Death of wife leaving me with 3 young children

(27 Posts)
lonelydaddy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:46:40

Hi everyone

I am now officially a widow at 40 years old after losing my stunning wife to cancer in only 3 months. She leaves me with her legacy of three gorgeous children - a newborn baby, a 5 year old and a 3 year old. Would love to hear similar stories or advice regarding bereavement of young parents.

I am also looking to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer and raise money towards Cancer Research. Find out more at my Just Giving Page at www.justgiving.com/sarah-nixon-newcastle

So sorry to hear this. I have no experience of this, but you might find Winston's Wish helpful for advice/ counselling. All the best.

Leather Fri 08-Feb-13 23:50:20

Ive no advice to offer you sadly, just wanted to say Im so sorry to hear that.
You're in the right place though. Someone with some practical help will be along soon I'm sure of it smile

kissmyheathenass Fri 08-Feb-13 23:56:06

I'm so sorry. how terribly cruel. That shouldn't have happened.my heart goes out to you and your children.

I am sure you will find support here. There is a bereavement section on here, sadly its quite a busy board. I wish you strength in the coming years bringing up your 3 lovely children.

HerrenaHarridan Sat 09-Feb-13 00:41:38

Welcome smile
I'm sorry you've had such a rotten time. You must still be reeling from it all.
Your doing the right thing by reaching out to people.
My top tips on being a lone parent are;
1) treat yourself sometimes ( even if its just a bath)
2) make life easier for yourself wherever possible ( be it rinsing dishes before you stack or paying a fiver a month for a window cleaner)
3) never be afraid to ask for help and always look for opportunities to return the favour.
I hope you have good support in real life... And there's always us horrible lot!
smile

BIWI Cote D'Ivoire Sat 09-Feb-13 00:44:45

I'm so sorry sad

My cousin died from ovarian cancer, at the age of 26. It's a truly horrible cancer.

Mumsnet is a funny old place, but you will find lots of support and help here as well.

HerrenaHarridan Sat 09-Feb-13 00:48:34

Welcome smile

I'm sorry for your loss you must be reeling still from it all

My top tips for single parenting are;
1) treat yourself sometimes ( a bath, a new book, whatever does it for you)
2) make life easier for yourself ( five pound a month for a window cleaner, have a cleaner come in for a couple of hours a week, get a dishwasher, whatever)
3) never be afraid to ask for help, always look for opportunities to return the favour
I hope you have plenty of support in real life and there is always us horrible lot smile

HerrenaHarridan Sat 09-Feb-13 00:50:07

Sorry I didn't think the first one had gone! Went to all the effort of retyping on stupid useless phone and it had. Hmmph! Right bedtime!

Foxy800 Sat 09-Feb-13 08:55:58

I dont really have any advice but wanted to say how sorry i was to hear of your loss.

GoSuckEggs Sat 09-Feb-13 09:02:07

I am so sorry for you loss.

Coconutty Costa Rica Sat 09-Feb-13 09:05:27

I was going to suggest Winstons wish too, they were very helpful to my family when my lovely aunty died leaving little ones.

I am so sorry for your loss. You're wife was beautiful and your children are adorable.

Whilst I don't have personal experience in the situation, a colleague of mine who is 39 lost his wife last year to cancer, leaving 3 DD. like your situation, it was unexpected and shocking. I honestly don't know how he does it. He holds a high position, is a fantastic father, and like you, fund raises in his wife's memory.

Do you have a support network close by? Parents perhaps to assist? I hope you have time off work to grieve for your loss. How are your DC managing day to day?

Will be thinking of you

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 09:22:40

I'm so sorry. I don't have any experience from which to advise you but my gut feeling would be to say to take it one day at a time and don't expect too much from yourself. Keep talking to your children about their mummy so they know its ok to talk about her. And you must feel that you can talk to someone, whether that's in real life to a friend, counsellor or here on the bereavement boards.

OhToBeCleo Sat 09-Feb-13 10:03:23

I'm so sorry for your loss. While I have no advice about dealing with bereavement (but I'm sure you'll get plenty here) my instinct is to ask whether you're getting any practical help? It sounds like you have your hands full.

seducedbynigella Sat 09-Feb-13 14:38:39

I just wanted to say how sorry I am - such a tremendous loss for you and your children.

You're doing amazingly with your fundraising; what a tribute to Sarah.

What the others have said ... charity support/counselling/support from family and friends. I think my mum had some good support from Cruise when her mum died - not sure if they're still about. Are you OK in the immediacy with finances? Will your work let you have a generous chunk of time off to be with/care for your children and get your head round this, holding your position open for you when you're ready to return? (Only if that's what you'd want, of course.)

Difficult to know what else to say. I am just so very sorry. Thinking of you all.

whattodoo Sat 09-Feb-13 14:46:19

My mother died when I was a toddler, leaving my father to bring up me and my sibling.

All I can say is that it must have been incredibly hard for him, and he made some mistakes, but everything he did was for us and for that he is my idol.

He was able to rely on support from both sides of the family which has resulted in me having a wonderfully wide network of relatives.

I am so sorry for your loss. It must be so painful. Please continue to celebrate Sarah with your children so they have a strong knowledge of who she was.

And make sure that you take care of yourself.

I'm so sorry to read about your DW. She was beautiful. And your children are adorable.

