Whether it's through writing a will, making financial plans, planning for our future care and support including through making a Lasting Power of Attorney, or deciding whether we want to join the organ donor, all of us can increase the likelihood of getting our wishes met and reduce the chances of life after our death becoming even more difficult for the people we care about.
Over the year I had traveled thousands of miles to discover new places and things only to truly discover myself. The incredible evolution I underwent has shaped me in to an almost recognizably conscious, empathetic, joyful person from where I started. The greatest journey any human take is that 13 inches from your head to heart.
From the moment I was handed your death certificate, I have had to reluctantly crawl and claw my way back to what non spouse bereaved members of society would call 'normal' whilst crippled by nerves and anxiety, my physical and mental health continually hanging by a thread during a drunken haze of euphoric reflection.
Tell them that at thirty-one years old I was the happiest man alive when I married the love of my life. Tell them that I was utterly bereft when I lost her at thirty-three. Tell them I've thirty-five now and depressed. Tell them that I put a good face on but that the truth is that things haven't really got much easier. Tell them from me how hard it is to be a bereaved single parent.
Grief is entirely individual, and the grieving person has to respond to their grief in a way that is relevant to them. How they respond may change over time. The difficulty with the platitudes detailed above is that they infer a judgement about how the person is grieving, the time they are taking over their grief, or how they are feeling.
When you lose someone, you often find yourself in a cliché firing line as, 'It was their time to go', 'Time is a healer' and 'Everything will be okay' are shot at you. Of course, people are trying to help as best they can (which is appreciated immensely), but it is so difficult to digest anything positive when things are painfully raw and you are suffocating in grief.
Keeping the many facets of our lives going is a great and progressively more common achievement that we have little choice but to challenge ourselves with. However, if you are not paying attention to the areas of your life that matter the most then in the end the success is found to be hollow because we dropped the ball that matters the most...
Instinct and received wisdom tell us to lose a child is the worst bereavement a person can suffer. To watch life ebb from our own precious creation, a life we assumed would endure beyond our own demise, is a cruel disruption to natural order. To the uninitiated, it seems incomprehensible that such a loss would not result in the total collapse of our world around us.