A weekend in Devon

I’ve just come home from a really lovely weekend away in Devon. It was however, a weekend I was looking forward to and dreading in equal measures.

The plan for the weekend was first hatched a couple of days after Bob’s funeral in early June, with a group of close friends from the village… Friends who I (and we) love/loved spending time with.

At the time, this weekend seemed like a great idea but, as it drew closer I was feeling extremely anxious about going back to a place that Bob loved, with friends he loved… without him.

The day before I was due to go I actually felt physically sick…really…physically sick… so much so I almost pulled out of going altogether. Having done this grief thing for few months now I knew the emotions it would evoke in me and I wondered if I could hold it all together. I was acutely aware that I didn’t want to spoil the weekend for everyone else…I wanted to be good company (I like being good company!) It was a friend’s Birthday too and I wanted it to be a happy time as Birthdays should be!

I’ve never considered myself a particularly selfish person but, the fact is grief makes you selfish…it’s all consuming. I’ve never felt grief like this before but I’ve learned that you become so consumed by it you lose sight of how other people are hurting too, missing him too!

Alone at home I’ve been so wrapped up in my pain, my loss I’d forgotten how hard this weekend was going to be for everyone else there too….The sense that he should have been there…and, he would have loved it! (And he really would have!)

We all felt this …and expressed it at some point or other during the weekend, either individually or collectively. It made me cry, a lot! happy tears as well as sad, but I’m so glad that we were all able to talk about him and say how we were all feeling. For some weeks now I’ve felt that most people don’t talk to me about Bob unless I bring him up in conversation… cautious of upsetting me perhaps! And, although I know people do this for all the right reasons, I want to talk about him. We did this, this weekend… not all the time mind, but it was there!

Others who have been through similar grief tell me that when someone you love dies dealing with the “first” of everything is the hardest. This was another first! …there will no doubt be many more (can’t even bear to think about Christmas!). I can’t pretend this first wasn’t hard…it was but, in saying all this…

It was a GOOD weekend.

The sun shone, the wine flowed, the food was great and the company was fabulous. This weekend a group of very good friends shared happy times, laughed (a lot!) and made new memories, which is what life should be all about! I came home feeling refreshed and energised (after a kip on the sofa) I have lovely pictures and will have lovely memories that will make me smile for a long time to come!

I learned something too. I learned however lonely this grief journey feels at times, you don’t always have to be alone. Good friends, if you let them, are always there for you, good friends can always make you smile and laugh… and really good friends don’t care how much you cry!


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About Oxfordshire Family Support Network

Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OxFSN) is a not-for-profit organisation run by and for family carers of people with learning disabilities – both children and adults. Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OXFSN) was set up in 2007 by family carers who wanted to use their experience to help others in the same situation, based on our belief that family carers are experts by their lived experience.
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