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


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.



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.