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Moving forward

Marianne is a supporter of our hospice. This National Grief Awareness Week she shares her reflections on moving on after the death of her husband Jim.

“2015 was a big year for me

Not only did I retire from my full-time career as a teacher after nearly 40 years and return to Wirral from Surrey after 33 years (more than half my life so far) but most significantly my lovely husband Jim died on 15 May (very peacefully and with dignity thanks to all at St Catherine’s Hospice) and suddenly two became one.

Since then, I have built a life for myself. I am fully active and fulfilled. Happy and well supported by my wonderful family but I have not moved on and I hate that phrase

I hate it because what it says is that Jim’s life and love were just moments that can be left behind in the past and probably should be. I always use the present tense when I speak of him because he is present in my life now in everything I say and everything I do.

Some people may not have known Jim, but they know me, and the person I am today is because I had Jim and I lost Jim. So I have moved forward with him

These are the experiences that make us and mark us

Just as much as the joyful ones and just as permanently long after you get your last sympathy card and your front row seat at the funeral. We don’t tell people experiencing life’s joys to move on. We don’t send a card saying congratulations on your beautiful baby then five years later say another birthday get over it!

Grief is one of those things like falling in love or having a baby

You don’t get it until you do and then you understand that what you’re experiencing is not a moment in time but that you have been touched by something chronic, something incurable

It is not fatal but sometimes it feels like it might be.

If we can’t prevent it in one another than what can we do? We need each other to remember that grief is a multi-tasking emotion. I will be sad and happy. I will be grieving and able to love. In the same year, the same week, the same moment. A grieving person will laugh again and smile again.

Yes, absolutely I am moving forward but that does not mean that I have moved on.”

If you would like some bereavement support you might find our bereavement wellbeing page helpful, or you can call our wellbeing team on 01293 447343. 

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