It’s been almost 20 years since Harry died. My children were 2, 5 and 9. They are now adults at 21,25 and 29 so what do I think I did well. Even if at the time I didn’t even know it was something that one day would be a good thing.
I think the things that became certainties, that were predictable and became traditions. Those things offered a sense of security, of togetherness and normality, a feeling of belonging in which all brought joy.
So what were these things!
Showed strength of character, someone to admire and look up to.
My children perceive me as being a strong woman. I thought about this as why they may have thought that as I definatley cried and showed much sadness over time. I always had a good work ethic and lead by example. I showed them that life went on and that although it was very sad what happened that life was to be lived. I worked, and kept the house going. I physically worked in the garden, did maintenance around the house like painting our home and did small repair jobs. I enlisted help where needed. I got on with it. We went out and spent time with family and friends. I’m not totally sure why they perceive me as strong to be honest.
Kept the children at the same school.
School was a place of familiararity that didn’t change with all the turmoil. It was a constant. The teachers, friendships and routine.
Embraced support from friends and family and exposed the children to good role models
The children were cared for by grandparents and friends and family who I trusted and role modeled good values and morals aligned with my own. We set good examples. We lived in an area which gave a sense of community. We were fortunate to live in a street that had a lot of young families who we befriended and socialised with. We knew most of our neigbours well which made the chidren feel safe and cared for as a small community can.
Encouraged family, friends and themselves to talk about Harry.
It was important he wasn’t forgotten and that they grew up knowing about the person he was. Who their dad was and what he meant to people.
Saved up to allow us to have a summer holiday at the beach each year
We had friends stay and holiday with us. We had fun. Trips to the beach, played board games, had barbeques, walks to the local milkbar to buy treats, rode bikes and played mini golf and went on water slides.
Put up a Christmas tree no matter how good or bad times were.
Every year I put up a big colourful christmas tree. I had pretty decorations adorn it and played Christmas carols as I decorated it. It was always a happy occassion putting up the tree. I put it up every year on the 1st day of December and packed it away the first week of January. My daughter has such fond memories of this after moving out of home she saw getting a Christmas tree and trimmings as a priority at Christmas in her own home.
I’m sure there are many other things that I didn’t do right and some more things I did right, but this is a good start for those who find themselves in the same situation as myself to consider.
Love Lucy x