Kate Banks Siegler

Kate's 3.5 years, 3.5 x marathon walk for WAY

Fundraising for WAY - Widowed And Young
raised of £920 target
by 68 supporters
In memory of Jonathan Siegler
WAY - Widowed And Young

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1164988
We provide a peer-to-peer support network to help anyone widowed aged 50 or under


Grief is like a marathon....

On 27th August 2020 it will be 3.5 years (1278 days) since my world shattered when my beloved husband JJ died.

In his memory and to raise vital funds for WAY, I am walking the distance of 3.5 marathons, to mark the 3.5 years since Jonnie died. It represents the marathon of grief that I have walked so far, which I wouldn't have been able to endure without the invaluable support I have received from this wonderful charity.

When your partner dies, the grief is inexplicably crippling. It physically hurt so much that I then understood the literal meaning of heart break. All of our shared plans and dreams and the future we had planned together were lost. I felt so alone, fragile, bewildered and utterly devastated. I cried every single day for a year, often on the train behind huge sunglasses or when trying to fall asleep at night in my empty bed. I had terrible insomnia and was often awake well into the night. My memory was affected so badly I thought I was actually going insane in the first few days and weeks. 

I had anxiety travelling on crowded trains and buses due to my hyper-vigilance caused by the trauma and when I'd previously been such an outgoing sociable person, felt too overwhelmed to go to any parties or events. 3 months after he died my hair started to fall out and I lost about a third of it. I no longer felt able to cook and it was a year before I made more than a ready meal (or crumpets).

Throughout the last 3.5 years, the other young people that I have met through WAY have supported me every step of the way. Helping me to understand that my emotions and the physical effects were normal, giving me advice when needed and a safe space where I could share and continue to talk.

Whilst the daily tears have subsided, the hair has grown back, my memory has improved and I have started cooking again; after your partner dies you have to move forward, you don't move on.

A great analogy is that the acceptance of grief is like having a pebble in your shoe. You just work it and work it until it's at its most comfortable spot... and you just keep walking. Grief never goes away entirely, there is no quick fix, no short route to take, it's a marathon of working that pebble and carrying on walking. On difficult days the pain is still acute and can be debilitating as you feel knocked off your feet by the huge waves, but mostly it is 'just noticeably there' and whilst my life has moved forward hugely since that day and I am happy a lot of the time, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him and miss him hugely.

Throughout the last 3+ years of being a member of WAY, I have met many other young people in my situation, each who have lost their loved one far too young. Each of them has a heartbreaking story to tell, each walking their own marathon of grief and taking the time to support one another on their journey. They understand and they get it.

The CV19 pandemic is hugely affecting charities as their key fundraising events usually held over the Summer months having all been cancelled, some businesses are unable to donate where they would usually and other income streams have dried up. We are also having more members join us as they have lost their partners to this awful disease.

That is why, between 1st July and 31st August, I will be walking the distance of 3 and a half marathons - that's 92 miles / 148 kilometers, in memory of Jonnie, raising money for WAY and ensuring that anyone else who is eligible to be a member finds WAY, is able to access this fantastic support.

I know it's not a huge distance to some, but it's a challenge for me and any £1 you're able to spare to help is appreciated so so much. 

£2 pays for a WAY member to have access to the WAY support helpline providing 1:1 telephone advice and counselling (24 hrs a day/365 days a year)

£5 pays for marketing materials to reach out to 100 young bereaved people who could benefit from joining WAY.

£25 pays for a grieving person who can not afford the membership fee, to join WAY for a year.

£50 pays for a memorial fund donation to help fund a place for a WAY member who’s struggling to attend a WAY event.

Thank you so so much xx

About the charity

WAY - Widowed And Young

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1164988
WAY offers a peer-to-peer support to anyone whose partner died when they were aged 50 or under, married or not, with or without children, inclusive of sexual orientation, gender, race and religion.

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