Widowed AF

#82 - Chatty

December 01, 2023 Rosie Gill-Moss and Jonathan Gill-Moss Season 1 Episode 82
#82 - Chatty
Widowed AF
More Info
Widowed AF
#82 - Chatty
Dec 01, 2023 Season 1 Episode 82
Rosie Gill-Moss and Jonathan Gill-Moss

In this episode of Widowed AF, Rosie and John discuss various topics related to grief and loss. They start off with some banter and then dive into a conversation about Scott's episode, which was released earlier in the week. Scott shares his experience of losing his partner and the challenges he faced as a gay widower. Rosie and John talk about the importance of love and support from parents, as well as the secondary losses that come with grief.

They also touch on the impact of work stress on mental health, the role of pets in providing comfort, and the need for open discussions about sex and intimacy in grief. The conversation takes a heartfelt turn as John opens up about his own experience of not receiving support during his wife's illness and after her death. He shares his journey of setting boundaries and seeking therapy to heal the wounds that this caused.



Web: (https://www.widowedaf.com)
Instagram (@widowed_af)
Watch on (YouTube)

Don't forget to subscribe !

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Widowed AF, Rosie and John discuss various topics related to grief and loss. They start off with some banter and then dive into a conversation about Scott's episode, which was released earlier in the week. Scott shares his experience of losing his partner and the challenges he faced as a gay widower. Rosie and John talk about the importance of love and support from parents, as well as the secondary losses that come with grief.

They also touch on the impact of work stress on mental health, the role of pets in providing comfort, and the need for open discussions about sex and intimacy in grief. The conversation takes a heartfelt turn as John opens up about his own experience of not receiving support during his wife's illness and after her death. He shares his journey of setting boundaries and seeking therapy to heal the wounds that this caused.



Web: (https://www.widowedaf.com)
Instagram (@widowed_af)
Watch on (YouTube)

Don't forget to subscribe !

Rosie Gill-Moss:

La la la la la la, me me me me me me, all about me me me me me me. Shut up.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

That's totally going to be the intro by the way.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Okay, one, two, three. Hello and a very warm welcome back to Widowed AF, you're here with Rosie and John! Gil Moss, I changed it up there, did you like that? Yeah,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

but all that went through my head was, um, the Rosie and John cartoon from kids

Rosie Gill-Moss:

series. Rosie and Jim, thank you. Rosie and Jim. It's embedded into my, um, traumatic It's Rosie and John now. It's one of my deep traumas is having that sung at me repeatedly.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Straight on the tangent. Welcome

Rosie Gill-Moss:

to the show, everybody. Yes, welcome to the show. Straight off on some retro kids TV. If you are too young to get the reference, ask your mum, or your dad, or maybe you don't have one. Though this is going too dark. Right, okay. Anyway, right. Welcome back to WelliF! We are recording at 10. 20 on Friday morning and we're hoping to get this episode out to you by around midday so, um, it will be loosely edited which brings our own unique style. So, we're going to be talking today a little bit about Scott's episode which went out on Monday. Scott is a really, really nice guy. I really liked him. We've stayed in touch and he Brought another voice to the podcast. Every single story is different. Now, Scott's partner, Dan, he died suddenly. And, it's, there's a lot of issues surrounding religion and sexuality. And, the importance of being loved and supported by your parents. But yet, He was supported by Dan's parents, but they never acknowledged him as a couple. It adds so many layers of complexity to your grief. And, so yeah, there will be people who listen to that and could relate to it.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

I think we actually got a few messages through from people that did relate to it. Um, and thanks Scott for telling his story, which is Um, you know, I thought it was ever

Rosie Gill-Moss:

remarkable. Yeah, it's, it was a really I think I said it twice in the episode which made me cringe when I listened back. But it isn't just a story about death, it's a story about love. Because those two were very clearly very in love. And, um, oh gosh, one of the things I found really, actually, it's just really sad in this episode was, um, Scott found out that Dan was likely to propose to him. He was planning to propose. And I thought, oh, and we talked about these kind of secondary losses because he also told us how he lost his home. You know, there were no longer two incomes coming in. And I think it's really important that the wider community knows how. The secondary and further losses impact us as widows because it is not just, just in inverted commas, the loss of your romantic partner, it is, you know, your co parents, your confidant, your best friend, your future, your future, you know, and, and he talks quite openly about, you know, the need for sexual connection in grief, um, which is a topic that does come up and, and I refer you to the phrase widow's

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

fire, which just reminded me, we were listening back to this in the car. Yeah. Um, the other day, just to give us a refresh before we did the wash up. And I just went to her and said, windows fire. That was fucked

