need to feel it, who would want to feel that sort of pain? I want to live life as normal as possible whether it be mundane or frantic. I feel, I acknowledge and I accept my husband, father to my children has died. Pretty plain and simple. I continue to process and navigate my way through each day as best as I can.

I get up each morning sometimes with a spring in my step, sometimes needing copious amounts of coffee. This is normal I am no different to anyone else, the only additional baggage I have to so many other people is I am a widow. I wear this badge, this name tag, this identifier sometimes with pride sometimes with shame. I feel fulfilled and damaged at the same time, am I doing the right thing for my children, for me, for fellow widows? All I know is I do feel, I want to live, I want my children to be looked after and loved, I want so much that this too can become overwhelming.

This life that God has decided is for me is amazing, I have had blessings beyond my wildest dreams and for this I am and will be forever grateful. MWAH xxxx

Graduation, Christmas, holidays and birthdays all rolled into one

Howdy doodily folks, it has been a while since I posted. So much has been going on in my Widow World.

My oldest son graduated primary school, Year 7, getting ready to start high school in 2 weeks, I am so proud of how much he achieved in the first full year without Frank. I know he is with me guiding me to do and say the right thing according to the ‘bro code’ of raising boys.

Christmas came and went beginning with me taking a huge leap of faith and leaving the corporate world. This came about as my youngest son wanted to show me he could ride a bike. When I asked him how long he has been doing that for his response was simple ‘a long time mum you have just been too busy with work to notice’ no malice intent just a simple and honest answer from a 10 year old.

We ventured on a 7 day holiday back home to visit family and friends and then down south to visit more family and one of my favourite yaya sisters. What transpired in that 7 days being solely responsible for the planning, logistics, driving and safety of my boys was a realisation that I have got this Widow World sorted. No PS4’s and hotel rooms meant we had the chance to reconnect as a family I will not lie it was good to get home so the boys and mummy could reclaim our own space however the holiday had a great impact on all of us.

And now Dylan is turning 13, teenage hood around the corner, I enter this new phase knowing that I have done all that I can pre and post widowhood to give him the tools to make the right choices and have a voice in our household that is strong, kind and just.

This leap of faith will allow me to be available to my children and myself as I embark on a passion that I never thought I would take seriously. Stay tuned as I commence intense Tarot training with an amazing man in the US. My life is up to me my future is up to the universe and all the blessings it has in store. Now just breathe mama I got this.

MWAH xxx

Stages of grief are like the seven dwarfs!!!

So according to the psych sites there are 5 stages of grief – go figure I always thought it was such a personal reaction that changes from day to day and makes me think of the seven dwarfs.

There is no first in line or order in which one particular dwarf will show up it all depends on what I see, hear, remember or reflect on at any given moment.

When going to sleep (Sleepy) I think of my husband lying next to me and what he might be doing whether it be reading, farting or snoring. When I am watching or listening to my children and it reminds me of him and I am delighted (Happy) to see they have some of his traits, Frank always said they are made up of 5% him 5% me and 90% them.

Realising I am solely responsible for mine and my children’s life path, decisions and everyday well being I am at times overwhelmed and determined (Grumpy and Doc). Forgetting to sign off a note for school or simply going to the fridge only to stare and wonder what I was looking for (Dopey). Being an extrovert because I am actually quite shy (Bashful) I know my friends reading this will be like ‘WHAT YOU SHY’ however I always had Frank to back me up, to be my rock and my go to person.

And finally, as a witchi woo believer, sneezing whenever I know Frank is close by or watching over me letting me know I am doing the right thing (Sneezy) as I believe sneezing is a sign of truth and being on the right path as if I sneezed twice Frank would bless me each time if I sneezed a third time he always blessed himself.

The stages of grief cannot be counselled on or directed by anyone but ourselves.

MWAH xxx

Til death do us part

In 8 days it will be my 17th wedding anniversary, the first without my husband who passed away on November 4th last year. When I think back on my wedding day, the words said and the emotions felt, I did not think I would be sitting here at 48 years old now putting my marital status as Widow. Such a harsh word however so descriptive as it represents the finality of my situation.

With each new day I thought I would become more immune to this status however it is not the case. Each day I find myself either reflective, solemn, happy or just sad. I want to celebrate my anniversary, as I still consider myself as married, however that damn status thing that is required for legal forms says that I am not.

The sadness can be overwhelming at times and so very foreign to my soul as this is just not me – I am the positive for every negative, that person who will not let you drown in your sorrow or wallow in self pity. I am that happy upbeat energized Gina who everyone enjoys being around. I don’t know what to do with this widow, the one who could easily isolate herself from the world, hide behind her heavy workload and just give up. I feel that ‘widow’ pressing against me sometimes, urging me to let the sadness become the status quo of my existence, it is a battle to keep her at bay.

