Widowed AF

#97

February 26, 2024 Rosie Gill-Moss Season 1 Episode 97
#97
Widowed AF
More Info
Widowed AF
#97
Feb 26, 2024 Season 1 Episode 97
Rosie Gill-Moss

In this episode of "Widowed AF," Rosie Gill-Moss interviews our guest  about her life after the loss of her husband Tom, her challenges as a foreigner in the UK, and raising a son with autism. She shares insights into her experiences, including navigating legal and financial hurdles post-loss and understanding her son's neurodiversity. This episode sheds light on coping with unexpected life changes, the intricacies of widowhood, and parenting a child with autism, offering perspectives on resilience and adaptation.



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 Gill-Moss interviews our guest  about her life after the loss of her husband Tom, her challenges as a foreigner in the UK, and raising a son with autism. She shares insights into her experiences, including navigating legal and financial hurdles post-loss and understanding her son's neurodiversity. This episode sheds light on coping with unexpected life changes, the intricacies of widowhood, and parenting a child with autism, offering perspectives on resilience and adaptation.



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

Don't forget to subscribe !

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Hello, and a very warm welcome back to The Shit Show, also known as Widowed AF. Joining me, your host, Rosie Gilmoss, today is Julia. Hello, Julia, and thank you for coming on the show. That's

Juliana Bryson:

for the chance to speak, to tell my story.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

We were just having a chat before we came on mic, and um, I was sort of explaining, as I do to my guests, that, uh, this is not Paxman type interview. It's meant to feel like two friends having a chat, and it's also kind of two fold. It's meant to give you the opportunity to tell your story in a way that you perhaps have never been able to. Um, and also, in every single story, somebody out there is going to find a, uh, a recognized thing. So, and You know, and I know, that feeling like that isolated troll is so lonely. So, I know you're here because your partner died. Um, so I'm gonna let you, I'm gonna let you tell your story in your own words. And as I said to you before, I will make notes and we'll have a little discussion as well. But now, Julia, in your own words, tell me, tell me how you got here.

Juliana Bryson:

Okay, so I had met my husband Tom, uh, in 2014. He, I'm not from the UK, and he was visiting, uh, my home country, uh, and, uh, back then he was recently divorced, and we got, um, An instant connection, I would say. We felt extremely comfortable. It was like we knew each other for ages already. And, of course, he went back to UK and then he wanted to really be in a relationship with me. So he went back to to visit me some few times. And then, on the following year, uh, May of the following year, he decided to, to move to where I lived. And he got a student visa and we started to live together very few months after we first met. And we lived together for under a year. And I would say that it was a, I used to have a joke, that was a test drive for me and him, so we were like, yay, we passed the test. And so, after we got a small lottery, not too small lottery prize. Uh, we, we thought that's a sign and we decided to get married. So,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Well, what's the sign?

Juliana Bryson:

yeah, so we got that money that back then it would be the equivalent of maybe 35, 000 pounds or something like that. So we

Rosie Gill-Moss:

It's not too shabby.

Juliana Bryson:

yeah, so we used part of the money to pay the marriage and then we put the rest, uh, in the investment. Uh, so, you know, perfect marriage, perfect honeymoon. Life was good. I was living a fairy tale, basically. It was the best

Rosie Gill-Moss:

recognise that. Was

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah, so yeah, it was the absolutely the best time of my life Everyone that had known me before they said we never saw you So happy as you are. And everyone was like, you two are the happiest couple we have ever seen. And, uh, I had a story of very bad relationships in the past. So, um, yeah, so I was, we were really happy. And then the following year, the pregnancy that the doctors had told me, you won't be able to get pregnant. And it happened. And Yeah, so by then, uh, my husband was already fluent in my language and, uh, but then I had a pregnancy disease that, uh, it had to, my baby had to be a premature one because, uh, I had to go through an emergency C section, uh, because if, if they would wait more, they said we cannot Um, Guarantee that any of you two will be alive. So, at some point it was nearly my husband that became a widow. So,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

was it a preeclampsia? Something

Juliana Bryson:

was help syndrome.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

that.

Juliana Bryson:

they say that it's even worse than that. So, yeah, um, so, uh, emergency c section, I went to the intensive care, they did the intensive care. But, okay, that was a hard, uh, hard at the beginning, but we made it. So, took baby home, okay, back to the fairy tale. And, we were perfectly happy and when, uh, our son was nine months old, I realized that there was something wrong with my husband and I couldn't really tell what it was. And I kept asking him, are you okay? And he was like, yeah, and he started to get angry at me at some point because I was constantly asking that and he was like, Why are you expecting some, a different answer? And he said, I'm telling you, I'm fine. And, but then after maybe, I don't know how long, two weeks, maybe, uh, one day he told me, I think you're right there. I think there's something that is not quite right with me because what he mentioned was that he was having, you know, it was some very, I mean, specific signs. Or less like, uh, he was having a, he was gonna have a flu, but the flu symptoms did not develop at all. And, uh, I was like, okay, so uh, let's book an appointment with a GP or so. And, uh, we went privately because, uh, uh, he didn't have, um, how can you say, health insurance there, uh, here, sorry. Yeah. We have the public health system there, but it's extremely slow. So we were like, uh, it even is lower than NHS, so just so you know. And, uh, we went privately, we went to the doctor, and the doctor was like, uh, okay. Even the doctor wasn't taking it seriously. Uh, and then, then the doctor said, uh, okay. Uh, when was the last time you had done a checkup? Was that over a year ago? Yeah. So, and then she asked all sorts of accidents, like, as we are going to pay, so, you know, all sorts of blood tests, urine tests, and then she said, you know what, I'm going to ask an ultrasound as well, just in case, and ended up that all his blood tests were normal, but that ultrasound, just in case, Show the tennis ball sized tumor in his liver.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Sorry, say the signs again. Tennis ball.

Juliana Bryson:

tennis ball, yeah.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Oh wow, okay.

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah, so,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

me. Liver's not good, is it?