Rosie Gill-Moss:

up, wasn't it? It doesn't, yeah. It's just, it's, it's not what you need, is it really? It's, it's, um, yeah, it's a very peculiar thing. And, um, but I like it that people are coming on here and talking about it because we are taking the shame away. We're shining this bright, shiny light on it and going, it's okay, it's normal. Just be safe and be careful. Um. And actually, one of the other sort of, um, recurring themes that we're getting is, um, men and work stress and how that impacts their health. Um, often it's their mental health. Uh, and Scott talks that, I mean, he, he used the word bullying, that there was bullying going on at work. He was a, Dan was a paediatric nurse. He sounds like he was just one of the life's really nice human beings. Real empath. Um, and he'd been quite anxious, uh, in the last year, year of his life. Treated for blood pressure and, and, um, and stress and anxiety. And, of course, in the naivety pre widowhood, you think young, fit, adult. Okay, well, that's quite a normal condition to have, we'll treat it, we'll carry on. Yeah. What you don't expect is to come home from work one day and find your partner of 14 years dead exactly where you left them that morning. I mean, you can't even comprehend it, can you? No, no, I can't. So as I've said, yes, he did. He found him, um, where he'd left him and I mean, as always, I would, I would recommend you listen back because even listening back to it myself, I felt very moved. So I, and obviously I've heard the story already. And he talks a little bit about, you know, that feeling of almost like a criminal when the police have to come into your house. Um, I think there was a lovely moment where he says, his mum, his mum says, Oh no, he wouldn't have done anything. They loved each other or something to that effect. And I thought, Oh, go on, mum.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Well, it's weird because it brings back the memory of, um, and, and any, any of the other hospice widows, um, that listen to the podcast will understand. This is when they give you the death certificate to take down and register. They give it to you and like, you've just lost your life partner. You don't really know who the fuck you are or what you're doing. You've just probably just seen them next door and they go, Right, take this envelope. Do not open it. Or you will end up probably in jail. Oh wow, I didn't know that. It's literally, you've got to take it, and then give it to the council, and they give you a death certificate. And it cannot be tampered with at all. And you're sat there thinking, Well I don't want this fucking responsibility. I

Rosie Gill-Moss:

don't want

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

this responsibility. And it's just another one of those

Rosie Gill-Moss:

stupid jobs. It's like you have spooks, isn't it? Yeah, why can't I open

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

this envelope? That sort of swinging at you when you, all you want to do is curl in a ball and cry. Yeah,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

yeah, um, I'm actually, one of the things that It's very tempting to do is lie in a ball and cry, or get horribly, horribly drunken. And I'm not saying that you can't do those things, but too much of those things will lead to your life falling apart, unfortunately. And Scott talked about his cat, and just the importance of having the cat, Ruby, to get up for. And I can, I mean, I obviously shouldn't compare the kids to the cat, but you have to get up because you have a duty of care to them. And. People often get the same or a similar effect with the pets. I know people who got dogs in lockdown when they were widowed because they were on their own and, and the dogs brought them enormous comfort and, and friendship, I suppose. Which, I mean, Lucy dog, my dog, our dog now, has, has, um, has walked some miles and had some tears soaked into her fur over the years. And she's been my, my sort of constant companion. So, um, yeah, we don't talk about her dying. No. Ever. So Dan is in the same club as us in more than one way because he has remarried and he's

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

married actually. And actually the way he fell into his relationship is much the way that we fell into our relationship. It is, yes. Um, you know, they just met for friends and then developed feelings and there's nothing he can do about it. No,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

and that's it. They, he was very much looking for, you know, a good time, not a long time. The feelings, if they're there, and if you recognize them for what they are, which are real, you'd be a bloody idiot to turn them down. And we talk quite a lot about this, because it's one of the questions we are asked most frequently, really, isn't it? Is how we manage to I suppose people think you've moved on. And I apologize if I'm repetitive because we do talk about this a lot, but it is a recurring theme. And it is not that you've moved on, it's that your heart has expanded and you are capable of loving another person. It doesn't diminish the love. And these

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

things, as we know, like the, the, um, the five stages of grief. Yeah. It is not. Linear. Linear. It just happens when it happens and like, like this past, well this past bloody month.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, November's quite grim, isn't it, because it's Sarah's real decline and it's also the change of the seasons and everybody seems to be feeling a bit shitty at the moment. Um, and yeah, it's been hard going on you and it's that five year point actually. I think it is a tricky point. I think it's such a significant amount of time. And for both you and I, we had a child that lost a parent at five. So, to get to the five year point, you're then thinking, Oh, okay, well, they've been gone longer than they were with them, kind of thing. Um, which is something I experienced obviously very quickly with Tabs, then five years with Heck. And I have a couple, well, I have a year and a bit's grace before I go through it with Monty, but, Yeah, and even Monty said the other day, he said, I've just realised in a couple of years, Like, I will have been Without my dad longer than I had him and so it does show that it's still Flutters about in their minds, even if they don't show