I have no idea what this rambling will accomplish, if anything it feels good to acknowledge that I have finally found something that I cannot Google a solution to!

Happy anniversary Babe love you more than you will ever know.

MWAH xxx

A lot can happen in 9 months

Tomorrow will be the 9 month angelversary of my husband receiving his angel wings. It has been the longest yet shortest time of my life. At times it feels like an eternity, you know that feeling of holding your breath underwater and you just have to hold on a little longer as you can see the surface just within a swim stroke. However it also feels like it was just yesterday that I received the news that he had died. Time is so conflicting and I look back and wonder how I could have done, witnessed and experienced so much in just 9 months. I do not recall my pregnancies going this fast, how is it the timeline for creating life can be so different to a timeline where a life has ended?

In the last 9 months my children and I have all had birthdays, we have had Christmas and New Years, I have bought 2 houses, fully furnished and moved into one of them, had major surgery, supported my oldest son (12 years old) through dental surgery, worked with my boys as they progressed into the next level of their schooling, watched my career progress and my parents celebrated 66 years of marriage. As well as this life has gone on, the day to day stuff that needs to be done.

All of this and I am still to celebrate our first wedding anniversary without him here, it is 17 years next month. Life goes on and I really do not want it to rush past in a flurry of activity where each day, week or month I look back and sit in wonder as to how I got through this or that.

I am blessed to have my family and friends who continue to prop me up and keep me going. One minute at a time in the beginning of this journey has gone to one day to one week to one month to now. I miss you babe and think of you every second of the day and I just know you are up there guiding me to continue on the right path. Yoh always called me lizard legs as I moved so quickly maybe it is time to slow down just a little – nah who am I kidding I will always go a hundred miles an hour at least I am moving forward.

MWAH xxx

Reality Bites

The reality of my situation is I am a widowed parent not a single parent, I am widowed at the age of 48 and I have 2 young boys relying on me to do the right thing by them for the rest of their lives.

Would I change my situation? I hesitate to answer not because I would not love my husband back by my side or for my children to have their hero back however my life now is so different. It is one I have grown into, one that I have learnt to navigate through and live with. I am comfortable now with this title of being a widow, this is my reality, I need to do the best I can with the limited experience I have.

It is coming up to the 9 month angelversary of my husbands passing which seems like both a heartbeat and lifetime ago. I remember every detail of the police knocking at my door, the gravity of their words, waking my boys to tell them their daddy was not coming home, the confusion and numbness of the next few weeks. I also remember the strength I felt and continue to feel with each day as I make decisions that will affect my family and the decisions I have made to secure our future.

Reality totally bites however I am up to the challenge I am also open to starting a new chapter of my life. Only time will tell if I am ready or if my children are ready.

What I know is I cannot change this life I have and to be totally honest I am not sure that I would change it. There is a reason behind what has happened. I thank god that I am strong, I thank god that my children keep me going and I thank my husband for having faith in me that I would keep us all going forward.

There is no plan B!

I had an ugly moment of reality today. Whilst vacuuming this morning I realised that this is it, I am alone in this with all that needs to be done to run my home, look after and provide for my children and keeping it all together. I no longer have my partner to pitch in and help. I no longer have that second pair of hands to take up some of the load.

I have no plan B, what am I supposed to do with this. I felt angry and betrayed as I did not sign up for this. My children did not sign up for this. I am solely responsible for every decision and action I make and take.

So much has changed in the last 8 months, nothing will be the same. I can embrace this new life that has been thrown at me or I can wallow in the bullshit of it all. My children need me to be present, they need me to be a super hero who can manage any situation. So I choose to embrace what has been handed to me without a backup plan. Just live each day and take each moment as it happens. Learning to go with the flow of life which is very unique to me as I like things very organised and structured. Maybe this is one of the lessons I needed to learn, maybe just maybe I needed to realise that life can turn upside down in a blink and you cannot always be prepared for any and all situations.

I choose to wake up each morning ready to take life on, to live it and love it. One day I may have the opportunity to have a second pair of hands to take the load or pitch in. However for now it is up to me and me alone to do the best I can. Which considering the circumstances I am doing a pretty good job of so far. It can only get easier, can’t it? I mean surely I have been through the worst of it.

I count my blessings each day, love and protect my children with every ounce of my being, one day I will have a Plan B. For right now though it is just me.

MWAH xxx