Widowed AF

#86 - Chatty

December 15, 2023 Rosie and Jonathan Gill-Moss Season 1 Episode 86
#86 - Chatty
Widowed AF
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Widowed AF
#86 - Chatty
Dec 15, 2023 Season 1 Episode 86
Rosie and Jonathan Gill-Moss

Join Rosie and her (alive) husband, Jonathan Gill-Moss as they navigate widowhood, marriage and parenting together.

Today ‘s episode features a conversation about Jen Platt's story, revealing how she experienced complex grief and embarked on self-discovery after her husband Mike's sudden death.

Additionally, the hosts explore the profound impact of losing a close friend, emphasising the depth and significance of platonic love.

Rosie and Jonathan also discuss the challenges of the festive season, the creation of new traditions, and the pursuit of festive joy post-loss. Their open and honest conversation offers a genuine look at the ups and downs of widowed life, some of it is even funny (to us).



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

Don't forget to subscribe !

Show Notes Transcript

Join Rosie and her (alive) husband, Jonathan Gill-Moss as they navigate widowhood, marriage and parenting together.

Today ‘s episode features a conversation about Jen Platt's story, revealing how she experienced complex grief and embarked on self-discovery after her husband Mike's sudden death.

Additionally, the hosts explore the profound impact of losing a close friend, emphasising the depth and significance of platonic love.

Rosie and Jonathan also discuss the challenges of the festive season, the creation of new traditions, and the pursuit of festive joy post-loss. Their open and honest conversation offers a genuine look at the ups and downs of widowed life, some of it is even funny (to us).



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

Don't forget to subscribe !