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

it Also, he's becoming a teenager is when you become aware of time when you become a death when you become about this ends at some Point. Yeah, and you know the one thing that doesn't come It doesn't stop or come back. It's time. It just keeps marching forward. Yeah,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

it really does, doesn't it? And it's like, I feel really British, because I'm actually going to mention the weather, because I'm looking out the window at the Annex and it's snowing. That's cool, isn't it? As long as we don't have to pick the kids up early. As long as we don't

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

have to get the kids.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

It would be like, um, Herbie Goes Bananas, you'll just see us skidding round Kent. No, you won't, we drive very sensibly. Um, but yeah, sorry, I, I, I digress. Um, now, he talks about the supported parents, which again is a recurring theme. And we have probably more people who have been supported by their parents than haven't. But I kind of wanted to ask, John, if you would speak a little bit. About that kind of isolation of when your mum in particular, when they don't show up. Because we don't want to sort of, you know, create um, animosity in any way. But I'm going to kick this off by saying that John's mum didn't go to Sarah's funeral. Yeah.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Um, and actually, weirdly, so I've been through this in therapy this week, actually. It's like you're getting

Rosie Gill-Moss:

the conicals of my therapy. He's a modern man. He's a ghost of therapy.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Um, and one of the things I was talking about is the stories I'm hearing you tell. Uh, not you, you guys tell. Not Rosie Tell. You couldn't tell who I'm pointing at. And, um, Professional. Um, and I said, like, you know, it's always, their parents showed up. Uh, you know, they caught, they had this safety net somewhere. And I'm, I'm sort of looking at my life, and I don't fucking have that. Um, uh, I was the support network. I was top of the tree and, uh, my therapist basically just said there's probably more out there, but they need someone to share a story with. So here I am, I'm going to bear all. I'm not going to bear all because we don't have that much, we don't have that amount of time. Well, I

Rosie Gill-Moss:

thought you meant you were going to switch the camera on. And

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

I've been in therapy for on and off for quite some time because of this very subject. So I, um, Sarah fell ill in, um, like 2018. Um, she died in November. And when I first called my mum to tell her that it was cancer, she didn't answer the phone. And the thing, I said this to you today, like, when Holly was born, it was a caesarean section. appointment and she didn't answer the phone. She didn't show up. She didn't come down for Sarah's funeral because she said she was too ill. Now, bear in mind, everybody, I'm not going to bolter too much, but my brother drove down and drove past her house. He could have picked her up, ran the car, drove her down. It was no problem.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And I just think you would crawl over hot coals to be with your child while they were going through the most painful moments of their life.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Um, and then fast forward to covid when I nearly popped off the Um, and yet she hasn't still been to see me, but she blames her own health, her own accidents and, uh, and everything else. So I've actually been going back to therapy this time to deal with, I don't want to say it cause you'll know I watch Tik Tok, but the parent wound. Um, and to be quite honest, it's quite obvious that I do have it. Um, I don't often speak like this in public and most certainly don't put this on social medias. Uh, social medias. How old am I? The tickety tocks. On that face books. Tickety tock. So, uh, I, um, um, I'm working through with my therapist to basically grieve my mum because she, uh, much as I've tried to help her over the, over the, well, my entire life. To which I can attest. Um. She's still stuck in the same ruminating thought, the same rumination of what she's always doing there. She did have an accident, she was put on opioid medications by the NHS and I do think that has quite a lot to do with her demise. As well as a load of trauma that she had in her past, which is why I wanted her to go to therapy, but she refuses, so I've had to part way, not part ways, I've had to shut the door, so to speak.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

You've had to protect yourself, you've put boundaries in. Yeah,

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

um, and now I've gone back to therapy just to basically help me through this particular process, so You know, if any of you guys, um, are in a similar situation, like you're not alone. No. Um, and Um, I'm quite well versed in this now, so if you, you know, drop me a, just drop me a

Rosie Gill-Moss:

message, reach out. And, and if, it's because it is such a, a primal pain to be, or to feel rejected by somebody that's meant to be the one that's meant to love you unconditionally. And, I think almost, excuse me, we possibly even feel it more profoundly because we just think how much, The parent that our children has lost would give to have, have time with them, to have a presence in their life. And, um, there will be people out you, out there that can relate to John's experience of just not having a support network, or not, you know, and not having somebody run to you and wrap their arms around you and tell you that you are going to be okay. I very much take on that role now. And the fact that you are a modern man and that you will go to therapy and you say that you don't talk very much sort of ordinarily about your feelings but this space, this microphone does magic and we end up sharing, you know, our real, real feelings and real thoughts and perhaps that's where you do it. Perhaps sometimes it's almost speaking to nothing because you're talking to a microphone enables you to put your, your real Feelings out into the world and it's certainly worked for our

guests.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Well, it was only this week that I text a friend, and it's the first time I've actually said to someone outside my inner circle, I've been quiet because I've been having some mental health issues. I've been dealing with stuff.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah, and that's really brave, isn't it? And

