Widowed AF

#88 - Chatty

December 22, 2023 Rosie Gill-Moss and Jonathan Gill-Moss Season 1 Episode 88
#88 - Chatty
Widowed AF
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Widowed AF
#88 - Chatty
Dec 22, 2023 Season 1 Episode 88
Rosie Gill-Moss and Jonathan Gill-Moss

In this chatty episode of Widowed AF, Rosie and Jon tackle the dreaded holiday season while navigating their own and their children’s  grief, festive expectations and Rosie’s  ‘near death’ experience with Flu. 

The episode offers practical strategies for maintaining traditions and well-being during the holidays. And comforting to those who may be struggling this year. 

Additionally, the hosts revisit and reflect on a previous episode featuring Dan Frost. They share the profound impact of Dan's story, particularly the  parallels between Dan's experiences and Jon’s. 

The couple discuss the power of  telling your truth with honesty and integrity and finding solace in  your tribe. 

Also anyone making midnight tonight? 😆

#widowedpodcast 
#reluctantwidow 
#widowedpodcast 
#loveandloss 
#suicideloss
#complexgrief
#letstalkaboutdeath 
#Widowedparent 
#soloparenting
#thoseleftbehind
#widowedandyoung 
#legacy
#childbereavment
#chooselove
#chooselife
#mind 
#mensmentalhealthmatters

#widowedpodcast 
#reluctantwidow 
#widowedpodcast 
#loveandloss
#cancerwidow 
#fuckyoucancer
#grief
#letstalkaboutdeath 
#Widowedparent 
#soloparenting
#thoseleftbehind
#widowedandyoung 
#legacy
#childbereavment
#chooselove
#chooselife



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

Don't forget to subscribe !

Show Notes Transcript

In this chatty episode of Widowed AF, Rosie and Jon tackle the dreaded holiday season while navigating their own and their children’s  grief, festive expectations and Rosie’s  ‘near death’ experience with Flu. 

The episode offers practical strategies for maintaining traditions and well-being during the holidays. And comforting to those who may be struggling this year. 

Additionally, the hosts revisit and reflect on a previous episode featuring Dan Frost. They share the profound impact of Dan's story, particularly the  parallels between Dan's experiences and Jon’s. 

The couple discuss the power of  telling your truth with honesty and integrity and finding solace in  your tribe. 

Also anyone making midnight tonight? 😆

#widowedpodcast 
#reluctantwidow 
#widowedpodcast 
#loveandloss 
#suicideloss
#complexgrief
#letstalkaboutdeath 
#Widowedparent 
#soloparenting
#thoseleftbehind
#widowedandyoung 
#legacy
#childbereavment
#chooselove
#chooselife
#mind 
#mensmentalhealthmatters

#widowedpodcast 
#reluctantwidow 
#widowedpodcast 
#loveandloss
#cancerwidow 
#fuckyoucancer
#grief
#letstalkaboutdeath 
#Widowedparent 
#soloparenting
#thoseleftbehind
#widowedandyoung 
#legacy
#childbereavment
#chooselove
#chooselife



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

Don't forget to subscribe !

Rosie Gill-Moss:

