The days that followed Friday the 13th, 2014 are a bit of a blur. I simply could not comprehend that my husband, soul mate and father of my children had died. It was just the most horrendous feeling, like half of me had died with him.
From the minute Pez died my house was filled with people. I lost count of the numbers of cards I received, very beautiful cards with beautiful words in. I was getting so many flower deliveries that my house was like a florists and smelt beautiful!!
It’s very hard to describe the way I was feeling, I suppose MANIC would best describe it!!!! One minute I was sobbing hysterically, the next I felt totally fine and calm, the next I felt guilty for feeling fine and calm and the next I just didn’t have a clue how I was feeling?!! Confused, scared, worried, every feeling possible really.
Rhys stayed out on the night his daddy died, I just needed some space, so he stayed with my dad and step mum. I didn’t tell him anything before he left as I didn’t want to at that time.
He came home the next day and I just didn’t know what I was going to say to him?? How does anyone tell a 6 year old that their daddy has died???
Pez and Rhys had the most amazing and close relationship, they were best pals, Pez took him everywhere with him, so their bond was unbreakable, until now.
Plus, throw Rhys’ lack of understanding into the mix and I just had no idea how he would take the news?
My boy came home, bursting through the door with excitement as he always does, ran upto me for a hug and the first question he asked was ‘where’s daddy?’
My heart sank and I dropped to my knees in front of him. I pulled him close and said ‘Rhys I have something to tell you, Daddy isn’t coming home’ he looked at me all confused, and said ‘but he will be home soon?’
The thing with Rhys is that you have to be very literal with him, its black and white in his world, there is no in between.
So I told him daddy had died and was never coming home. But that I loved him and we all loved him and we would be ok. Inside I was wondering if we would ever be ok, but I couldn’t tell him this. Mummy had to put a brave face on, he looked to me for comfort and I couldn’t show him how broken I really was.
We had a cry together and a cuddle, then Rhys stopped crying and ran off to play. What goes through his head, to this day I don’t really know. He has started talking about his daddy, telling me how much he misses him. Plus we drive past his grave every day, so he always says good morning and night night to daddy as we pass.
After Pez died I was inundated with messages from people, texts, Facebook messages and visits, which was lovely. We had the funeral and laid Pez to rest.
The days after the funeral were horrendous, reality sunk in, for the last 2 weeks I had kept myself so busy I don’t think I had even allowed myself time to sit down and realise the actual enormity of what had happened.
Everyone else went back to their lives, their normal lives with their husbands and wives. But I was sat here, with my boy, scared and thinking about how we could ever have a future without the love of my life in it??
It’s a weird feeling, I felt so so alone, yet I had so many people around me, but I didn’t have the one person that I needed, my Pez.
I didn’t think it was possible to cry any more tears than I had cried, I remember at one point that I cried every single day for 38 days, how does that work??
I woke up every morning, it was like Groundhog Day, I got dressed, put my make up on and Painted on my smile. I got Rhys sorted and just literally put one foot in front of the other, day in day out. I went to bed on a night, wore Pez’ jacket and cried myself to sleep. I repeated this process every day, until Richie was born, then life changed.
Suddenly it all became even harder!! Not only did I have Rhys to look after, I now had a new born baby to look after too, I was utterly overwhelmed. I was heartbroken that Pez hadn’t been there to see his beautiful baby boy being born, life just wasn’t fair.
Thank god for my mum, dad and friends in the early days, my amazing mother lived with me for 8 months after Pez died. She shared the night feeds with me, we would take it in turns to deal with Richie through the night, so I could at least get a bit of unbroken sleep. She was also there to help me with Rhys.
My mum totally gave me everything, lived apart from my Dad for a whole 8 months. Even now she stays at my house on a Tuesday and a Thursday night, as this means I can still play netball on a tuesday night and get two full nights sleep a week. She was and still is totally selfless and for this I adore her, she is the best Mummy and grandma a girl could ask for!!!
My GP referred me to a bereavement counsellor, but like everything in this world, the waiting time was massive, so I paid for a private counsellor as I just needed to offload.
I remember my first appointment with her, I went in and asked ‘so, I just need to know how long this feeling is going to last and when I will feel better?!’ She was amused at this question and answered that grief will last forever and she can’t give me any dates to put in my diary of when I will feel better!
See I’m a very practical person, I like to be organised and I’m a massive control freak! But grief I could not control and it took me a long time to realise this. I tried so hard to keep my feelings locked in, put a brave face on it but I came to the realisation that I had to let the grief come out. I visited the counsellor for a few months and really benefited from having a person to speak to in confidence about how I was really feeling.