Juliana Bryson:

no, and, uh, And, you know, he went to do the ultrasound and back there, when you could get, you could get the result right away, they would hand to you. There is not like here that they kept on the computer and then you have to read the then he came back home, when he was leaving there, he sent me a message saying, uh, everything is done, uh, there is something in my liver, but I already had it. I was like, okay. And then I saw that. I have some, my professional background is related to health. I don't work with that anymore, but I looked at that. I always been bad on seeing, uh, ultrasounds, x rays, stuff like that. But I was like, did you say that you had it already? And he said, yeah, I knew I had liver cysts. was like, okay, I can see liver cysts here, but what I'm seeing is not a cyst, it's a solid tumor. And he was like, you are telling me that you can see that because he knew that I wasn't good at that. Then I showed him and, you know, uh, then I just

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And do you think he was I said I wouldn't interrupt but So do you think that he's kind of in denial? You know, this is just something I've always had. This isn't going to cause me any

Juliana Bryson:

No, no, I think, I think he wasn't aware, really, because he really had liver cysts. That's something that he knew that he had. But that was Something else that he wasn't aware, you know, and, uh, then, you know, as I try to speed up everything. So on the following day, I got a specialist appointment. And the specialist said, well, we, we cannot, we don't know what it is, so you have to go through lots of other, uh, tests and, you know, it was, we're being basically a lot of doctors and labs all the time and just to make story short, um, that doctor said, uh, I think that it might be a cancer. She was telling that to me on the phone and, yeah. Uh, she said, but I decided not to tell him that, uh, then she said, I'm going to refer you to a friend of mine because even if that tumor was benign, that would have to be removed because that was so big. So between the time that we did that ultrasound and his operation was, uh, 20 days as we were going privately. So we managed to speed up everything. So they basically, they were going to remove the tumor and then send to biopsy to see what it was. we were hopeful that it would, of course, be benign but, uh, we got the news that, uh, it was a cancer. It was a bile duct cancer. That is a rare one. Happens on only 3 percent of the digestive

Rosie Gill-Moss:

my first.

Juliana Bryson:

Sorry? Yeah.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

You're my first by all accounts.

Juliana Bryson:

and, uh, one of the issues, not only with this cancer, but all sorts of liver diseases is that when it starts to give symptoms, uh, it's already advanced. And, but we were hopeful because the only chance of someone getting cured of this cancer is getting operated and chemo after. So our hope was that the, the cancer didn't spread anywhere else and all the tests had done before, it didn't show other tumors anywhere else in his body, but on the operation they removed the local lymph nodes and it showed that he had, um, Extremely small metastasis, like less than one millimeter on his local lymph nodes. So it already had spread out of the liver. But anyway, we were just hoping that It had stayed there and everything was removed. He went through chemo and he, he had a good quality of life. He had, uh, while he was in the chemo, he was fine. If you would look at him, you would not believe that he had, was fighting against that. And during that time, uh, we started to work on the documents for my visa because moving to the UK was an idea we already had. We only didn't get her here earlier because the cancer postponed a bit our plans. So, by the end of the year 2018, uh, we got the news that he was in remission. They could not see any cancer on his test, on his exams, his scans, etc. Uh, I got my visa on the following day, so it always sounded brilliant to us, like a new life. You know, and we moved, uh, over here. And, uh, as soon as we moved here So, so the following checkups were going to be done here. So, as soon as we moved here, he started to complain about some pain in his hips. But he wasn't exactly, uh, a young person. Uh, he was not old. He was considerably Sorry?

Rosie Gill-Moss:

How old was he? How old was he? How

Juliana Bryson:

Uh, when, when he died, he was 57. He was, uh, about 18 years older than me, more or less. So, um, He was complaining about some pain, um, his hips, and we were just thinking, that's age, you know. Uh, even though he was considerably older than me, for example, his back was a lot better than mine. And I was like, it seems that I am the old, first, older person here. So, yeah. Uh, we, we didn't overthink much about that. Uh, I was thinking, how the hell, you know, if it would be something related to the cancer, I, I didn't think that something that would start in the liver would give some hip pains. But the thing is that he went through the first CT scan, and then on the first one here, they show that the cancer was back. And this time, uh, we could not, uh, there was not, it was not, He couldn't go through an operation, so the only, uh, option would be chemo. And he, he started the chemo, and likely the other one, this chemo really, uh, didn't make him very good. He was having lots of symptoms. He was a little bit, not a little bit, a lot more tired. And, but at some point we were still hopeful because in the middle of the treatment, uh, it was shown, the, the tests show that the tumors had reduced. But after a while, I noticed that he was getting more and more tired, more, you know, struggling. And then when it was by October, more or less, of 2019, uh, the doctor, he went through a CT scan and then on the following appointment, the doctor said, um, the chemo is not working anymore. So when they said, oh, we have another option of chemo, but this one only works on 10 percent of the patients. And of course, we were expecting that he was part of that, but he was part of the 90%. And, uh, he had signed to join a clinical trial that I had heard that this clinical trial is giving good results to people. But. He didn't make it to the time that, uh, the trial started. So when we realized that the end was near, we brought my mom over here to help me. Uh, during that time, he was eventually transferred to a hospice and, and yeah, so then he had an appointment and the, the, the normal oncology appointment and the doctor just said, I think I, I want to hospitalize you too. Do another CT scan to see in which condition you are because you could not walk anymore. And he was a very strong independent man and to see him in the way he was, it was truly heartbreaking. Uh, sometimes he would say, um, I, I, I don't know how I didn't, I managed not to cry. Like you wanted to interact with our son. But he couldn't even lift him, and back then when he died, our son was two and a half years old. And yeah, so I was, when I was going with him to hospital, I was basically, he was basically in the wheelchair, and it was me taking him everywhere. So he was hospitalized, and they confirmed that if they would try another chemo, the chemo would kill him faster than the cancer, basically. So, then he, he had to be under morphine all the time. He, I don't know at which point it was the cancer or the morphine, but he started to lose his mind and, uh, he I was talking to him just like I used to talk with my old aunt that had Alzheimer's. And, and then, uh, one day I went to the hospice, I look at him and I saw, that's the last time I'm going to see him alive. So saying goodbye to him was really painful to me on that day. And then on the following morning, uh, I woke, I was having a very weird dream. And I woke up, you know, scared. Chest was tight, you know, and five minutes later the phone rang and I already knew that I answered the phone Oh, he is from the hospice and I was like he died. So anyway,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I'm so sorry.