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Hello, and welcome back to Widowed AF, your chatty episode. You're here with Rosie Gill-Moss, and joining me in the hot seat, as always, Jonathan Gill-Moss. I was just waiting to see when I should come in. I know, I like to keep you on your toes in the intro. It's, uh, I don't know why, it's how I get my kicks. What can I say? So welcome everybody. And, um, I hope you're all bearing up okay. We are inching our way towards the Christmas break. One more school run to do. For us anyway. Um. So I hope you're all holding up. Christmas is a, um, it is an emotive time of year and we're really aware of this. And friend of the show, Donna Ashworth, put something out on her Instagram or Facebook today. And I must, um, screen grab it actually and share it because it was something about, um, not being afraid of something. God, I really should have had it in front of me. Sorry, this is so unprofessional. But it was something about how, don't dull your sparkle because you're worried of how it might impact other people. Because actually. People who are going through difficult times need to see your sparkle and I suppose behind that ethos lays my sequin Wearing activity. I'm actually not you anybody who's watching this on video. I'm just going to raise my leg They go silver trousers from the top down. You can't see that I'm wearing anything shiny For the rest of you listening in the normal way through your headphones I apologize for lifting my leg like a dog and you're not being able to see it. You could always watch it on YouTube if you wanted to. Don't, it's not worth it. It ain't worth it. Okay. Right back, back to the matter in hand. So we are going to talk about Jen Platt's episode. Jen's episode went out on Monday and I really like her. I really enjoyed the conversation. She was really ballsy. She's really clever and, um, it's a different episode. It's different, isn't it? It's a different grief. Yeah. Yeah. So when, um, her husband, Mike, died, um, they were, they were experiencing quite a turbulent patch themselves and were, you know, were sort of, Heading towards separation. So when he died, and he died suddenly at home in a way that was quite reminiscent of, um, both Steph and, uh, Laura. And it was this idea of this big man being stuck between the bed and the, uh, the wall. And them not being able to move them. And the paramedics saying you need to get them onto their backs. And, you know, that sort of helplessness. Um, but since he died She has gone on quite the journey, um, and I think in doing so, I mean, she says herself, it's not me, um, inferring that, you know, for the first time in 23 years, she felt like she was. Herself and one of his friends, Mike's friends said to her even, you know, Oh, that's the first time I've heard you tell a story without being corrected. And there was a couple of other things from like the commenting on, you know, you go back to the gym or preferred your hair blonde there. Yeah. And I think. They met very young, they met, I think she's either 18 or 19, and then she describes herself as a very grown up, um, teenager, and had her own flat and job in London, um, but he was a lot older, and it's that sort of glamour of the older, older man, and, and this lifestyle she describes as sort of drugs and partying, and you can see how that would be very appealing to a young woman, you know, from a small Kentish town, so, But you changed in that time, don't you? Yeah, I think she even references that in the, um, in the, you know, she came from a sleepy town. He was London. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, and, you know, back when I was there, that was Barnsley, and London was the thing, it was the, Yeah. Uh, it was the thing, but it, it, it sort of throws back to, um, actually, Lulu's episode right in the beginnings is this discovery that the, the person you'd spent your life with is It's, um, not who you thought it was in the life you were living, is not the life you were leading. Yeah. Um, and having to accept that and get it going in your head, so to speak. And figure out who the fuck you are. Because you're part of a partnership, a marriage or a relationship, and as a result of which you come as a pair. I don't necessarily mean you do everything together, because very few of us do that. I think I did say to you just before we came on, Mike, actually, you were with Sarah for 20 odd years, weren't you, and whilst your relationship was, you know, I'm not in any way comparing it, it, it, you have to then, if you've been with somebody for half your life, figure out who, who the, who are you? How much of your growing up was done in your twenties and your thirties and, you know, I was with Sarah. Um, and, you know, Gemma was with her there, and you get to, you get to an age of, I'm getting to it now, apparently, where, um, you know, when Sarah went, I remember looking, and I was discussing it earlier today, um, my life felt like a gritty London gangster film, it was really dirty and grimy and grey and nothing felt safe or secure. And that's the only way I can really explain how it felt, those, well, most of the chicken and wine phase, the initial phase. Yeah, and for you and anybody else who's lost somebody from illness, the build up, you know, that starts before they die. You're already in that, in that moment. I do want to also talk a little bit, um, about another love story that runs through Jen's episode. And it's a platonic love story. It is the love story between her and her best friend Amy, who tragically died the same year as Mike did. And I truly believe in, in platonic love and friendship. Mm-Hmm. And I tragically lost my best friend back, um, just, just after we'd finished university and he died suddenly and it was a. Cataclysmic loss because But as she says, you don't get the, uh, the gravitas as you do when you're a widow. So while she desperately wants to talk about Amy and how much she's grieving her, as she describes her, her other half, the grief that she feels for Mike is actually secondary, but that's the one that she's been labelled with. There is no word for, I've lost my best friend, is there? There's no name for you. But there should be, because it's a significant person in your life. She says they grew up together, you know, like that often, you know, friends will be the, aside from family, the people that know you best and have known you longest. And my friendships have changed since Ben died for sure. They've changed since I got sober. Um, but I have some incredible friends who I would be absolutely devastated without. And I think that it's important to recognize platonic love as, as important. And I, Also really hear how much she could have done with Amy this past year, you know, you could do with your best mate. Yeah, for sure. And actually she's in a relationship, she's in a relationship with a chap called Andy and, um, strangely the only people who have been kind of not as accepting have been Amy's family. And again, she talks about it in the episode about how perhaps it's that feeling again of, um, well if she can fall in love again. Amy can be replaced. It all comes down