The aim of this platform is to get grief spoken about in a less awkward and more open way, so I have reached out to some incredible people who all have a different story when it comes to grief, and have agreed to share it with the world through The Girl with Grief platform.
Firstly, thank you for allowing me to share your story with the world and I’m honoured to dedicate to Kathy.
Sian has always been supportive of the Girl with Grief platform, so im so happy she has agreed to share her story on this platform.
Sian shares her story:
Who have you lost?
What is their name?
How did they die?
Kathy passed away whilst out at the post office, suddenly suffering a huge heart attack aged just 54.
Tell me about the moment you found out and the feelings that comes with it?
I was at work. I got a call from Scott (my husband) around 3pm in the afternoon and he was rushing back from working in Brighton as he’d had a call to say his Mum had collapsed outside a local post office. My first reaction was to calm him down and reassure him that it would all be fine and she had probably just overworked herself and was run down (she was the true definition of a work horse)! Around 45 minutes later I received a text from Scott and all it said was “shebdead”. He was obviously in that much shock he couldn’t even type a message, but I knew exactly what it meant. I got up from my desk, walked over to my boss and said Scott’s mum has died and just turned around and walked out. I walked to my car just feeling so numb. I didn’t know where to go, what to do, who to call or anything. I called Scott, who literally couldn’t talk and just sobbed down the phone to me. I knew that he had got to the hospital that she was taken to with his Dad and 2 brothers so I just drove straight to my Sister-in-Laws house who was pregnant at the time with Kathy’s second Granddaughter and we just broke down together and tried to make some sort of plan of action as to what we needed to do.
All I kept thinking was that at some point I had to tell Mollie that her Nanny had died. She was 3 at the time and every time I pictured her face I just kept breaking down. She was at nursery that day and I had called my Mum to go and pick her up. She absolutely idolised her Nanny Kath (especially the sneaky bourbons in Nanny’s bed on the weekends!) so telling her was by far the toughest, most awful part of the whole process. Myself and my Sister-in-Law headed over to the Taylor family home where the boys and their dad had returned from the hospital. Scott basically just collapsed on the floor and I just got down with him and hugged him for what felt like hours and just sobbed together, no words.
We slept on the sofa sitting up that night. When we woke up, I just went into overdrive. What needed to be done? How do you arrange a funeral? Who do we need to tell? Kathy was the leader! She was the one everyone went to in a crisis. She was the one that would know what to do in this situation, yet she wasn’t here. The boys were, of course, still in complete shock and unable to talk much so I then had to take phone calls from the coroner, family members, her GP, the hospital. To be honest it is a complete blur but one phone call that stands out was the one from the GP who told me that on Monday 14th January Kathy had visited the doctors complaining of chest pain and pins and needles in her left arm (on the same day I was suffering a miscarriage). She never told a single sole she had been to the doctors. I think because she absolutely hated any fuss but also because of what Scott and I were going through at the time she probably didn’t want to create worry. She was booked in for an ESG on Thursday 17th January, but she didn’t make it to that appointment and was taken from us on Wednesday 16th January.
I realise I am rambling but it seems like so much happened in such a short space of time it is really tough to get it all on paper when trying not to miss parts out (which I am certain I have!) It was all just a huge blur, weeks of feeling completely numb. When people talk about heart ache I now know that this is a very real feeling. It’s not just a saying it is genuinely a horrible dull ache you feel deep in your chest and to be honest I can feel it now just writing all of this. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
How do you think losing your loved one has changed you as a person?
I have always been quite an anxious person but this changed things not only for me but for Scott too. Health anxiety has been added to the equation which can be so tough to overcome. Any chest ache or pain turns in to “what if?”. We went through a year from hell in 2013 but eventually came out so much stronger. We have also realised we have to live life to the absolute full and do whatever makes us happy as things can change in the blink of an eye.
What is your happiest memory of them?
There are so many happy memories of Kathy. She was just the best. Everyone knew her (which explains why there were over 200 people at her funeral!) She was the life and soul of every party. One funny memory that will stay etched in my brain was her 50th Birthday when she was so drunk we found her asleep in the bath (empty bath and fully clothed!!) The happiest memory would have been when she came to the hospital to meet Mollie for the first time (it still hurts so much that she never got to meet her next 4 grandchildren)!
Any bits of advice you’d give to someone who is currently going through what you went through?
Ride the wave! Take everything day by day. Actually, take everything minute by minute and when you feel sad, angry, confused, guilty or anything else keep telling yourself it is ok to have these feelings. I remember within the first 24hours one of the boys made a joke and we all laughed then all of us burst out crying and felt so guilty for laughing!! Take in those moments, never feel bad for feeling the way you do. If you have a laugh, so what! There is no right or wrong!!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Everybody’s journey is different. Acknowledge every emotion whether positive or negative because that is what is right for you.
Thank you for getting involved in this little project of mine Sian, it’s a big ask to let me write about such a personal experience all over the internet but I’m glad you can be part of this movement.
Together we can make Grief a more open and less awkward subject xx