Juliana Bryson:

yeah Thank you. And and the thing was that on the anniversary of the first The day that was the our first anniversary of being in the UK instead of us being celebrating I was in the funeral agent with my brother in law choosing a coffin. So Things were not easy. I you know, I never expected that one day I was going to get married I was not expecting that I would leave a fairy tale But I even wasn't expecting that I was going to become widow at 38 years old with a small child And, so, okay, uh, we, we had the funeral, and, seeing the, my husband summarized through a coffin was the second worst sight of my life, because my, the worst was to see his lifeless body on the, the bed of the hospice. Um, so, yeah, the, the, the funeral was Uh, I would say that it was a beautiful ceremony. My mother doesn't speak English, she was there and she said even though I didn't understand a word, I thought it was a very beautiful one. Uh, the celebrant, uh, read at the end the text I wrote and she started to cry on the, on the, the ceremony and, and, uh, yeah. And then on the following day of the funeral, we had the first case of COVID in the UK. So, I, I was like, at some point, I knew that only a miracle could have saved, uh, my husband. And, I know that miracles don't really happen. And, I was like, at some point, it was a relief to know that he, he passed before the pandemic. So, he did not leave all the craziness that we, he didn't have the experience of. Everything. So, yeah, and then, okay, uh, what I'm going to do, because I, now I, I get on the other part, because apart from, apart from the fact only that I lost the love of my life, I was in a country that, uh, I, I, I had to learn how to live here alone, never being here. We had that conversation before, when he was alive, what I was going to do. When he would die and if I would like to go back, uh, to live near my parents or stay here and I decided to stay here because, uh, even though I wouldn't have the support network that I would have, uh, it's, my, my home country is not a good place to raise a child at the moment, um, here even though the NHS might have the flaws, public health, uh, yeah, so the public schools, it's, Uh, might not be, you know, perfect, but they are still a lot better than they are in my home country and for me to get the same quality of those things over there, I would have to go private and I cannot afford that. My son is British, so I was like, if I have the chance to give him a better future, so, why not? I know, yeah, I know it was going to be difficult for me, but, uh, anyway, so, I am here without a support network, basically. And not only that, I was on my spouse visa, I wasn't, uh, settled in the UK back then, and that was a nightmare, because for me to breathe under a spouse visa was, uh, horrible in the sense of I was at the point that I did not know to who ask information. So sometimes we are going to ask information to some people, and some people, they don't know the answer, but instead they just say, I don't know, I'm sorry, or just keep quiet. They say what they think.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

God's

Juliana Bryson:

It is. And most of the times that information is wrong. And even though sometimes I knew, like, I'm sorry for my language, like, you were talking bullshit. That would boost my anxiety, you know. So, one of the things at least that I was a lot more calm about that, the biggest worry of Tom was that I would, even though we decided to, I told him, I will stay in the UK. Uh, his biggest worry was that I would not be able to be here. And I would have to go back. But we, I found out that, uh, Uh, everyone that is under spouse visa, if the partner, the British partner dies in the middle of the visa, you don't need to wait the five years process for the indefinite leave to remain, you can apply straight away after the death. So, that was a big relief for him that it could be done. Uh, I also wouldn't need to go through all the other The things they ask, like proof of money, uh, that, uh, they raised, I heard that they raised the price now, it's even more expensive, so. Um, so yeah, I, I got all the documents I could, then I, I was like, I, I was less than a week brief, then I was like, I'm going to the citizen advice to, uh, you know, ask for advice of what I can do, if my documents are right, and I meant, I told them, uh, it's related to immigration, I don't know if someone there can help me. yeah, I went there, and the thing is, Again, I, I got the, the person that was talking to me, she didn't know anything about immigration, so she was talking to things that she guessed, and I went there. I left there, you know, thinking my life is ruined. You know, I, I think at that moment, if I didn't have a son, I didn't have a child. I was, I was think with myself. I think I would take my life away because what the fuck, you know, she said basically, uh, that I, I would have to apply from. For the settlement for my son as well. It was like, no, my son is British. He has a British passport. She said, no, I know that, but he wasn't born here. And then she said, many years ago, I also wasn't born here. Things were not straightforward. So you have to pay for his application. That's those occupations are expensive and you are, you know, recently buried, you don't know you were short on money, everything. and to make things worse, she told me that the pension of my husband was not going for me, but it would go to his ex. And I was like, yeah, it doesn't make sense. And I was like, but why? I am the one married. And she said, I know that, but that's the law. And I was like, you know, he made, even though he contacted the, whatever his The pension, you know, they, he had contacted them to, and made a document saying, uh, when I pass away, that is going to my wife, uh, on his will, he put that, that his pension was coming to his wife, that was me, and I was like, so, but he changed the documents when he divorced, and he said, no, uh, it goes to her because it was with her that he lived, uh, he was married with her for longer than, you know, And I was like, I was like, how, I was, how is that fair? You know, because, uh, he had kids on his first marriage and, but they were adults already, you know, and it was like, so the law, you were telling me that the law will give the, the pension to someone he did not want to leave with, because if you divorce the person, that's because you don't want to be with them for that. And the wishes of the person are not considered. And she said, I know that's frustrating, but that's the law. And it was like. Yeah, so, you know, I've been paranoid for a long time, like, what am I going to do? And, uh, another thing, we didn't apply for child benefit when we came here. Because my husband made a confusion, he thought that we couldn't, but of course we could. But anyway, and I was reading that there are some exceptions on the rule, there is an exception on the spouse visa, that is complicated, I'm not going to get into that, but I called them. to talk about that. And I was like, I would like to apply to the Child Benefit. And my child is British. My, I am not British. I am, uh, an immigrant. And my husband was British, but he passed away. So I would like to get information on what we should do. And then, uh, Yeah, and then the person said, okay, hang on, like, then five minutes listening to music, the guy came back, so just to confirm, uh, You are, your husband is British, your son is British, but you are not. I was like, yeah, but the thing is that my husband passed away. Uh, okay, so, you know, more ten minutes listening to music. Then he came back, Okay, S, you are not British and your husband is, so it's better your husband apply to the child benefit. And I was like, yeah, but he died. Oh, I'm sorry. And then, fine, and then he said, Yeah, okay, your case is not straightforward, so, uh, I will send something through post, you send lots of documents, blah, blah, blah, etc. It's, do a letter, send to them. And fine. And then, uh, after a while, I got a letter from them saying, uh, you are not, uh, eligible for child benefit because you are still, uh, subject to immigration. And I was like, okay. Then on the following day, I got a letter from, related to the bereavement support payment saying, because so far I was getting just 100. And they said, as you are eligible for child benefit, you were going to raise the payment. And I was like, listen, I am eligible or not. Then I called to the ethnic minority law center, uh, that someone gave me the phone number. And they, they said, um, because when I called them there first, they said, No, you can't apply for child benefit. And that's why I tried to apply. So I called there and they said, Look, explain the situation. Okay, I'm going to pass your transfer your call to an advisor. And then that advisor was, I explained the situation and the guy said, What is written on your BRP? That's the biometric residence permit. Is it written no public funds? Yeah. Okay, so you couldn't have applied for a child benefit or the bereavement support payment. So you were going to, did you get any payment at all? It was like, yeah, I got some payments of the bereavement support payment. So you have to return that money if your intention is to stay in the country. So, okay. And I was like, fine. Then I called them. First I called about, to talk about the child benefit, and I was like, if I'm not eligible, why did they get that letter from, you know, related, the other letter? And the person was like, um, I don't know, maybe something changed. You know, I could see clearly the person had no idea what they're talking about. And she said, you better call the home office. And I was like, it is easy to talk to the home office. Fine. Then I called. To the Department of Work and Pension and they explained all the situation. And then that person was helped. Uh, she said, uh, look, I don't understand.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

need one.