everybody, and a very warm welcome back to Widowed AF. You're here with Rosie and John! Yay! Slick, that was. Um, you may hear in my voice that I'm, um, still suffering from my Jane Austen esque consumption type illness that took me down for the whole of Christmas. I imagine many of you were bitten by the same bug and it was bloody horrible. We're certainly getting lots of messages about people in the same situation now, aren't we? And my poor dad's gone down with it now and I feel terrible, but I didn't actually go anywhere near him over Christmas because I was so ill. Um. So yeah, I, I actually said all I'm going to talk about in this episode is how ill I've been because that's all I talk about at the moment because I'm not a very good patient, so I apologize. I won't spend the entire episode discussing my cough. Um, but suffice to say it did involve an out of hours trip to the doctors on Christmas Day, which was a nice festive treat for us, wasn't it? Really efficient, absolutely. Really, really efficient. I have to say, we were staying at a hotel for Christmas this year near Watford because my parents live in Hertfordshire. And uh, so we're all in this hotel and I call the concierge and said, do you have a house doctor? Because I'm really not very well, I can't breathe, you know, I could tell there was something I needed antibiotics. And they said, yes, yes, madam, of course, 500 pounds. So I'm just going to ring 111. And, um, they were brilliant. And they had an appointment for me at Garston out of hours, doctors within 45 minutes. And we were seeing, you Almost immediately, um, Paul, doctor, sat on her own. I really felt it was the most depressing doctor's surgery, wasn't it? And the, the, the guy doing the, um, the reception job. He'd taken the shift but was regretting his life choices, I think. I think he was coming to the end of his shift. Um, but they, and they, they Sent me off some antibiotics, and it was all very efficient, so yes, I had a very positive experience with the NHS this Christmas. Less so with actual Christmas, um, because I genuinely was really quite poorly, and I don't know, you feel this enormous extra weight when you're a widowed parent, or when you have bereaved children, to give them the best life. And, I've I've had to work very hard over the last six years on not trying to give them a perfect life because that doesn't exist. And, but Christmas is a biggie. It is. It, it, particularly if your late partner enjoyed Christmas, which both of ours did, didn't they? Yeah, yeah. So we've struggled, Dave. This, this was our fifth Christmas together and we've struggled. No, sorry, it was fifth Christmas without them. Um, excuse me, there you go, there's my cough for evidence. And. We've really struggled to try and find our place in the kind of Christmas world, because every nativity, every carol service, um, every Acknowledgement that another year is going to pass without them in it, it's very difficult. So we've done various things, we've got horribly drunk at your house one year where we didn't even eat the dinner. We left it out on the table so it would ruin the next day. The cat and dog ate the dinner. Um, we've been to Mexico because we got married and we wanted to go on honeymoon. So we took the kids to Mexico for Christmas and we've done a sea swim last year. Yeah. And then this year we thought, right, we'll go to this very nice hotel with my parents because They celebrated their golden wedding in December too. Um, actually, I think had I been well, it would have been a really, really fantastic Christmas because you don't have to do anything. No, no you don't, absolutely not. Um, but, I'm actually, if you were to say to any of the children, did you have a nice Christmas? they would say yes. Yeah. They had a great time. There was so much laid on for them and my parents who they love more than anybody else on this planet. A special thanks to your parents for stepping up and making a Christmas for the kids in themselves. You know what they were incredible because the idea was we'd be in this kind of double family room and then they had a room and then my brother had a room and they swapped with us and they just. in and, and provided a Christmas for the kids. So, well, yes, we are very grateful and, um, we will probably do something in the new year with them to celebrate. I don't think I saw them for longer than five minutes. Um, but anyway, enough about me. Um, I hope you guys are all right. Um, we've done it. We've got through Christmas 2023. Yeah, we made it. Just a new year to roll over now. Yeah. And I mean, we were just talking actually. Before we came out to the studio about this, you want to, you're about to have, it's, Oh, the door's just blown open. This is more professionalism from the, uh, Gilmour's production house. No ghost, no ghost. Um, yes, we