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always turned them around and were able to find something to laugh about. In fact through the three-and-a-half years of our cancer journey all I can really remember is happiness and laughter. We laughed and smiled in its face and we lived our lives as much as we could. There was always hope for another day. Even though I personally remained positive


and strong for Helen, I had to watch in agony as the cancer slowly took away my beautiful wife, soul mate and best friend. I am now left as a widower and single parent trying to come to terms with what happened through the three-and-a-half years since diagnosis and now life without her. I have continued our positive mindset and try to focus my thoughts on how great the seven years we had together were rather than the fact that we only had those seven. I figure that even if I had 50 years with her, would I want that to end? The answer would always be no. We never chose for Helen to get cancer and for it to take her away and it was no one’s fault. I also realise that my children and I deserve a good, happy life because my wife suffered enough and she would never want that suffering to continue unnecessarily. So just over five months has passed since my


wife passed and life has been hard. An emotional rollercoaster is an understatement. From telling the kids, organising the funeral to just quite simply living my life on my own, life has changed so dramatically. The cancer cloud has lifted from my life, which is an amazingly free feeling, although the price I had to pay for that was the loss of my wife. My positive mind set is tested every day. Everything I do in life I have to do without my wife, which is a constant reminder of what I have lost and that is hard to swallow. To help myself get through my own grief I became immersed in the world of a widower.


I figured only people with similar experiences would know how I was really feeling and would be able to answer some of the questions I had. I joined The WAY (Widowed and Young) Foundation and subsequently joined their private Facebook page, which has nearly 1,000 members. A thousand people like me. It has been a huge help because its somewhere I can ask the questions that I wouldn’t want to discuss with my family and friends. I knew they would understand the questions without judging me and also give their own take on the answers. I connected with many people and realised there were some real people with some real struggles. I found myself compelled to help them. My positive mindset and passion for a happy life actually is helping me and others too. I decided I could make a difference. The immense urge to somehow help people by bringing our story to them - and more importantly the optimism, strength and positivity we lived by - became overwhelming and I decided to create a blog. One with some answers but also about how I have dealt with being a carer, widower, single parent etc. My aim was simple: I wanted to help just one person, which it achieved very quickly. From there I wanted to give people my account of how I dealt with certain situations about grief and loss; inspire not only bereaved people, but just anyone who is facing difficulty; and somehow impress my positivity on them to help them through.


Helen and I laughed and smiled in the face of


adversity which in turn enabled us to still have a happy life even though life was hard. Life does go on after such a major setback and as I rebuild my life I am hoping to help others too. The link to my blog is www.clearlypositive.


co.uk.


Farewell Magazine


19


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