When it can feel like the end of the world, it sometimes proves that it’s your inner strength and resilience that gets you through the darkest of days and nights.
In June 2004, my life was turned upside down overnight. One telephone call at 1.00am in the morning. For my children and I, life as we knew it was over for ever.
My husband Tony, was on holiday playing golf for the Law Society in Spain. My eldest son had just finished his last GCSE at school which was the reason we were not all away together. People are not meant to die on holiday. They are meant to come home. I had lost my husband, father of my children, our livelihood and most of all my best friend.
How do you tell a seven-year-old that his daddy is never coming home? To this day, this is the worst thing I have ever had to do.
Tony had a public profile as a well-known Solicitor which only added to the complexities of our grief, dealing with newspaper reports and the SRA. Whilst I was in Spain saying goodbyes and dealing with the issues of a sudden death abroad, I was informed that the SRA had frozen all our business bank accounts. I suddenly learnt that as Tony was a sole practitioner of a firm of Solicitors the SRA had a right to intervene and close down our office. So many problems.
From not being able to breath from the pain and shock of the enormous loss, it is strange that from within, the numbness gradually disappears and the strength to deal with each problem appears. I developed a coping mechanism which I never new existed. I had no choice my boys were now priority and I would protect them with my life. We would survive….
Over the last 15 years, I have had to rely on that inner strength to get me and the boys through situations that have seemed impossible. My motto – there is always a light at the end of a tunnel and always an answer to that impossible situation.
Why tell my story now? Last year was special to me, my oldest son Anthony was 30, has his own home, a brilliant job and a lovely fiancé. Oliver was 21, graduated from the University of Nottingham with a politics degree and is about to start a job in finance in London shortly.
I have a lot to be thankful for! When I was asked to write my story I was surprised, but decided if my experiences could help others it would be worth it.
My book was released in January 2019 with all proceeds going towards supporting children and young adults coping with bereavement. The foundation provides free memory boxes and also ‘making memories’ boxes for parents and children coping with terminal/chronical illness.
My seminars are also due to begin in September this year – Surviving Bereavement and dealing with life after loss.
Tracey on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire promoting the Surviving Bereavement Seminars and Memory Boxes.