On Father's Day, we wanted to share WAY Widowed and Young member David's story about coping as a widowed dad.
"I have three boys aged 10, 12 and 14. My life totally changed four years ago on 26 June 2018. My wife Diana was 36 and had Asthma, although she had never been hospitalised. She was suffering with a cough and was struggling a bit due to the hot weather on this particular day. In the morning, I asked if she should go back to the doctor, but she said she felt ok and had an appointment the next day.
Later that evening again I checked to see if she was OK as I was going out with my eldest to play bowls. We were the only ones at the club and my phone was turned off. The club phone kept ringing but I thought nothing of it. After a while I did go and answer and was informed I needed to come home as soon as possible.
On returning home, I was met by police, ambulance response and air ambulance. With all their, efforts unfortunately they couldn’t save my wife, who had had a massive asthma attack.
My younger two sons were at home and witnessed their Mum in difficulty and raised the
alarm with the neighbours. The hardest thing I had to do was to tell Diana’s family that she had passed. It was the most horrible moment ever. The boys’ grandpa passed away a year earlier and my eldest didn’t take it too well.
After time, we just got on with it, with some support, although this was hard to come by.
I have gone through counselling, which has helped me loads and I joined WAY, which has been there for me through those darkest times giving advice and support. I’ve been out to some WAY group events before the pandemic and hope to do so again. WAY has never judged people as we all suffer in different ways – sometimes you just need to
have a good rant. Everyone has a different story to tell and are at different stages of grief.
The boys keep me busy with all different things going on – whether it’s playing bowls, playing football or watching football. Nowadays I only work part time during school hours as I work as a Support Worker. I used to be full time but can’t do that anymore. Childcare is just too expensive. And the fact the middle child has learning difficulties adds more pressure.
I am turning 50 this year and it felt like the right time to do special things with the boys as life is too short, as we all know.
As for Father’s Day, obviously it would be nice just to get a card saying thank you but I tend to just buy myself a big bar of chocolate. My advice to other widowed dads on Father’s Day is to find something that you think might be fun to do with the kids, even if it’s just watching a film together with some popcorn."
If you are struggling this Father's Day, please reach out to other WAY members who understanding.