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. 
The Grief Recovery Handbook Saved My Life
In the wake of the terror attack in Manchester, which was even more horrifying as it seemed to target children, many parents are left lost as to what to say to their kids and how to say it. Parents left with a strong emotional reaction themselves, are having to do an emotional juggling act between the strong natural urge to protect their children and the need to not let the terrorists win. At Grief Recovery we know that the definition of grief sums this up: "Grief is the conflicting feelings following a change or end in a familiar pattern of behaviour." So having acknoweldged that what you and your kids is experiencing is grief here are some practical tips to help you address this. 
How to talk to kids about terror attacks
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. 
The Grief Recovery Handbook Saved My Life
Father’s Day isn’t something I’ve given much thought to for many years – my Dad always forgot about it, he really didn’t see the point so quite often we didn’t bother. Somehow this year it’s different, so I’ve been pondering why. 
 
Timing is all – we’ve just had our first wedding anniversary – marking an event that Dad wasn’t around for because he sadly passed away quite some years ago which meant that he wasn’t there to give me away. In the run up to the wedding I’d noticed that I was thinking about Dad a lot and it took me a while to work out why I was suddenly missing him so much more than I had been. Then I realised. This was my first wedding without Dad there to give me away. 
Father’s Day
I have a bear called Hugo. Not a real bear of course, he’s a teddy bear, somewhat unusual in colour as he is black and 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 Hugo was born. 
Why Recovery Doesn't Mean Never Being Sad Again
As I write this my feet are getting warm. Barney my Labrador likes to sleep on them while I work. I really enjoy this physical connection especially at this time of year when it’s a bit chilly. But a few years ago I would never have dreamt I would be a dog owner - I was always a cat person. Tiger the tabby kitten arrived in the house when I was 4. I don’t remember life without him – we grew up together. He was a very special cat. He walked us to school – going as far as the crossing on the main road before sitting and watching us safely into the gates before going home. When I was poorly he would come and curl up quietly on the bed for company and he was my confidant. I told him everything. All the secrets, hopes, dreams & hurts that I couldn’t tell Mum & Dad I whispered to his beautiful striped face. 
Pet bereavement help
Many of us struggle to know what to say when someone has been bereaved, but at least with the card you’ve time to think about it so it’s easier right? Wrong! If you’ve ever sat with a blank card in front of you then you’ll know that actually the sight of that little white space can be quite daunting. 
 
Here’s my mini guide for How to write a sympathy card or similar. This article has now been turned into a leaflet - you can get free copies here
Grief in the Workplace
Saturday night is a time when I like to curl up on my sofa, dogs on my feet and be entertained, like many people in these tough times that means switching on the TV rather than going out and one of my current favourites is the programme “Merlin”. An amusing nonsense about the young wizard and a young King Arthur, generally there’s a moral about doing the right thing but it’s fairly light handed. This week though, there was a moment near the end that I found really profound. If you haven’t seen it yet and want to – stop reading now! 
The Magic of Forgiveness
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