The last two and a half years, since Claytie died in July 2020 have been the craziest kind of roller coaster that life can throw at anyone. The boys and I have had to learn to live without the most significant person in our world, and we have had to navigate around the monumental fallout from that day. We have had lessons in all kinds of things – the good, the bad and the ugly! For the most part we have learned a whole lot about life, not all of the lessons have been kind, but they also haven’t been all bad.

Through all of the chaos that has happened, there have been people in our world that have been anchors for us. Their support, unconditional love, loyalty and guidance has been pivotal in getting us through the rough patches that could so easily have broken us completely. With their support the boys and I have pulled together in ways that I would never have expected and are a stronger team than ever.

My mum and Dad have been the most unwavering in their support. I can honestly say that I don’t know where/how I would be now without them. They have guided, advised, loved, and criticised when necessary. They have been my cheer squad, therapists, and help with house and garden. They have been absolutely unconditional with their love and support of the boys, and it has been so nice to see their relationships go from strength to strength. They have been our rocks and we are unbelievably lucky to have them.

My sisters, brother and brothers-in-law have also never let us down. From the quietly supportive ‘you’ve got this’ and ‘chins up’, to help with the overwhelming paperwork and black tape that comes after someone you love dies. We have had help to sell cars, build bedrooms and prune the garden. I have never had to question the love and loyalty that they bring, they are always there when we need them, and I am so grateful that they are part of our world.

We are also incredibly lucky to have the most amazing friends that have been on this ride with us. They have picked us up, held and cried with us, they have shared laughs and happy times along with disappointment, anger and outrage. They have been loud, and they have been quiet. They have been non-judgemental, and I have felt unconditional love from them both for myself and the boys. Their support has given strength when we have needed it most and I am so very thankful for them.

Then there are the boys… and there actually aren’t enough words to say how proud I am of the extraordinary men that they have become. They have had to face the most devastating thing in their lives, and they have had to recalibrate around the enormity of that loss, and the other losses that have come as part of the fallout. Each of them has felt Claytie’s absence and the trauma his death brought differently, and they have all dealt with it in varying ways, but it has brought them and me so much closer together. They have held me together when it would have been easier to fall apart. There is a strength within them that has blown me away and I am beyond grateful and proud that I get to call them mine!

And lastly, post number 75! Wow, who would have thought this would turn out to be what it has! Thank you for your interest, encouragement and support in what has been the very best kind of therapy for me. I love that I get to clear my head each week and share my experience in this grief journey. I am grateful and lucky that I have this outlet for the chaos that is in my head. I love and appreciate the part you play in my world. xx

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