On 28th May last year, my life changed forever when my wonderful husband, Jon, collapsed and died whilst climbing Ben Nevis with his friends. He died of an undiagnosed heart condition for which he had no symptoms. All of our future plans and dreams were shattered in that instant and after 20 years together I was devastated beyond belief and frightened about the future. The hardest part was my children Zach and Orla having to find out in the most brutal way imaginable and watching their little faces and heart-breaking reaction as they learned that their amazing, kind, fun-loving daddy had died. This moment will live with me forever.
Nine months on, getting through this year of firsts, we have been through some dark times but are getting stronger every day and feeling more positive about our future, although there will be lots more wobbles along the way. Jon was full of life and laughter, above all we want to make him proud. We know that he would want us to be happy and live life to the full. We are getting there slowly with the help of our amazing family and friends who I can‘t thank enough for their support.
I want something good to come from this which is why I am fundraising for Once Upon a Smile children‘s bereavement charity. Once Upon A Smile has helped Zach and Orla immensely, keeping Jon’s memory alive through fantastic craft activities and ensuring we talk about him every day. Mixing regularly with other bereaved children has made them more confident in the knowledge that they are not the only ones and seeing them playing happily together makes me so thankful. The charity also offers much needed financial assistance (help with funeral costs, grocery shopping and utility bills, these things can become a huge struggle creating even more stress and worry) and respite breaks with the intention of helping to forget about worries and create new, fun, memories.
I am taking part in 3 sporting events: -
(1) The Manchester Marathon (as a relay team with Jon’s work colleagues) on 8th April.
(2) The Delamere Commando Trail with my team; the Carney Army (made up of family members and our friends) on 1st July.
(3) The Bournemouth to Boscombe pier to pier open water swim on 15th July.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for all your support.
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