were saying how each year that they don't exist in is, it, it feels significant. Yeah. Yeah. And I was in 20, 2020 hit me. Probably harder than the other thing. I think that was the change in decade. Yeah And it's a yes. It's a way concert. I've just got through five years. You've been through five years early in the year So this passenger time? And it's finding how to sort of market without I'm reluctant to force my children to grieve. I, I spoke to a friend of mine called Jess and her interview is going to come out, um, in the new year. And one of the things we discussed was how to, um, commemorate or, uh, acknowledge significant dates. And she said as a child, she felt very pressured to grieve on specific days. And I've taken that on board a bit, really. Traditionally, um, because Ben's body has never been found, for those of you who are new to the podcast, shocker, sorry, um, it's, he is, um, tragically somewhere in the channel and I I wasn't able to bury him, cremate him, or have a real, a funeral. So, what I do have is a stone at a church. Now, I'm not actually religious, um, I, I, but it felt, um, significant, and had the gravitas, I suppose, for what he deserved. So I held a service in church, and there's a stone, a memory stone, and it simply has his name and date, and it, and it says how wonderful life was with you in the world. And it's somewhere I. Used to live very near to. Yeah. Um, and then now it's a 45 to an hour minute, it's for an hour drive and it, it, we just don't go as often. And I wanted to go over Christmas and take a decoration and I, I, I dunno whether it's for me, whether it's for how people will perceive the stone and the thought of it sitting there naked and unloved. Um, I don't know. Or whether it's just become something that we do it as a unit and we all have gone, haven't we? Yeah. And it's. Um, so I think because we weren't able to go to Christmas, we're going to go tomorrow. Um, depending on if I'm completely better or not, I may go in the sea. Um, wobbly bits will be displayed for all if it happens, I suppose. Um, but yeah, I guess I, that kind of ramble about how to acknowledge your, your person at Christmas and New Year. I suppose what I'm trying to say is it doesn't really matter. I mean, they don't know and it's what feels right for you. Sometimes on the anniversary I'll go to the church and lay a flower or something, and sometimes I don't. It depends how I feel. But one thing we're considering doing is, we live, um, we live in Westmorling, which is a really nice village in Kent. And we, there's a park that I walk dog most days and the kids go to. And we're thinking of having a bench. Put in for Ben and Sarah. Yeah. Just because I like the idea of the children having somewhere that they don't have to drive 45 minutes to, to go and sit in thinking about them. And let'splaying it, hes not there. No There's some stuff buried. There's some, you know, letters and things, but he's not there. He's If there's any essence, I can't use the word essence, I'm sorry. Oh, and it's deteriorated. How many minutes in? We're back. I mean, I believe Sarah's blown all over Whitby, so, you know. I wonder if it's me trying to get the urn into the bin, John. Let me say that in English again. She's blown all over Whitby Bay. It was a little bit windy up there, wasn't it? You kind of handed me this enormous urn so that you could comfort Holly and I'm standing there in my dry robe with the bright pink lining, flapping in the wind because I've broken the zip, holding this enormous silver urn, trying to shove it into a public bin and it won't fit. I'm just thinking, how did this happen? A strange situation you get in as a widow, eh? But anyway, we really wanted to, while we're here, um, uh, have a quick Recap on Dan's episode, we have put out another episode since, so, um, but it, it just was illness. I, I, I couldn't speak, so there wasn't, I mean, it might have been nice for you lot to have a quiet episode, but you wouldn't have got much from me. So Dan Frost, um, he's a fan of the show. He's a really, really top guy, actually. We like him a lot. And, um, his story. Has an awful lot of parallels with yours When I was listening when I because I interviewed him and and I was thinking oh my god when john listens back to this Like it's gonna break him because there was I mean, I'll let you talk a little bit because this is much more your area, but it, um, if you have, I always say this, but if you haven't listened to Dan's episode, his wife, uh, she died from bowel cancer and it was a. a protracted illness, um, an undignified illness and it was really brave of him to talk about it the way he did and he's a really good dad you can just tell can't you and he's really trying to make the world better so anyway i'll stop blowing smoke up his backside and let you talk