The first anniversary was the hardest, we made a pilgrimage with his family to the closest coastal point to wear he went missing at sea.
We wrote letters, put them in a glass bottle and threw them to him at sea, it’s was windy and cold and just really sad and bleak.

In Later years we’ve marked it, and other special dates in a variety of ways. Letting off single helium balloons into the sky (sorry I know how bad this is now!), made birthday cakes, made trips to family, and most years we’ve visited the coast. Trying, I guess, to create some positives on such a catastrophic date.

This year was six years since he died, and I realised I no longer wanted to try and force a positive day onto that at date. It was, and always will be the worst day of my life. I accepted that probably a day in bed having a cry would be what I needed, and the children, could make their own decisions in years to come.

I have decided instead that his birthday will become His Day, that we will always have a family meal, it will be an open invite to anyone who wants to join us, and we can talk about him, or not, but the day won’t be as tainted by grief.

I always send my mother in law a card on his birthday, Mother’s Day and The Anniversary. It’s important to acknowledge the dates and people are always touched if you do.

Many people lean into charity to remember their partners, caregiving festivals, running marathons and organising black tie dinners. We raised money for the RNLI initially and later for a children’s bereavement charity. There is something about knowing their legacy lives in that is important.

I created my podcast to offer the widowed a place where they could tell their story, and it would exist forever, immortalising their love as well as their grief in their own words.

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