It’s been exactly one month since the love of my life was taken from me and our children.

(Fuck you Cancer! Let it be know … The cure is coming to kick you in the bollocks sooner than you think!)

I’ve received so many beautiful messages from my lovely Facebook friends and my Instagram Followers. Thank you so much for taking the time to send me your condolences and your virtual hugs.

I am truly grateful for everything I have received. I really have been showered abundantly with love from all corners of the globe, and words cannot express how much I appreciate each and every one of you.

And it’s this space of gratitude that I have spent most of the last 30 days in.

Not sadness.

Not trauma.

Not despair.

Not victimhood.

Now wallowing.

But in full on gratefulness.

And do you know what, I have been happy too.

And I am not afraid to admit it.

Now, that may make some of you uncomfortable.

Or make you feel a little judgemental of me, maybe something like this is crossing your mind … 'you’ve just lost your husband of 11 years, the father of your children, your friend, your lover, your rock … and YOU'RE HAPPY! WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?!’

And that’s ok. I totally get it … I think I should be a weeping mess wallowing in tear-drenched sheets too … but I am not, and I think it’s because I AM grateful.

Not grateful that he died - come on, I ain't that much of a heartless cow!

But grateful that he is no longer in pain.

Grateful he slipped away peacefully with a smile on his face.

Grateful for the fact he wasn’t alone at the end, that he was surrounded by wonderful nurses who loved him too.

Grateful for my awakened spiritual state that has helped me to find peace, connection, and humour in it all.

Grateful for the love and generosity I have been shown since.

Grateful for the 11 wonderful years we had together and the 2 children he blessed me with.

But the piece that makes me truly grateful … and it’s the bit I have been SO thankful for over the last month ... but was not at all grateful for at the time … I am grateful for the time we had to prepare, acclimatise and get used to being a family of 3 when we were still a 4some.

Dan was admitted to hospital on the day he was diagnosed with throat cancer, Valentines Day 2018. Despite the odds he fought the good fight as fiercely as he could, coping with the shitty effects of chemo and radiotherapy whilst trying to be a good dad and husband.

But every month he was readmitted to hospital and stayed in for about 10 days usually. At the time I hated this. Before that, the only times we had ever been apart was the 4 nights I was in hospital following the birth of our son, the 1 night needed to have our daughter, and the 5 days I had to go away for a compulsory work training when I was working in finance.

Yes, in 10.5 years we had been together, we had only ever been apart 10 nights.

Now he was doing that every month … and yet I was grateful because we had him at home for the other two-thirds.

And it was those regular periods apart that I think has made the last month bearable. Dare I say it, easy! We weren’t thrown into a shock situation we hadn’t experienced before. We had experienced this. Regularly. We had adapted and we had found peace as a 3some when it was necessary … and for that I am truly grateful.

It’s allowed us to create a new normal easier. Quicker. With less pain. Less guilt. Less tears. Less anger.

We were even able to go away for a week, to have fun and enjoy our new family size (and cope with the challenges of it too).

We wouldn’t be in this space of peace and gratitude if we hadn’t been lucky enough to have got used to it first … whilst it was still a choice, not a necessity.

We didn’t know it at the time but the universe was preparing us for what lay ahead. I know now that it was for our greater good. The kids and I have been able to acknowledge whats happened with clear heads. We have been able to take part in the post-death rituals like Dan wanted us to, and we have opened up a line of spiritually-open communication that empowers us all to speak what's on our minds and to ask the questions others may find uncomfortable.

I would NEVER chosen to become a widow; to lose the love of my life.

BUT despite it all I can see the good.

I can see the light in the darkness.

To be honest, I couldn't have asked for a more peaceful, more loving or more open start to my widowhood.

And for that I am truly grateful.

(And for the visits I have already been lucky enough to receive from him )

It’s been exactly one month since the love of my life was taken from me and our children. (Fuck you Cancer! Let it be...

Posted by Gemma Venn on Sunday, 19 August 2018

A Month of Widowhood spent in Gratitude

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