Juliana Bryson:

And she said, look, I don't understand about immigration, but I am just going to say, uh, what I, what I think is right. Uh, she said, first of all, even though, um, you are not settled in UK, we know that you have a child. Uh, it's pandemic. It's a hard time for everyone. So we We are helping you, basically. I don't remember her words. And then she said, and Sorry? Sorry.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

writing down the words to help you because it's horrible. You feel like you're opening doors or you're knocking at doors and you're begging and everybody's just saying, oh no, go to that door, go to that door, go to that door. And as you were talking, because of the nature of how Ben died, I mean, it's a very different circumstance because I'm a British national, but because of the nature of how he died, I, um, I had to repeat myself. People kept saying to me, well, we can't do anything without a death certificate. So I'm still paying out car payments, mortgage payments, things in his name. And in, I, I do some public speaking on grief and I'm in one of my presentations, an analogy I use is that it is, it is like being dropped into a foreign country with no money, no phone, no, um, translator. Um, and that literally, so I cannot imagine how frightened, how helpless, and how lost you must have felt, because I know how I felt, and it's my home country, and I am, yeah, it's made me go all kind of tingly and I, yeah, it sounds absolutely terrifying, and then, just, finally, have one person say we'll help you, what, you know, you, I bet you wanted to hug them didn't you? Excuse me.

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah. So, uh, and, and then she, she said, uh, also, I don't see a reason why you shouldn't receive the, the support payment because, uh, that is related to the national insurance number of your husband. So, anyway, and then, you know, I went through Just search on internet everywhere else and bereavement support payment is not considered a public fund. So to anyone that's listening to that and it's a situation similar of mine, don't fall on that bullshit. You can get the bereavement support payment.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And actually, they've now allowed you to backdate it if you weren't married at the time, um, so you can claim to children. But it's interesting you say this because, um, I was talking to somebody and I just And I mentioned it to somebody. I didn't know that well. It was a dad at Square Enix. And I said, Oh, I'm going to take the kids on holiday, I think they need to holiday. And he went, Oh, I'm sure the tax payers thrilled. And in that moment, I didn't react, but of course, you're very clever after the event. Hang on a minute, that was my husband's National Insurance contributions. He paid high level tax and contributions and he died at 42. Like, he never used those contributions. He never had medical treatment. And I think, hold up. Like, people are so judgmental and I think people do feel that you will be left with life insurance and the government will hold you up. And actually that isn't true. It isn't. Not in every case. Some people, maybe, but

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah, so Let

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So what did you do?

Juliana Bryson:

through. Sorry?

Rosie Gill-Moss:

So, what did you do? How did you manage? I'm just sort of talking, talking like the, uh, the practicalities really. Were you able to stay in your home? Oh,

Juliana Bryson:

that is something that I didn't have to worry about. I used to say that, uh, during the pandemic, even though, um, you know, I was in all that shitty situation, I know that I was in a much better place than many families here in the UK that, you know, lost jobs, and I, I still had some Yeah, anyway, and, uh, fortunately, of course, that woman from the citizen advice was wrong because I am getting the pension of my husband, it came quite quick, which was good, yeah,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

were eligible.

Juliana Bryson:

yeah, of course, I, you know, I, I, I, I consider if I should go back there and report that person to, you know, to the city. Had made me feel that crap, you know, because if she didn't know what she was talking about She shouldn't be there giving advice at all. So

Rosie Gill-Moss:

what? I'm writing this down. It's a really important message that we get out here because If you don't know, don't be afraid to say you don't know. Do not guess, do not give people the wrong information because you are playing God with people's lives in this situation. And quite often I'm asked something and I will honestly just say, I don't know, I don't know, I can find out and come back to you, but on the spot now, I don't know. And there's no shame in that, is there? But for some reason, people feel they have to make something up and it just makes everything so much more complicated.

Juliana Bryson:

and that's something that I was going to touch on that in a few but as you mentioned that there is one big struggle I had in this country for another reasons, but also cultural differences that British people, I won't say everyone, but many of them, they have that way that they, they say yes when they actually want to say no, and they want you to mind read and understand what they're talking, and things are not that clear for me. So, you know, that thing that People say, oh, we should have a coffee. And, well, in my mind, I was like, we should have a coffee. And they mean something completely different. And, you know, I know, for example, there is, uh, some people from my nationality that I had met here, that they complain about, exactly about the same thing. And people from other nationalities, they complain about that. And, uh, that's something that makes Things a bit harder for me as well, uh, even though I am a lot more used now, I can read people better. That, that was not straightforward for me because, uh, Tom, he was a crystal clear person. He was, uh, he was not a very typical British at this point. So when he was saying no, he really mean no. And, but, but yeah, so I, I managed to, you know, get documents. I got, I struggled to get some, but I got all the documents at the home office required. And it was about a year after Tom died, I applied for my indefinite and I had no problem. You know, uh, they said that, uh, in six months they I would get an answer, but I actually got it in three months, so it was I felt like they removed, like, a whole load of weight from my back, because I was like, okay, I am still struggling, but now I am struggling less..