I think it got to about 5 months after Pez died and I felt so very very sad and depressed, I decided that I would go see my GP and try and get some anti depressants. This wasn’t a road I really wanted to go down, but I just wanted something, anything to take away the horrendous pain that I was feeling.
My GP is lovely and sat and listened to me sob my heart out to her. I was desperate, so desperate to stop feeling so sad all the time. She told me I wasn’t depressed, I was grieving and she didn’t want to give me anti depressants, as she said, sadly I need to allow myself to grieve as this is all part of the process. She did say she would give me them if if really wanted them, but she knew I was a strong enough person to deal with everything. I was glad about this as I didn’t really want them anyway!!
Then in the few days that followed, something changed inside me. I knew I had to help myself, nobody could help me, there was only me that could pull myself out of the dark, horrible hole I was in.
So I decided to turn back to exercise, I started keep fit again, started playing netball again and the exercise made me feel so much better.
Plus I discovered reiki! I have always had a passion for alternative therapies but never tried it before. I was introduced to a lovely lady, who I still see to this day. Her very presence makes me feel calm!!! Reiki is absolutely amazing, it gets all the negative energy out of your body and replaces it with positive energy! I started having this weekly to start with and really could feel the difference!!
I started to feel a little of the ‘old Sam’ emerging. Since Pez died I was trying to just find myself again, the hard part was that we had been ‘Pez & Sam’ for so long, but now I had to just be ‘Sam’ again and this was the part I was finding difficult.
I was lucky that my parents and friends would have the boys for me so that I could go out and socialise with my friends, something that I find important. I love my boys with all my heart, but we all need time out from being a Mummy.
The first year of losing someone is full of milestones. The ‘firsts’ of everything. The first birthday without Pez, the first wedding anniversary without Pez, my boys first birthdays without daddy, the list goes on. So the first year is extremely tough, just as you start to feel a little brighter a milestone hits you and then you’re right back to square one.
Then the first anniversary of the death comes along to bite you on the arse!!! For me the build up to the ‘saddiversary’ (as us widows like to call it!!) is always far worse than the actual day itself! I wasn’t quite sure how to ‘celebrate’ it, if celebrate is the right word! You can’t let the day pass without doing something, yet I wasn’t sure what to do!!
So I decided that I like to get together with friends close to the saddiversary and do what we like to do, get drunk! Pez would want us to have a drink for him! So I try to turn it around and have fun, to try and keep the sadness away.
So the first year passed, life was getting a tiny little bit easier, then I was thrown into the second year of losing Pez and to be honest I found this harder than the first!!!!
The second year you are kind of in limbo!!! As much as the milestones in the first year are difficult, they are something to look forward to, which sounds crazy I know!!! But the second year you don’t have the ‘firsts’ anymore, it’s just another year of missing the person you loved with all your heart. Plus I knew I would have to face the inquest into Pez’s death this year (I will be doing a separate blog about this)
As the year progressed I was starting to feel a little stronger, I wasn’t crying all the time anymore, I had my ‘grief episodes’ but I had learnt when I was going to have them and how to deal with them. After 8 months I felt strong enough to ask my Mum to move back home, I missed her like crazy but I knew that I would never move forward if I couldn’t deal with the boys on my own.
In November 2015 we had the 10 day inquest, as mentioned I will do another blog about this at some point, so won’t go into too much detail, other than to say it was horrendous! I crashed after the inquest but managed I pull myself out.
It was at the end of this year that I decided I needed to move house. I hated the house we lived in, yes there had been good memories there, but the bad memories just over rode them. Every time I walked in the house I saw the police knocking on my door, I saw the sofa that Pez used to sit on and it was all too hard for me to deal with.
So I started house hunting, found the house of my dreams and I moved at the end of May 2016. I absolutely love this house, I had it decorated all over, I got a new sofa, a new bed, pretty much everything new.
It is our happy house, our fresh start and it was the start of me finally feeling happy and content, and able to move forward with life. Moving in here made me feel more confident in myself and with my boys, life started to seem a little easier.
I’m now happy to say that I feel like ‘sam’ again. I’ve found myself and I’ve found our place in this new life we have been thrown into. I’m no longer scared of my own company, I’m ok being by myself! Yes, life gets lonely sometimes, but when I feel sad I look around my beautiful house and feel so happy inside!!! I am so proud of how far me and my boys have come. Some people say to me ‘I don’t know how you have done it, I couldn’t have coped!’ Well I suppose everyone is different in the way they deal with things, but I did it because I really had no choice, I don’t quit, I fight!!!
I’m even dipping my toe back into the crazy world of dating!!!! I’ll mention this in another blog haha!!!