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

it wasn't met with ridicule like I thought it would be. Uh, you know, people are actually quite cool and quite supportive if you just tell them.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And actually hearing, I obviously live with you, um, and I've witnessed firsthand this kind of battle that you've had to try and get your mum to take hold of the rope that you're throwing her. And it's an expression that I've used before is if people can give you the rope or throw down the rope ladder, whatever that may be, but you kind of have to climb up because there isn't, they can't do that bit for you. Um, and it really applies to so much of mental health and widowhood and, and grief in all it's, it's. Forms and mental health and it's, yeah, I guess it's very frustrating and very painful to watch somebody that you love not take the steps that would make their lives better.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

It is further amplified that I had to helplessly watch Sarah. demise and die. And there was fucking nothing I could do. Yet this woman's sitting here and there is a path. But she has to walk it. She, but she's got to get up and do it. And she just, and she won't. And I now have to, and this is why I'm doing therapy, because it's quite a hard thing to do. To basically say, I can't do this anymore. I cannot help you, even though I can see you're living in, it's suffering, and you're not in a nice place. I've tried. But now I have to stop and I have to protect myself. Yeah. And rather ironically, when you listen to some of the, um, suicide stories, it gets very close to that point in quite a few of the interviews. You know, where What with

Rosie Gill-Moss:

the person left behind where they have

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

to kind of put a barrier up. Where the ones who's adjacent is like, you know, they had to move out. Yes. Because it was starting to damage me. Yes. And it comes back to this You've got to put your own mask on first. If you're okay, you can support other people. If you're not okay, then that's what you need to do. Look after yourself first.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And it's not selfish. And it is a brave thing to go back in and deal with, you know, trauma from your childhood, and this mother wound. It is very difficult. And, um, I'm very fortunate. I have very loving, supportive parents. So the idea that, Parents wouldn't be, is kind of really abnormal and, and peculiar to me. But I will just say that what you have done is, is, is you are an incredibly loving father to all the children and a very loving husband. So it hasn't passed down, but that was stuck

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

with you. Yeah. That was a, the conscious choice con, con conscious choice. I can't speak, I'm speaking way too much there. Apparent Um, it was a conscious choice to be the firewall. Yeah. To say the way I was raised is not how I wanna be raised. It's not what I want. Yeah. Um, and then when we were lucky enough to get Holly, then that changed, and now I'm lucky enough to have four, like, how cool

Rosie Gill-Moss:

is that? You sure the words are lucky?

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah, cos, you know, they're all the most like You know, um, I'm sure Monty won't mind me mentioning, you know, Monty texting me. Oh yeah, that was so sweet. Saying I can talk about, uh, like, you know, my, uh, feelings for Sarah and the five year

Rosie Gill-Moss:

mark. He texted you, didn't he? He was, we were all in the room and his brother was, um, Hector F. Emming and he just texted you and asked if you were okay and told you.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Yeah, he just said, is, is there any time and, you know, I don't have to hide. Like my feelings for Sarah, when I'm around him, which I thought,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

he's a very sweet boy. If you've got a teenage daughter, I would get in line now. He's a very eligible candidate for on that. Well, actually we're going, um, I mean him and going ice skating tomorrow. Um, it's, it's funny when they go to secondary because you don't really know the parents and I don't know the kids in his class and he joined in year eight. So it's all a bit. Discombobulated. So one of the mums has arranged for a few of us to go, which I think the whole class is invited to go ice skating. Now I haven't ice skated since I got my grade one at age five, but I do have my grade one. Um, so that's going to be interesting. Oh no, I must have gone as a teenager. I must have done. But yes, so I'm really hoping To, uh, be able to report no injuries sustained. I just know I'm gonna break an ankle. I love it. Well, there you are. They've got a good ankle spa now. I'm going to ask one of those penguins that the kids have. Yeah, why not? Yeah, I'm gonna do that. And yes, I will ask because I want to take a photo. Um, so yes, it's As they get older, they start to become different, don't they? And they, they, you, I mean, Monty and I are going away for a couple of nights later this month. I'll, I'll be leaving on that next week. Um, but for now, after we've just sort of turned up in your ears and delved into our souls, had a bit of a giggle, And then we'll leave you to your Friday. We

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

went quite hard for 20 minutes.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I beg your pardon. On that note, we're going to love you and leave you. We'll be back with you on Monday. Lots and lots of love. Oh, and sequins season has arrived.

Jonathan Gill-Moss:

Have a good weekend everybody. Goodbye. Bye.

Podcasts we love