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I may, um, I would If it's not too painful, I'd like to kind of talk about your son a little because losing a parent in a half, they are aware of something's happened, and they, you can talk to them in sort of age appropriate language. Now, my daughter was six months, so I couldn't really talk to her about it at the time, but I do now. Um, and now my other children are a bit older, so I don't have any direct experience of a toddler losing a parent, and I wondered if you could talk a little bit about how that was. It's

Juliana Bryson:

my experience was not a typical one because, uh, well, uh, our son was born abroad, he wasn't born here, and while we were there, uh, Tom used to speak my language there all the time. So, he was, he was listening to one language, and he was starting to develop his speech normally. When we moved here to the UK, he was one year and a half, and we noticed that he had the first speech delay. But we thought that it was just because he was listening to two languages. But at some point, we were much worried about that because my husband was a bilingual child and he Yeah, he had speech delay as well. So but then he became two years old and the speech wasn't coming. So I contacted the health visitor and Got an appointment for the speech and language And, by the time that Tom passed away, he was still non verbal. And, so, you know, I, I try to, people are all the time telling me to, to, basically, don't talk like a British, be, be crystal clear. Like, don't say, Tom, uh, passed away, dad went to heaven. They said, you have to say, dad was ill, dad died. And, uh, that's pretty much what they did. But he was non verbal, so I couldn't know how much of that he understood. The thing is that, uh, because of the pandemic, speech and language therapists, everything got in the middle. Everyone got locked inside home. I had realized that as, uh, when Tom was, uh, getting poorly, our son was getting more silent. By the time that Tom died, Uh, my son always being a fussy eater, but by the time that Tom died, he stopped eating. Uh, he would try to eat, eat stuff, uh, uh, new foods. And he, he just kept eating the same food. And I was at some point that I was already desperate. I did not know what to do. So I joined the Facebook group. I joined a Facebook group and, uh, I just wrote there asking for advice of what I was going to do, uh, to help my son to eat, basically. And then, uh, I mentioned some things like, he stick to the same sort of food, he was only going to drink juice from one specific cup and then someone else. Is your son autistic? I was like, I don't know. I didn't know anything about autism back then. And, you know, that was like, hmm, I'm going to look for that. And I started reading about autism and then I was like, well, yeah, okay, my son fits in lots of that, but hang on a minute, I am like that as well. And then more I started reading, more I would see myself. And there were some things that my son was doing when he was a child that my mother, when she was still here, she mentioned to me that she always being worried about me when I was a child. Because usually when children are going to play with the toys, they are like, they have dinosaurs in their hand and they were like, rawr, you know, doing their voices. And she said that I was always silent. It was always quiet playing. And my son was doing exactly the same thing. And anyway, to make it short, I asked the health visitor. I think, uh, I want to investigate that. And my son went through an assessment and he was diagnosed. He is autistic. Today, he was going to be seven years old this year. He is still non verbal and he is still wearing nappies. I could not, uh, toilet train him yet. Uh, even though he doesn't speak, he understands both languages, both English and Portuguese. Um Sometimes he decides to ignore both, of course, as any child would do. But if people ask me, uh, you know, what does he think about his father? I don't have a definite answer. I don't know, because he doesn't tell me. I know, and that's extremely difficult for me. Sometimes for me it's obvious that he's, I know he has a memory of home, for sure. Because when Tom died, uh, I thought it myself. Because I have memories of when I was two years old. So, but they, they are not, you know, not as much as You know, and I, I thought to myself, I'm going to spread lots of photos of Tom around the house so he will keep looking and he won't forget his face. So many times I see that he's staring at the photos, uh, you know, and one thing that my son doesn't do, and as you have an autistic child might know, when he wants something he doesn't point. He will get my hand and take my hand to whatever he wants. The only thing that he points is to photos. Because I was all the time, I would get him in my arms and I would point to our photos and I would say his nickname. I would say mommy, daddy in my language. uh, he rarely, rarely says those words. But what he used to do, he would point at the photo and he would look at me expecting me to say that. And one day, uh, he decided, he realized that he likes to make drawings. Fine. And drawing on my wall. So, I was like, I was like, you know what? I need to redecorate this flat. He's happy. I'm exhausted. I am. Yeah, I was like, I am overwhelmed. So, fine. And I just left him. right below one of the picture frames we have, he made a drawing that I can send later to you to see. Very childish drawing that you could see there are three people. One small, one medium, and one big. The small and the medium, they are looking to the big one, and the big one is looking to the other two. And he was, uh, looking, he made a drawing, and he was staring at the drawing, and he started, I saw that, he was happy that he made the drawing. And then I was like, uh, who are they? And of course, he didn't say who, where. And, and then he pointed at the, the, the drawing he made, just like when he pointed to the picture, and he looked at me. And I was like, I think he wants me to, to say that. And, and then I said his nickname when he pointed to his moan, I said, mommy, when he pointed to the medium and daddy, when he pointed to the big, and when I say Saw, said that to him, he was so happy and he was jumping and and laughing. It was just like, yay. She, she got it. And then he was like this, look into the drawing. Look into the picture. And then he was like, for five minutes, saying his nickname Mommy and Daddy. And,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

you watched the Chris Peckham series where he interviews autistic people? And one of them is He's completely non verbal and he communicates via computer. But what I found so fascinating is this assumption that if somebody cannot talk or articulate their thoughts, that they don't have them. And I'm also guilty of knowing nothing about autism until my son was diagnosed. I knew it existed, um, but I thought they would line up their cars, you know, that's no eye contact. And Hector presents differently. He presents quite typically autistic, but not in that way. And, um As soon as the doctor said to me, Oh, he's autistic. And I was like, What? Surely not. And then, like you, I went to end in my research and I've since been diagnosed and my youngest is in the process. So it's, it's very sad. And I don't, I just think it's so important for people to understand that autistic Children and adults, we can't always articulate how we feel and we might not show how we feel. It's very frustrating to argue with somebody who's autistic, isn't it, right? Because we can't, we'll just shut down. And, but what's going on inside? It often we feel things more than neurotypicals. Um, and too, he, he, he became very, um, he like, it was like a wild animal. He just, uh, he'd under like a cornered, caged animal. Um, and a lot, we, I've worked very hard and he's, he's coming on, his speech did suddenly just come on when he started school, so I, I, I could, I can't relate on that sense. But I did also have the speech and language. In fact, they came round. Um, we're asking him some very basic words and he just sort of went, Alligator. And I was like, who can talk the whole time? But, But

Juliana Bryson:

know, my son sometimes, he knows the words, but for whatever reason, he just don't say them. Like, rarely, he will, you know, something out of the blue. Like, he was one day going behind the TV. And I was telling him, get out of there. You cannot go there. And then he would leave one minute. I would turn my back to him and he would go there straight again. And he would do that again and again and again. And then at some point they told him. You can, you are not supposed to be, to go there. Why are you doing that? Uh, you, you cannot go there. And then he said, and I was telling that to him in my language. And he answered me in English. I know. And I was like, if you know that, why do you do? And then he was just giggling and you know,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And then you realise, just like all little children, my friend actually, my daughter's school, um, she is, uh, well, I think ADHD actually, but she's, um, she's not diagnosed or anything, it's a mainstream school, but it has an attached school to it called the McGuinty Speech and Language Centre, and one of my friend's children attends, and she was saying to me, like, how much she wanted to hear the word mummy, you know, she was so desperate. And then he learned the word mommy. Ha ha ha ha. All graceful.