I don't have any direct experience. There are a number of young widowed parents on MN - some have threads in the bereavement topic area. A number of them recommend The WAY Foundation.

www.wayfoundation.org.uk

Good luck with your fundraising. It is a real tribute to her.

honey86 Sat 09-Feb-13 16:03:03

img im so sorry to hear this. i lost my partner 4 years ago to sudden cardiac death, he just dropped dead instantly at work. i had 2 boys at the time, 3 and 1, and was 18 weeks preg with our third. they are now 7,5 and 3 1/2.
its the hardest thing ive gone through, but 4 years on, im coming to terms with it.... massive hugs, here to talk if u need to x

Happygoluckylady Sat 09-Feb-13 16:06:19

Very sorry to hear this. Have you come across lifeasawidower.com? It is a blog written by a man who lost his wife very suddenly a few months ago? He is doing a lot to support other men in ths awful situation.

lonelydaddy Sun 10-Feb-13 08:46:55

Thanks for all your replies so far. Some great advice and links. I have a great network of support form both families and many friends, even people who I hardly know! Work is not such an issue as I am fortunate to work in a family business.

I keep mentioning my wife in conversations with the children to keep their happy memories. I have also put more pictures of her throughout the house. We are lucky to have thousands of pictures of the good times.

I am really keen to hear from people who have been through a similar experience as a parent or even as a child to see what how they handled this. I just want to give the best possible care for my beautiful children as my wife was completely devoted to them 24/7.

I now have a live in nanny so that should also help greatly. Thanks again for your replies and kind words.

ilovesprouts Sun 10-Feb-13 08:51:22

so sorry for your loss,what a gawjuss family smile

hi, very sorry for your loss.

i've known just two people who this happened to young - one was a young woman who lost her husband whilst pregnant with their first child. i met her much later when she had remarried and we were both on a bereavement counselling course. she talked about having gone to a bereavement group run by cruse (a charity that specialises in bereavement support nationwide) and found it helpful to be with others who were going through the same thing. may be worth looking into.

another is a guy who is a friend of a friend who i met a while back who also lost his wife and was left with two children to raise - and is doing a great job of it. shame he doesn't post here. i guess part of the isolation would be that others don't know what you're going through - for older people there are likely to be others amongst their peers who've been through or are going through the same and can support one another or at least offer understanding. it might be worth getting in touch with cruse.

you have also reminded me to stop ignoring the reminders for my latest round of colposcopy, treatment, wait a year and repeat all over again saga. i must stop ignoring it as i'm a good couple of years overdue retesting now. so thank you - will put an alarm in my phone now to remind me to call tomorrow and sort it.

i'm a single parent of one boy so no good to you re: advise for coping with three! my sister ended up unexpectedly raising three children on her own - the key was to be close to family (geographically) and to let them help. all of our children spend time at granny and grandad's and have loads of stuff there and see it as a sort of second home. it also means they know there are all these grown ups who love them and are there for them. i think it brings security for them and for us (me and my sis) it means we don't feel so totally alone in responsibility iyswim. we're both living somewhere we wouldn't ideally have chosen to be but that works out best for our kids. there are many downsides and challenges but the support of extended family can really make all the difference.

do you get on well with your wife's parents?

indecisiveme Mon 11-Feb-13 20:36:21

Hi, came on the board as I am recently a single parent too (though in far less devestating circumstances) I don't really have much advice but couldn't read and run as I knew your wife. We did a baby group together when our eldest were just babies. I am sure you are already doing everything you can for the children, I was just thinking of you yesterday and wondering how you were managing, I think hiring a nanny is totally the right thing to do with your circumstances but make sure you spend as much time as possible with all three of them, its you who will give them their emotional security now. I guess this will have devestated your eldest two, they are at a difficult age where they understand what has happened but not how to cope with it.
Unfortunately, there is no "right" way to handle something like this, all you can do is your best and make sure they all grow up knowing what an amazing woman their mother was.

ELR Mon 11-Feb-13 20:45:02

Can't offer any advice other than it will get better and you can do it.
My sister in law suddenly died and left my brother in law with 3 children one of which was a small baby. He has had a tough time but 5 years later the kids are all doing really well he has remarried and my new sister in law has just had a baby.
We found having plenty of pictures and chatting about my SIL really helped, he also had a cleaner and a really good childminder. Also don't be afraid to ask for help and accept all the help on offer.

Brightonite Mon 11-Feb-13 20:55:31

It is such early days for you all and I have little to contribute other than to pass on a couple of things that we did when our friend lost her battle with cancer (ironically also leaving a husband and three little ones.) We made a book of memories of her for her children to have when they are older - these memories were very random and ranged from the way she laughed, her infamous parties, the way she loved 'her babies' - some serious, some funny. The aim being that they will be able to understand her as a woman as well as as a mother and will know that she was deeply loved by a lot of people. It was very simple but deeply personal and I know she would have loved it.

When our friend was ill, we all ended up doing something to help her dh out with day to day life - school runs, brownie runs, ballet etc. This continued after she died. Over the last two years, her dh has gradually taken up the reins and is now pretty self sufficient but it has been a privilege to help out - so if people offer and you need something doing, do accept their help. For the record, our friends lovely dh is doing the most fantastic job - all three children are happy, loving little people and that is a testament to both their parents.

Lonelydaddy, you are obviously already doing a great job - good luck with your journey.

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