you've said most of it already but yet his Um, whilst our journeys were sim sim similar, um, I'm having real trouble speaking today. Whilst our journeys were similar, his was over a much greater length of time, whereas mine was five and a half months, starts from start to finish. Um, we found out sooner, but it still would have only been a year, as you know, she was tested in the October the year before, but the, the similarities and the honesty at which he spoke. Um, I'm finishing the edit and just so I wanted to reach out and give him a hug, if I'm honest. So, yeah, so Dan, when I meet you, I do owe you a hug and he's not a hugger, Dan, so bright if you're not a huggy, so We'll, we'll just, what were they, what did the kids call them? Uh, marshmallow. Marshmallow. Yeah. Where, um, but it was incredibly brave and I think it's quite good to get more male voices. Yeah, I do. Uh, in context. And it, it just goes to show all, all this research that we're doing into cancer and treatments and everything else, and the, the paths still. Still the undignified, um, horror show, and there's no other way of saying it, because that end bit, um, humans shouldn't have to witness it, and humans shouldn't really have to go through, live through it. And you can hear sort of throughout the, where he talks about his wife and like so many of the mothers and fathers we, who have died, you know, the way they try and just cling on and do that little bit more for the children and try and be present and that clinging on and desperation to give them what you know that they're going to lose. And I can't imagine being in that position and knowing. But I wasn't going to see my kids grow up, but I was going to cause them unimaginable pain without meaning to. Yeah, honestly, if, if you put your mind there, especially while you're around, you know, cancer adjacent, it will send you insane. Then you don't really have the time to think about that. Um, it's probably more in reflection afterwards of like, Jesus Christ. And I imagine as well that whilst they're in the eye of the storm, as it were, there is so much going on. I can hear something. It's the rain. Oh, it's here. Oh, I thought you, sorry. If you can hear this. It's the rain, I could open the, uh. It's actually, um, New Year's Eve as we're recording this, we're gonna try and get this out today. So, um, I'm don't know whether any of you've got, um, wild, exciting, Glamorous plans for New Year. But we'll probably be listening to the rain in our pyjamas and in bed by ten. Yeah. Yeah, I'll probably be asleep by the chimes if I'm honest. Yeah, I don't think I've stayed up till midnight in as long as I can remember. I still don't stay up past eight. It's just if I'm asleep on the sofa like an old Snoring. Old woman. Snoring. But anyway, back to, back to Dan. Um, the other thing that struck me about his interview was how incredibly honest he was. Um, we don't get many, many male voices. We So when we do get them on, it's, um, it's nice to hear them talking so honestly and open about their experience and what they've been through and what life looks like afterwards. There was one quote actually that I've just read in my notes. And it's, I'm going to read it because it's made my blood go cold. Um, and he said, we'd been beaten. There's nothing more we could do. And that, that acceptance that all hope has gone, it's, it's, we've been there. And lots of you will have been there in some capacity or other, whether, whether you're widowed or not, but that hope leaving you is, it's like you're part of your soul leaves you. And, um, and I think it takes a long time to come back and. I found reclaiming hope very difficult, and believing that there would be a future for me, for my kids, for Ben's family, you know, for, for the, the ripple effect that it, that these deaths have, um, and I suppose the hope is coming back now, it is, I've, I've been much better mentally, my emotional kind of rollercoaster has steadied a little, um, um, Um, and I hope that continues, but it's given me, I'm going into 2024 very cautiously because I'm the twat that wrote, this is going to be our year on 2018. Um, but I have, I have got some hope. I have, I'm, I'm cautiously optimistic for what next year will bring. Um, I have in this year achieved more than I ever thought possible and I've done it whilst I've been battling incredibly difficult. Mental battles, and this is not me blowing smoke at my own arse, well it is a bit, but I'm excited to see what will happen next year, once I've done the scary bit, once I've turned that microphone on, once I've recorded the hundred episodes, once, once the confidence grows, and I'm, and I'm excited for our kids, you know, they're going in. To a new year and they're happy and they're well and they're settled and they're secure. So life looks very, very