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah, yeah, I know exactly the feeling. Sometimes he will say the word mummy, but it, he's not looking at me and calling me. So, yeah, I, I

Rosie Gill-Moss:

show any affection?

Juliana Bryson:

oh yeah, he, I would say that he's the sort of Altissio that he's the cuddly one.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Hector did.

Juliana Bryson:

a lovely boy, very clever and very cheeky as well. And one of the things that. He definitely doesn't have that, uh, one of the artistic traits that might be a bit clumsy, if I said that word correctly. he absolutely, his motor skills are excellent. Like, one day, uh,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

goat.

Juliana Bryson:

yeah, like, for,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

climb and go.

Juliana Bryson:

exactly, yeah, and he's fast.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

curiosity,

Juliana Bryson:

So he, he studies, and he waits for that millisecond of destruction. And as soon as you get that millisecond of destruction, he will use that opportunity to do something. Like, for example, he tries, he does that at home when I am in the toilet. Or when he was in the nursery, there was one day, I was going there to pick him up, and there was a mother with one of the child that was from the same group of him, and the child said, uh, he went on the roof! And I was like, what? And what happened was that, you know, the nursery staff looked away and he climbed the wall and he went on the roof to shadow the neighbor. Uh, another day, the

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I know we touched on benefits earlier, and it just popped into my head. It's because of the climbing on the roof thing, actually. Do you get disability living allowance for him?

Juliana Bryson:

Uh, yeah.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Yeah. Good. It's only because a lot of people don't know that you can, because it's not means tested. But it is available if your child meets the threshold for support. And I found it very helpful when I was, you know, on my own and struggling financially. So, I You're, you're, you're on it, but I just, it popped into my head and, uh, the ADHD does what the ADHD wants.

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah. Yeah, so, yeah, I am I am getting that. So, yeah, another day at the nursery, uh, I got there and they said that they had an inspection. On that day, and they were reproved on the inspection because they were going to take the kids out to have a walk on that day. And when the inspector asked something to the nursery staff, nursery staff went going to answer the inspector, looked away, and my son went to the door, front door, and left. So, yeah, so, one day, it was like three weeks ago, I woke up. Uh, and I saw that he wasn't on bed. Usually when that happens, I, uh, I could hear that he was playing the tablet or doing something. And I was only hearing, I couldn't hear anything, it was just silence. When I standed up, uh, he was ready to leave home. And the door was actually open. And, and he was looking, like, back, like, I'm going. And I told him, come back, and as soon as I said come back, he threw the door. The good thing is that I live in a building that he would have to open the door downstairs. I had to live the way I was dressed, you know, and I was sleeping, so I was only with shorts and knickers. I was glad that no neighbor was there, so I was like, I need to call Locksmith to change that because he learned how to open it. And yeah, so anyway, uh, yeah. So, uh, when we had the autism assessment, that's something that, uh, people ask me if I am, uh, uh, diagnosed. They say that I am more or less. Diagnosed because, uh, the people, uh, the, the, all the doctors related to his diagnosis, when I went, took him back to the assessment, they were testing him for lots of things and noise, for example, there was a little bunny there that would do a high pitch noise. And my son was perfectly fine. And it was like, please turn it off. And the doctors, you know, the, yeah. And, you know, talking to, to the doctors there, they said, well, we cannot diagnose you, but by what we, we see, how you reacted here, how the things you talk about yourself, uh, I think there is a very high chance that, uh, you are autistic. And my counselor, uh, she said she worked for, I think, 20 years only with autistic people. And she said, I cannot give a formal diagnose, but Yeah, so I am still on the waiting list, uh, sorry.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

have a non clinical diagnosis, because I don't require assistance or benefits or anything like that. I just did it because I wanted to know for me. I have a clinical ADHD diagnosis, which I needed for the medication, but I think there's just a, there is a power in knowing. I parent detector differently. immediately. Even my parents who were living with me at the time, my dad, who's of a different generation, he said he now views children having tantrums differently because they might be meltdowns. And I think it acknowledges power, isn't it? You know, I have reams and reams of books on parenting autistic children, being an autistic adult. Um, sometimes I even open the books. Um, but it's. The more you learn, the better parent you can be. And it sounds to me like you are a very, very dedicated mother who will do anything to support her son. And I think he's very lucky to have you.

Juliana Bryson:

Thank you. I, I have the constant feeling that I, I am a failure, many times,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Oh, me too, all the time. I feel like I've let them down, I've failed. Yeah, you feel like the one job you have as a mother is to protect them and we weren't able to do it. It's very difficult. So it's very difficult. What, what does life look like for you now, may I ask? How, how are you?

Juliana Bryson:

yeah, I, I would say that, uh, even though I don't have an official diagnosis, knowing that improves me a lot, because I just feel That I am not a weirdo. Uh, I, I am what I am. Uh, one of the things that I was worried was, um, how can I take care of a autistic child if I am myself and weirdo? Uh, and, but then the doctor told me something that I thought of myself. That's true. She said that in my case, specifically, and you probably think that as well, Uh, it's good that we are, uh, neurodivergent, uh, as our child because Uh, when they are struggling, we actually can understand them better. You don't try to force them into a situation that it, it will, we know that they will struggle. So, uh, that's, uh, one of the things. Uh, I still, I am rediscovering myself, basically. Uh, I am, I am, uh, that's something I wrote, uh, yesterday because coincidentally, not coincidentally, yesterday was my, my widowhood anniversary. So I wrote the text. So I, uh, one of the ways I used to express myself is Even though I struggle speaking, so when I write, I have my time to process everything and everyone said, you write so beautifully, you should write a book. So I was writing a text to him, just like a letter, uh, for him. And I said that after he died, uh, life became great for me. And now I am, I'm being able to slowly add some colors, but they, and I know that some other colors will come, but they won't be as vibrant as they used to be. And, uh, but something that, uh, I still have to learn is that we are widow, we are vulner vulnerable and being neurodivergent also make us struggle even more on that. I used to say that, uh, the widowhood and, uh, being, uh, autistic, they, they both have some similarity that both are a masking game.'cause people ask you, how are you? And you have to say, I'm fine when you are not. So, and being autistic is the same thing because you have many times to force to be someone that you were not just to be able to cope daily.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

just to exist in the world.

