Life can be pretty crazy at times and just when you think everything is going swimmingly, the unexpected sometimes happens. I’ve been struggling with whether I write about this and how I even start but I knew I needed some sort of outlet where I can open up and express how I’ve personally been able to deal with it.
In the last four and a half years I’ve lost three very special and dear people to me. Chris who was my step-dad (very much like a dad to me) in September 2012, my Nan in May 2016 and more recently, my mum’s partner Ian.
Chris was the love of my mum’s life; they shared just over 10 years of devoted love to one another before Chris parted ways to join the party in heaven. It was such a shock as he died suddenly in the night, suffering from an aortic aneurysm. There is nothing that can equip you when you lose someone so special so quickly without any warning. I really don’t wish that emotion on anyone, it’s the worst ever! It’s one of those feelings you think you’ll never be able to get over but day by day, little by little you find some sort of strength to keep going and more importantly to try and find happiness in life again.
With my Nan, although expected at the time, it still hurt like crazy when she left this world but there was no denying she had lived a very long and happy life of 92 years. I was able to say a proper goodbye and thank her for all the amazing things she did in my life and – in a way – let her go peacefully knowing she wasn’t in pain and that it was just her time.
My mum, bless her soul, has quite literally been through it all in her lifetime and I can’t believe that after losing Chris she was blessed to find happiness again in companionship with Ian. He had a fabulous and cheeky sense of humour and there was no better feeling in the world knowing my mum was able to laugh and smile again and most of all not feel lonely. Ian passed away about six weeks ago now on my mum’s birthday of all days. He suffered a major heart attack in his sleep at the tender age of 50. Why I ask myself? What if this and what if that? Why has such a similar thing happened again to my mum? Life can truly be so cruel to the point where you wonder – what is this all about?
But I’m a true believer that every time we are broken that we mend together even stronger. It’s been a blessing that my mum has had four children as we all make sure that she’s ok and try to look after her as much as we can. Having grandchildren like Hugo is so great too as they bring so much love and light at difficult times like this.
Ian had bought my mum some vouchers to go shopping for her birthday and so I thought I’d help her spend these vouchers by enjoying a day of retail therapy in Harrogate. Of course whilst in Harrogate you can’t help but visit Bettys Tea Rooms; it’s pretty much a ‘must-do’ when visiting the town. So I took her for the ‘Lady Betty Afternoon Tea‘ in the Imperial Suite where we sipped champagne (well my mum mostly 😉 ) and beautiful tea and ate the most delicious food and sweets. I’ve got to say that their gluten-free scone was the most amazing scone I’ve ever eaten, my mouth waters every time I think about it. I want one now in fact!
Here’s a few pics to remember our special girl’s day together…
Coping with losing a loved one is hard and is different for everybody but what I would say is never feel guilty to laugh and smile again. Even to make new happy memories again. I’m sure the person who has sadly left this world would definitely want you to carry on living a happy life and not be stuck in an emotional standstill. It’s so lovely to still talk about the people who can’t be with us anymore so anyone who is supporting anyone in this situation – I would say from my experience – it’s nice to be given the space to talk, reminisce, laugh or cry about that person. It almost keeps a part of them alive somehow and it’s nice to still be able to smile when you talk or think about them.
These are all my own experiences and everyone is so different and I know that some people have experienced even worse things in life. I just felt like I needed to acknowledge this part of my life and the people who I have loved and lost. I thank God for bringing peace into these situations and for bringing purpose and blessings into my life to carry on living life to the full. Just remember it’s one step at a time though!
One last thing I would say is don’t take your health for granted, don’t ever think that your ailment isn’t worthy enough to be checked out by the doctors and also don’t be lackadaisical about it. As that one visit could be the answer to being on this planet a while longer. Our body is a temple, so look after it, especially from the inside out! 🙂
Praying always for peace and protection and long, healthy and happy lives to you all!
Such a beautiful, emotional tribute Sally. Brought tears to my eyes. Ian sounds like a truly wonderful man. Sending so much love to you and your lovely mum and your family. Looks like you both had a fabulous afternoon at Betty’s xxxxxxxx
Yes he was, so sad that we have to process things like this in life but in a way it makes you realise you have to live for every moment and live with no regrets! Love you lots xxx
Oh Sally, life is incredibly strange and makes no sense at all sometimes. It such an amazing thing to still recognise all the good through these hard, hard times. So proud of you and your family and I know Ian would be xxx
(The most perfect first picture for this post)
Your mum must be so proud of you sweetheart. You’re incredibly strong and that strength will help her through the darkest of times. It’s so lovely to see her smiling on your day out together. Love you loads xx
Beautifully written. May God be with you & your family through these difficult days… xx
Thank you Mika, your comment means a lot! xxx
Thanks darling, love you lots xxx