different to how it looked even a year ago for us. Yeah. Yeah. It feels, it feels like for the first time that light that's at the end of the tunnel. Isn't just afraid to try and bring in more shit. Yeah. Um, let's don't get too optimistic. Touch wood. But, um. Yes, and you do feel a little bit afraid to look forward to things because you, you don't know what's coming around the corner. None of us do. And, but to live. Under the anticipation of dread is a very, it's a very tiring way to live. It's exhausting. We've talked about this kind of fight or flight and the cortisol and it's actually can make you sick. It can make you exhausted. So if you, as you gradually shed that fear, which will take time, um, takes therapy, it takes talking. It takes all sorts of things. But as you start to become less afraid of what's coming around the corner. Then that's when the optimism can sort of creep in through the cracks. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's definitely what it is. And we've chosen a very, um, direct path through this, because we, we, we last on to, um, as Julia Samuels writes in her book. Which one? Yes, it is, because the book's right in front of me. I can actually see it on your shelf. Julie Samuel OBE, who I interviewed on my podcast. Uh, yeah, The Grief Works. That's the one, the best selling author, and accounts are to Princess Diana, I think? Yes. Yeah, that one. Yes, that one. Um, You know, grief is a process that we need to go through as humans, and people get stuck in them, and, um, and it takes years to get out of the chicken and wine phase. Yeah, yeah. Uh, and sometimes you can be out of it in What it feels like three months when you're not really, or you can think you're doing really, really well, and then you take a break, and then you get steamrolled by it. Yeah, this is exactly it actually, because I know that there's been times in my grief where I've thought, I actually feel alright, you know, I might stop counselling, I'm really good, and then I will spend three days in bed, staring at a wall because my husband's dead. And, It will happen, and I anticipate it happening again, because I turned 42 last year, unbelievable I know, and Ben was 42 when he died, and I found that difficult. Well, on the 2nd of March, I'm 43. Then I'm officially longer than him. I've been Orion longer than him. Um, and that's And it's just You know, we can't even talk about anything seriously, can we? Let's go Madrid. Like yeah, I'm longer than you, look at the stretch I am. Oh dear. Um, But that, you know, I don't know how that's going to land. So I think being aware that things could have a negative impact or a potentially a big impact. You could have some, as I could say to the kids, some big feelings and that those big feelings probably won't destroy you. And I think that's the important, the feelings cannot destroy you. Yeah, that's, I was, I was literally just about to say that is the thing I was trying to realise is like, if you're upset and you're feeling like shit. It doesn't matter. Yeah. It does matter because you're feeling like shit, but It doesn't mean you're going to feel like shit forever. It's not going to hurt and it will, and it will pass. And generally when you acknowledge that you're feeling that way, it's like, okay, I'm going to feel this way, but actually tomorrow I'm going to be all right. And I think with a little wallowing sometimes it's actually okay. And I personally know that if I get up, get out of the house, have a wash, I haven't been anywhere near the ice bath, you won't be surprised to hear because Um, but under normal circumstances, I have my structure and my routine and that helps me keep, I'm going to say semi sane. Um, but things like Christmas can really affect that because your schedule is, is disrupted. And particularly for the neurodivergence among us, you know, that Christmas is a, is, is a massive sensory overload. I guess what we're trying to say is whatever you're feeling. It's okay if you feel nothing, it's okay if you feel joy and delight at being around people on Christmas and New Year, that's okay. You're allowed to do that. That's wonderful. Please do that. But also, if you spent the whole day on Christmas Day, staring at a wall crying. That's okay. Or, if you started with Joys of Spring and ended staring at a wall crying. Um, that's also okay because that's, that's the way it can go sometimes. And also, let's be honest, is there a family in the UK at Christmas where somebody didn't have cry? Or have a row? I'd a row, my mum by. Eight 10 or something. got stormed out. I think I, I think I coughed and wet myself if I'm completely honest. But let's you, you were, you were quite ill you, you, you really should have been out there on Christmas day, to be honest. It was Christmas morning and I, no, it was Christmas. We had