Grief | Loss | Widowed Young

Getting Through the First Summer After My Wife Died

I was in denial because it was too painful to face

Alan AJ
3 min readMay 2, 2024

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On a day trip with my children in August 2013, we spotted this squirrel near the crazy golf course in Stanley Park, Blackpool. Author’s photo

In the summer of 2013, I was in the early stages of grieving the loss of my wife Jane. Having lost my mum five years earlier, I felt very alone.

Today, when I glance through my journal, I see that three days after Jane died, I was on tooth fairy duty when my youngest son lost his 5th baby tooth.

It was a stark reminder of how young my boys were, and that life goes on.

There was a lot of avoidance on my part.

I threw myself into being as active as possible so I would rarely have time to stop and think about the reality of the situation. That is, apart from when I was alone in bed each night.

There was a tremendous amount of administrative work to do, such as organising the funeral and closing bank accounts. I alternated between behaving like a busy office worker and being a blubbering wreck.

While I did much of my crying in the shower, I didn’t go out of my way to hide my feelings from my children. We were all grieving and I wanted them to know it was okay to not be okay about what had happened.

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Alan AJ

One day I'll think of something good to put here. For now, just know I'm 50-something years old and I keep writing about life.