Juliana Bryson:

you.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

And I think this, the reason I'm so passionate about early diagnosis is because I wasn't diagnosed to my forties. So the support that I'm needing to offer Hector and the, um, the knowledge and the empathy and the equity, you know, um, because his diet is very limited. So I have to kind of explain to the children that no, you can't just eat crisps. But it's. I, the earlier the diagnosis and the more you know, the kinder you become because I felt like I lived my life through a screen and everybody I speak to who has been diagnosed later says the same thing and so it's something I am quite passionate about. And I might be doing an offshoot podcast on so if you, maybe we'll talk a little about that later. Um. But yes, it is, it is incredibly challenging and to be autistic, to be a foreigner in another land and to have your husband die, you know, those are, I mean, talk about the triple threat, but you have, you're still here, you're still here and you're putting your foot in down on the floor every day and your head up high and, and you are supporting a son with profound needs. And it's not easy. It's not easy. No matter how easy we can make it look, it's incredibly hard. And I just want, sometimes I just, I just want Ben. I just, I, I text him. My phone is full of texts because he would know what to do. Um, and it's really lonely when you lose your best friend and your other half.

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah. Yeah. It indeed is. I have having to take decisions all on my own and Tom used to say that was terrible to take decisions so it was usually him, uh, you know,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Awful! I, I just, I actually stood in the school playground on the day that Ben had died. I didn't know if he had died at this point. And I said, Oh, you know, if Ben dropped dead tomorrow, I'd have no idea how to pay the electric bill. I mean, There we are. And turns out, I had no idea how to pay the electric bill, but I figured it out. We figure it out, right? That's

Juliana Bryson:

The thing is that, uh, Tom put everything on the direct debt so he didn't have to do anything about that. So that's, that's one of the things.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

all. I see.

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Julia, unless you have anything that you would like to say, or anything that you would like to talk about, um, I'm aware that I have, I've, I've kind of pulled loads of information out of you today, so I don't want to kind of overdo it. Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about?

Juliana Bryson:

um, yeah, if we have time, so

Rosie Gill-Moss:

have time. Time to talk to my widows.

Juliana Bryson:

yeah, so I would just, I would just talk a little bit about vulnerability because, um, one of the things that I don't know if it happens to you when, for example, I am on Instagram and I started to follow a page about widowhood. Uh, right after I started to, I started to get lots of inbox messages of scammers, basically. Hi, you are beautiful, and, you know, that's one of the things. And when, even though you think that you might be very smart, you mi

Rosie Gill-Moss:

They're always from Texas, have you noticed?

Juliana Bryson:

Mm, yeah.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

These Um

Juliana Bryson:

and uh, but even though you think, no, I am smart enough to not let any toxic person get anywhere near you, uh, that might still happen. So there were some friendships that were, had a real bad impact, uh, on me, I would say. So, uh, one of them was a person that I thought it was a friend, um, and one day that person was here, and my son was sleepy, and then I said, uh, I'm going to take him to have a nap and then we can watch a film together and fine. And okay, when my son fell asleep, I came to the TV room and my computer was on and that person was in the toilet and it was like, well, if the, as we're going to watch a movie, I will turn off the computer. Because no point to, you know, electricity, you know. And then that person came, left the toilet, and I was like, Okay, let's watch a movie, and then, uh, Did you turn off the computer? He was like, yeah. No, I was doing upload. And I was like, what are you uploading? Uh, look at that, how that person was. And I couldn't see that at that point. The person said that, uh, they were worried about that I could lose my documents. So, to increase my safety. They were uploading my documents from the computer to their cloud. And, uh, you know, the good thing is that I don't save any documents on my documents folder. And that was what that person did. And I was like, let me see. And I started to laugh and it was like, you uploaded a whole load of crap that I don't want even on my computer. You know, that person didn't manage to get any important document for myself. But at that moment, I could not see that, which, which intention that person had. Uh, and then after a while, that person was telling me, Oh, I'm doing, I, I put my money in the stock market, started to say wonderful things about stock market, and then said, Oh, I, uh, would you like to try stock market? And it was like, nah, I won't. That's the sort of thing Tom wouldn't do. And then I won't as well. And they said, uh, no, but I can help you on that. And I was like, no, I'm fine, thank you. And then they kept insisting, not wanting to ask how much you have in your bank account, but do you have at least 20, 000 pounds? And I was like, I'm not going to, yeah. And the good thing, I was going through counseling back then. And even though I couldn't see, because for whatever reason, now it's obvious, of course. Uh, the person alerted me. The counselor said, you know, go away. And then, probably when they realized that I was not as vulnerable as they thought I was, you know, widow, immigrant, um, took distance. They started to dislike me. And I didn't see anymore and then I, I was like, okay, so now I am, uh, more immune to people that, you know, may cause me any harm, but no, then the few, some months later, I had to go through a operation. Um, it's a very simple operation. I had to get my gallbladder removed. Uh, even though I, I was telling the social work, I need help with my son, because if I need, you know, it would be in the. I would come back home on the same day, but we never know, I could have to be hospitalized. And I was telling the social worker, I need help with my son, and I started telling them that on February. My operation was in September, and like 10 days before the operation, they didn't get anyone to help me. They didn't help me with that. And then when I messaged them, look, we are getting short of time, because my intention was they would help me to get a foster care. For that evening or for whatever, how much time I would, I would need. And so I would take my son there to get used with the people and they just answered me. Uh, sorry, we don't have anyone available. I know that they are short on carers and stuff, but I was like, I was telling them since February that I, I was, I need to be operated. But anyway, then there were two people that I met here that were from the same nationality as mine. Uh, one of them, very nice people, but she couldn't, she could only stay during the one evening because her, unfortunately, she's also eligible to join this. Crap. A club we are, because her husband is ill as well. And the other one is a solo mother that has an autistic child, so you would think that she is understand you. Uh, anyway, uh, just to make the story short, she was constantly coming here at home because she had to help me after my operation, which was great, but at the same time that she was helping me, she was belittling me all the time, very condescending, that's the word. Yeah, so I, I really got stressed, like a friend of mine said, she's the sort of person that will get to you and she has a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a bomb on the other. So, and, uh, yeah, I, I, you know, I, I, that was, I was living hell. Then after the operation I started to feel pain on my back, went to the doctor, went to the hospital. I had chest infection and I had to be hospitalized for a week. And of course my biggest worry was my son. When I went to the, and I was like, you know, we do everything, and then who is going to take care of my son? Because, uh, even though there is the family of my late husband here, none of them lives near me. So there was no one that could really come here to give me the support I need. And, and when I went to the doctor complaining about back pain, I, I didn't think that I was going to be hospitalized. So I had called that friend of mine and I asked her, could you just be in my place just when he, my son is going to be dropped from school? And she, yeah, and unfortunately, I didn't come back home. I had to be hospitalized. So I contacted a social worker, and I said, I explained the situation, because I didn't know if she could have my son, because even though her son is already a teenager. But he's autistic. He has his needs as well. So I contacted social work and explained the situation. My son is with her, but I don't know if she will be able to. So I really need your help. I'm not at home. I cannot go back home. And everything, he was saying that everything is alright. No, what started to happen, that friend of mine, I gave her phone number to my mom, so my mom could video call her and see my son. She was angry that I contacted social work because I Uh, she said, your daughter doesn't trust me. My, my mother, uh, told me that. And there were lots of other things, like, they said, no, you have to stay longer on the, the hospital. So, I was like, I, I need people to, someone to bring some stuff for me. I didn't have toothbrush, I didn't have anything. So I called her, and I asked her, could you please, Go to my place and take some stuff. And one of the things I asked was my tablet, because I like to draw. Drawing is a way to control my grief, my mental sanity, you know. That's good for me, for my mental health. And I was very specific with lots of things, and she She didn't get the stuff I asked, she put things that I didn't ask, like she put a waterproof jacket on my bag And I was like what I'm going to do with a waterproof jacket inside a hole And she did not, and I distressed a lot Please I want my tablet, my iPad, and she didn't put my iPad there And then the other, then it was the other person from my nationality that was going to take my stuff with me, for me And then she said I don't know her well, but I did not like how she was speaking about you. Like, uh, I, I asked her, no, she wants a tablet, and she said, no, she doesn't need a tablet. Why does she need a tablet? She has her mobile phone. And I was like, it's not that I asked her to, you know, I want, uh, something, you know, very difficult. She literally just had to get the tablet and put inside the bed. And, you know,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

