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Already in shock at George’s death, the news


about Paul took an even longer time to really register with Rhian. This was the man she had known and loved for nearly a decade and a half. “He really was the best,” she says. “He was handsome and we laughed and loved and he was my best friend. We never really rowed; I know all couples say that but it was true. “And I’m proud of him. I’m proud to be his


wife and I live now to make him proud. No, I don’t know why he did what he did and I don’t really know exactly what he did. “But I know he did not choose to do that. He had post-traumatic stress and one day he left and went for a drive.” And without missing a beat, Rhian pre-empts


the next natural question. “You want to know whether I’m angry with him? I get angry but it’s because he deprived himself of a good life, that he won’t see his two beautiful children grow up. We would’ve been all right. “And there are the kids. I had to tell them.


When I saw them, I told them that daddy did not want George to be on his own and had gone to be with him. It made sense.” It was sense which life has struggled to make


for Rhian since that February. She says that she still has Paul’s clothes in his drawers and she still has toys which belonged to George. “But recently,” she says, “I walked past where the baby monitor was and realised it was gone.


I had got rid of it. So I’m not rushing it and I imagine one day I will remove those things, but not just yet. “I am making some of George’s old clothes


into teddy bears.” The grief, Rhian says, comes only after the shock of the incident recedes, as if the body is making sure it can handle it. And the strength of that grief - and the lack of official support she had in dealing with it - led her to set up 2 Wish Upon a Star, a charity which raises money to improve and create better bereavement services in South Wales and eventually further afield. So far, it has raised more than £100,000. Rhian says: “Paul and I both agreed we


wanted to do something to make sure there were more services available for people in grief, to have bereavement services in hospitals. “Until you experience grief, you have no idea what it is like. For me, talking about it is the best thing. I have spoken publicly about what happened, and I work with the police to help others. “The voluntary work with the charity is another thing, things to immerse and involve yourself in, things not about you, which really help to deal with grief. “Because you do need that help. There is no doubt that through grief I have become a different person.”


AVAILABLE


SUPPORT POST TRAUMATIC STRESS


British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy: www.counselling.co.uk Mind: www.mind.org.uk Anxiety UK: www.anxietyuk.org.uk


National Institute for Clinical Excellence: www.nice.org.uk


The Royal College of Psychiatrists: www.rcpsych.ac.uk


BRONCHIAL PNEUMONIA AND INFLUENZA NHS Direct: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk Flu facts: www.flufacts.com The Baby Centre: www.babycentre.co.uk


BEREAVEMENT


Child Bereavement UK: www.childbereavement.org.uk


Cruse Bereavement care: www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk The Samaritans: www.samaritans.org.uk Bereavement Uk: www.bereavementuk.co.uk


Care for the Family: www.CarefortheFamily.org.uk The Compassionate Friends: www.tcf.org.uk


Farewell Magazine 07


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