to this idea of legacy and not being forgotten. And whilst we don't want to be forgotten, can you imagine if it was your child? Like, the idea that people might forget that they exist. And of course they don't. Um, they don't forget. It's just Yeah, everyone has their own opinions. Um, and it generally, um, it generally comes back to how they feel about how they want to be remembered. Well, this is what I mean. It's, you know, that's why it's sort of, and I think also, and again, I'm, I'm, I'm paraphrasing from Jen, who said it far more eloquently than I am. That, you know, this idea that Jen got a second chance and she will get to continue her life, whereas their daughter didn't. And it doesn't really. Correlates. But I think when you're grieving, it doesn't have to and not the bank can make up there loads of stories in, in well in your mind. So, yeah. And that mind certainly has at points. Well, and one of the things that I really related to actually, when she talks about Amy dying was, um, that she didn't know. So actually her husband knew, and she'd been out all day. I, I think she'd been out in London and come home and then found out that her best friend had been dead all day. And that feeling of almost. Feeling a bit betrayed because you haven't been told. Yeah. So, therefore, when Mike died, she was very clear with their son, Reg. Even before she knew that he had actually died. Because she felt that there was no way she wanted him being left not knowing. Yeah. And I, I can relate to that. Because Ben died, um, on the Monday morning. And I didn't know a thing until seven o'clock that night. And I'm very angry. If I'm honest, I'm still very angry that nobody picks up the phone to me. I don't understand how I got missed in it. You know, how somebody forgot to tell his wife, but it happened. Yeah. And, and it, you know, I, I, I'm not, you know, seethed in bitterness anymore, but it's, um, it's another, it feels like another thing that's taken from you. Essentially listening to Jen talk was quite refreshing because she does come at it from a different angle and she is quite matter of fact but she's also You can hear the determination to make sure that their son. is not overtly affected by it. You can hear, I mean, God, this woman's had more jobs and career, you know, proper like high flying careers than most people have had hot dinners. She's currently a deputy head of a secondary school. And so she's a real powerhouse of a woman. And I'm really happy that she has had. The good fortune to meet somebody else and, and to build a new life again. And we've stayed in touch. We share little pictures of sequin jackets that we spot in places and things. And I'm going to share a text correspondence. I do talk about it in the episode as well, but, um, so. I noticed on the, uh, application form, I was just flicking through them one day and I saw, oh, she lives in Westmoreland, which is where we're based. And, um, so I just sent her a quick text saying, oh, how funny we live near each other. And as it transpired, she had moved, um, but also had this real preconception of me as this. I think the Bretton Stripes. Uh, so I dug out a picture of Ben and I in Bretton Stripes and sent it to her. So it may as well be the cover of this episode. Different life, different life. I draw you back to the times when I made individual chocolate Lego figures to go on cupcakes for the whole class for one of my kid's birthdays. I ain't that person. Yeah. I'm not that person anymore, but you do, you change your priorities change. And I think. I've really noticed that at Christmas this year. We have scaled back. Um, yes, there's presents. Yes, there's a tree. Yes, we're doing, you know, fantastic fun things with the kids. I mean, we even went out last night. Um, with other grown ups, didn't we, John? We did. That's nice. Novel. We did, yeah. It was lovely. Yeah, we went to see some Christmas lights at Leeds Castle, which, it took me a while to understand this is not in Leeds. It's in Kent. But, um, if you're not local, I can't explain that. I used to live round the corner from it, anyway. Confused me, haven't I? Especially since I used to work in Leeds, York. Yeah, well this is, this is the thing. But we, yeah, but apart from that, you know, I haven't booked extravagant trips to see Father Christmas and I've found it has taken a lot of stress away. Um, the other day I did some wrapping, but I just did. A bit, and then I'll do a bit of what will actually probably happen is I'll think I've done it and forget. But, our house is in chaos, we're still having decorators and builders in, so it's very difficult to make the house look Instagram perfect, and I my children don't want to be dressed in matching outfits for a photo and it's all additional pressure that you as I think whether it's getting older, whether it's being bereaved and realizing that this shit doesn't matter, I don't know. I felt an immense pressure to make Christmas perfect and That pressure is easing because when I, I'm sorry, I'm, I'm, I'm off on one. Here we go. When I was in counseling on Tuesday, I was talking about Christmas and I was talking about the fact that it is quite stressful and every other day there's an email, they want a pound for crazy hair, which isn't just a pound of crazy hair. You've got to come up with a concept. You've got to get stuff. You've got to create it. Um, and it's, it is tiring. It is a lot of pressure, and you get to the point where you think that you're just going to boil over, and that is no fun for anybody. That's no fun for you, that's no fun for the family, and when I was talking about what we're actually doing on Christmas Day, which is spending it with my parents, who we're very close to, and my brother, and we're going to a lovely hotel, so I haven't got to cook, and she said, my face changed. You know, because it is not, I don't know if this is cliche, but it is not about presents and it's not about whether the turkey is organic and has been brined overnight. And it's, it doesn't matter if your napkins don't match. Even if you don't own napkins, kitchen rolls, a napkin in my house. It's about trying to find a little bit of sparkle in that darkness. And for some of you that will be pretty impossible. Um, and I, I suppose I, On the end of this little tangent, just wanted to say that if you are struggling, send us a message. We might, we can't help necessarily, but you'll know that somebody's there and that we care. Because we do and we've, we've done the first Christmas and it's grim. Yeah, and it's only, um, I think it's the first Christmas that I look forward to Christmas. Um, every time since it's always been the month after. Yeah. Um, Sarah died and it's got the same bleakness to it, but this, this year, um, I don't know, I'm looking forward to it. And it's about making new traditions. I've never had a Christmas like I've had, like I did with Ben before. So we would either be at our house and people would come to us or we'd go to his family or my family. So I've not done any of those. Um, I, um, I have mentioned this before, but I stuck a holiday I could not afford on the credit card and went to Cape Verde the