a grown up. You don't need your screen time limiting.

Juliana Bryson:

Yeah, and, and, other things like, you know, you were in the hospital, you were recovering, she was video calling me every hour. And they thought something happened to my son. And then I was going to answer the phone. No, she was just talking crap, or saying I'm not going to give the biscuits your son wants. And I was like,

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Give him the dance!

Juliana Bryson:

why not? Yeah, and I was like, why not? Because she said, in her mind, uh, I was happy that he, he was still an atheist. In her mind it wasn't me offering, you know, all the judgments that you know. Even though she had his own theistic child, she was doing that crap to me. And, uh, you know, uh, I forgot I got lost. My thoughts now, uh, yeah, so she called me one day and she said, Oh, I had to go to the supermarket to, to buy this person. I had to go to the supermarket and she was all the time saying that and it was like, do you want me to do an order on Tesco here and deliver in your home? So you don't need to spend your money with my son. And she didn't want my, she didn't want, and she said, no, no, no, no, that's okay. That's okay. Because she was the sort of person that she wants to help you and throw that at your face. And no, doesn't need. And the following day, yeah, on the following day, what I knew from the other, uh, friend of mine, she went to Tesco alone and she left my son alone at home with her son. And her son is that sort of autistic people that can be violent.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Wow. And how old was this?

Juliana Bryson:

He, he's 14 years old, but he, his mind, he is not mature enough for 14 years old, and he is a big guy. Yeah, he's, he's a very big guy, strong boy, that sometimes he beats up his own mom. And she, she left him alone with my son, that is a six year old. And, you know, I was really mad when I heard about that. And anyway, um, and there are other lies after that. She, you know, like, it doesn't, it doesn't worth it to go through that here on the podcast. But, but it was just like thinking. this shit situation you are because you really need help. I don't have a support here just like she doesn't have support as well and instead of we helping each other She was fucking in my mind, you know, and

Rosie Gill-Moss:

It's the thing, it's so difficult to ask for help and it's really scary to ask for help as well because we want to be independent and we want to do this ourselves but widowhood forces you into a place of vulnerability and you no longer have, as you described, you know, and actually I'm thinking of Lulu here because she has to have her girl brother. She's been, it's been cancelled several times, annoyingly, but the logistics that goes into arranging for somebody to have her daughter. Now she's born here, she has four siblings, so it should be easy, but of course they have children, they have jobs. And, so for someone who has no network to ask for support, and then to be, to have your trust broken actually, to trust your child, your most precious thing to somebody, and for them to potentially put them in harm's way, I, I, I think, yeah, I think I would feel very betrayed actually, and not like I wanted to ever trust anybody again.

Juliana Bryson:

yeah. So since then, I, I tried to contact her because, um, yeah, I, I cannot trust her. That really annoyed me, annoyed the hell out of me, to be totally honest.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

I guess really, all that I would want to ask you now is, is what advice you would perhaps have for anybody in your situation, you know, because you can't be the only one. You can't be the only person that's, in fact, I, there's a woman at the school, hello Vanessa, if you're listening, and um, she met a guy online, moved to America to be with him, had children with him, and he died. So she then had to come back to the UK and live with her mum and dad. So a little bit different in that she came back, but the whole re and people who have to have bodies repatriated. You know, I thought my husband's death was complicated and then, yeah, I'm, you hear that other people, the talking points I've written down here are sort of the loneliness, the isolation, the lack of support, you know, it's very, very scary.

Juliana Bryson:

yeah. And doing that during the pandemic was definitely not easy. Mm

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Oh, even worse, even worse. But you are here, and you are literally here to tell your tale, because you have told your tale. And I and our listeners will be, are very, very, very grateful because this is something I had no idea about. You know, I've never experienced this aspect of losing somebody. And I do relate to the vulnerability, I do. I was sort of, felt like I was being circled a little bit by men in the early days. Not in a good way either. People would stop inviting me out, and it's like, because, ooh, you're the single widow, and I'm like, I don't want to have anything to do with you, big fat Barry, thanks. But, it was, it, it, the whole concept of widowhood is isolation, and this is what we want to do here, is create this tribe and network, and you are now part of our tribe, you, I mean, you were always part of the tribe, um, and I hope very much that you might make it to Woodstock this year, uh, we're still having to go ahead, and, um, And stay in touch. You have my number. Stay in touch. Okay. This is not the end. We don't say goodbye here and never speak again. You will, you'll get your, all right, with the bong that is made during these conversations. It's, um, yeah, so there's something special. So for now, I, I'm going to say goodbye, but it is just for now and I will definitely be in touch again. Thank you for being brave enough to come on.

Juliana Bryson:

very much for the chance to tell my story.

Rosie Gill-Moss:

Sorry, it took so long to get there. Um, and for our listeners, I know that many of you are still battling so much and I just want you to know that you are, as I've just said to Juliana, you're part of the tribe and reach out. We're here. Okay? Take care, everybody. Lots of love.

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