lunch booked at two at Christmas Day. And sorry, I've, I realized this is off topic, but I'll, I'll carry on. And I'm sitting on the floor and I've got one of those big hair brush dryer things and I've got. I'm trying my hair, and I'm sweating, and I'm sweating, and my arms, I can't hold the hairdryer. And I did half my hair, and I just, sitting in my pants, burst into tears, just like, I can't do it. And you're just like, just get, get back into bed, and I'll deal with it. Um, and I suppose, in that moment, I was very grateful for you as well, because, If I'd been ill on my own at Christmas with my kids. And to be that ill, that would have been, that would have been horrible. And it's very isolating. And actually that's, just quickly before we go, because we were only going to do a quick one today, but, Um, if you are struggling and you're unwell and you're on your own and you want to reach out, Um, your friends will want to help you. Yes. And you might feel like they don't, um, or your community will want to help you. And I had to do it when the kids were little. I went down with a vomiting bug one day. Hangover. I know, I think it actually was a vomiting bug. And I put on Facebook, could somebody take my children to school for me today? And they did. And they did. Not a stranger, obviously. It's too bad, it's too bad. You can't, you can't get strangers to look after your kids, that's weird. But, people as a general rule are desperate to help you. So they don't know what to do. Yeah. If you tell them what to do, they will generally do it. On our Instagram, there is a list of things you can suggest or they can do to help. Um, and perhaps we'll reshare that at some point because it is quite useful. Um, not entirely definitive list, but quite useful list of do's and don'ts when somebody's grieving. Actually, good tangent, I'll convert it into our new website. Oh, how smooth, Jonathan! So, uh, many of you may have noticed that the website's been changing probably daily over the I don't think anybody's been checking our website daily, darling. I know, I know, I know. But I can live in the dream, I can live in the dream. I used to have a website that people kept daily. You used to sell watches, John. Now we never talk about grief. Oh yeah, true. Um, so it's changed quite a lot. I'm trying to build it in the open. Rather than just, um, doing a big launch on you guys, I'm going to drip it all out as it arrives. Um, so you can listen to the podcast, you can read the articles, you can join the newsletter. And we're going to slowly expand it into more of a resource that you can, um, use yourself, pass to friends, if you're looking after people who are grieving. We're talking one stop widow shop. Yes. Should we just call it a one stop window shop? Oh my god. Um, and I actually want to butt in there because we've got our first bit of merchandise. Oh yes, you have, yes. We have some small enamel bird pins. They, um, I'm not actually wearing one. They're very beautiful and very lovely and I'm going to do an Instagram post and the first five people to comment on my post will get one sent. You don't have to do any sharing, tagging, liking or any of that business because I don't want to. I was going to sign up to the newsletter. That's my new one. Subscribe, like, subscribe. Give us a review. Join the newsletter. Even though I've not posted anything on the newsletter. But I will do soon, I promise. And you will be the first to hear about Woodstock as well. Because we are, we are going ahead. We're doing it. We have, um, had a quite, uh, a lot of conversations about whether it's too much for me to take on, to put on a full festival in nine months time. And the Decision really is probably yes, so I'm going to, or we're going to scale it. That is our first one. Yeah, it is. We did the first one in our garden. So this one we're going to hopefully do at a local, uh, field. Um, uh, and it will be limited ticket numbers because, just because of licensing and council rules and space and things. So we're going to do a fairly small ish one this year. Yeah. And if it works. Glastonbury's up for competition next year. No, the year after. Oh my God. Well, I don't even know what year it is. Well, we're still 23, aren't we? On that note of my, um, slightly chest infection induced delirium. I think we will leave you to it. Um, and we won't be putting an episode out on Monday because we are one ahead. So you'll, Lisa's episode is ready to listen. It's out there and we will talk about it next Friday. And I think I've covered all bases, but very. I want to say a happy new year because that's what I wish for you all. I wish for you all a happy new year, um, but we'll settle for peace. I wish you a peaceful new year and whatever you're feeling, you're not alone.

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