first Christmas. Um, and then we've done, I think the next one was, then we were into lockdowns and things. So last year we swam in the sea on Christmas day, which was quite liberating. And it was right before we started this. It was the beginning of, this was starting to germinate at this time of year. So. We're trying to think back and think what we, you know, the good bits, what we've achieved. It's not been an easy year. We've had to do some really hard, heavy lifting this year, but it has also been an incredible year. Yeah. And I won't get all emotional about the year yet. I'll save that one for the end of the year episode, but yeah, I just wanted to thank all of you who have listened and supported us because, um, it's given. Me personally, some purpose on some dark days because I've managed to get up and get on the mic when otherwise I may have just laid in bed, staring at a wall, eating fried chicken. No wine though. Probably not fried chicken either. I don't eat chicken in bed. I don't eat fried chicken. Yeah, I would not eat in bed. How dare you. Um, but I'm gonna eat in bed over the weekend because I'll be in a hotel in Budapest with only one kid. That sounds weird. It's my kid that I'm going away with. It's nothing weird. Yeah. We're going off to the Christmas markets and stupid ice skating and just basically hang out. Um, as almost like mates because they get to an age I find where they become quite pleasant to be around. And I've never done this before. I've never taken one of the children away abroad on my own. And I just thought we live really, really close to Europe. It's a two hour flight. I sort of want the kids to see that you can go away and it doesn't have to cost thousands and thousands of pounds and be a huge great big two week extravaganza. And actually one child at a time. I'm anticipating being quite easy. I will report back next week. And Mond is the first one to reach the proper teen hood. Yeah, and he's amazing. He's changed schools. He's changed schools in year 8. So he's just done the first full term of his second year. He's getting incredible results, which are not the be all and end all. When you see them working and them getting results, it's, it's really rewarding and we're both really, really proud of him and I sort of want to do something a bit cool to celebrate it. Um, and I've never been, so I am hoping to meet up with Melita Honeycup, who was one of our guests previously and is Hungarian born and bred, lives in Spain and happens to be in Hungary at the same time as I'm there. So fingers crossed we might get to meet up and I will of course take a photo. I hope we do. Yeah, it'll be nice. I'll be losing to Bowling to the other three. Yes, yes, it's, uh, it'll be like divorced dad, won't it? He'll be out doing all the things. I think I'm divorced. I need to see me with a child anyway. Doesn't matter. It's like, oh, yeah. Better more than TGI Fridays last week, because you took Monty to the ice skating rink and I took the other three to the cinema. And I nipped into TGI Friday. It's way too late, by the way. TGI cannot turn around in 20 minutes like I thought they could. It's me that's meant to have the time blindness. Um, and I get, you get to see the, you know, the waitresses, the people around. They're like, oh yes, it's weekend, dad. It's treat, treating of TGI Friday. And I wasn't. I'm just getting a bit of food before I went to see Witch. So yes, it's, uh, it's full daddy daycare this weekend, but it's, there's no dance lessons. There's no skateboarding lesson. There is a football match on Sunday. Oh, there is a football match. Well, we will, I think we've recruited the, um, long suffering, wonderful babysitter, Linda, that we, uh, have, um, that comes to our rescue. basically, we were sort of coming to the end of the school term. For those of you who've got kids, you've probably done nativities. If you've got little ones, I, um, actually dropped Tabby off yesterday morning and I, it was a bit late and I did the school one. I'm, I feel like I can share this with, you know, my 50, 000 friends on here. I went with the leggings that I pulled on over, Uh, the vest and a vest top that I'd slept in and the leggings were dirty and I had a skanky old coat on and a hat on to cover the fact I hadn't brushed my hair. And he was like, Oh, see you at the church. I said, sorry, what? And it was the end of term assembly. So for anybody who resides in Westmoreland and you saw a sequined glitter ball dashing through the high street, that was me running, or I went home, changed and ran back out again. So, um, yes, it was not a, an escaped disco ball. It was just me, but that sums up my week really. It's just forgetting things, remembering things, chaos. So. If you are in the same predicament, Godspeed and, um, we will be back with you on Monday and we've got a, we've got a bloke, haven't we? Yeah, we've got Daniel Frost. Who's, um, it's a similar ish story to mine. He lost his wife to bowel cancer, um, but he had a much more protracted, um, time period to, uh, to live through. But it's a very powerful episode. It was, I Was quite worried about you listening back to edit because of the similarities between, um, his wife and Sarah. So yes, again, it is an emotive episode. It's really valuable to have male perspectives on this because, as we know, men aren't the greatest at talking about their feelings. So, if you are a bloke, and you are a widow, and you're listening, and you think you might like to have a chat with us, you can talk to John if you prefer. You don't even have to talk to me. Um, please do get in touch. We are booking up until sort of March, April next year now. But, um, we do get the odd cancellation. So, if anybody's desperate to get their story heard, let us know. Otherwise, you can apply, um, via the website, via the Instagram. Or that's it. That's it. Yeah, it's by the website, by Instagram. Um, and also you, you might not have noticed the appearance of the newsletter sign up. Um, there has been no newsletters yet. We're just going to. Get your names in that. Um, and I'm trying to put more bones around the website and everything behind so hopefully New Year the website's going to look quite a bit different. And actually on the subject of New Year we are going to hit our 100th episode in January which is a really big deal I think because it shows the level of commitment that both we have put in and I'm not very good at taking credit but also The, uh, dedication of our listeners and our guests. So if you have enjoyed listening to WAF or you'd like to, um, leave a little voice note or something for the podcast for the special episode, please do so. You can do it on the Instagram page. Um, just keep it to sort of two or three minutes because otherwise it would be the world's longest episode. But for now guys, thank you ever so much for listening. Look after yourselves. Just remember that it'll all be over soon. And I hope Christmas, that is, Christmas. Christmas, yes, Christmas. Oh my God. Oh my God. Way to send out a message. Um, but yes, lots of love and we will be back with you soon. Bye bye. Bye.

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