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Postcards From Tragedy To Hope

Updated on March 8th, 2023

Back in December 2014, after 18 years together, I lost my beloved husband, Terry. He went in for heart surgery & never made it back to me. Life changed suddenly & forever.

Initially I went to counselling to help me deal with my loss. When that came to an end, I felt I needed a new outlet. I discovered that it was easier for me to write down what I was going through than to talk about it. Face to face I couldn’t help myself but perform the ‘I’m doing OK’ routine. That seemed important to me, but so was letting everyone know that I wasn’t actually OK. I started sharing to help me explain myself. It was a very healing, cathartic experience & introduced me to the world of blogging.

I see this as a very important part of my journey back to Hope. Following my passion for travel has helped to distract me while allowing me to grieve. 

I still have a long way to go on this never-ending path but these ‘postcards’ document those tentative first steps along the way. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

An image of the back of a postcard with a red white and blue border

A man and a woman smiling in sombreros at a dinner table with a checked table cloth

Why this? Why Now?

I can’t believe it’s been over 11 months since I lost Terry.  I think that’s why I wanted to create this blog.  I have been through so much, mainly in the privacy of my own little world, my thoughts, my reflections, our past, my future, that I felt it was important to me to document it…  

Operations cancelled… We’re going to Dubai

I’ve been receiving reminders on Facebook this week about memories from last year. Terry’s operation (open heart surgery) was originally planned for 2nd December. About 2 weeks beforehand we were told that one of the surgeons could no longer make it… 

A man in sunglasses and black t-shirt standing in front of huge skyscrapers in Dubai
A man in shorts standing in a brightly lit shopping parade in the evening

Operation cancelled Again

On December 8th 2014 we were due to go in for Terry’s operation – open heart surgery. This had already been postponed once due to one of the surgeons being unavailable. When this happened we used the opportunity for a week in Dubai…  

One Year On…

I made it through the 1 year anniversary on 16th December. I didn’t melt, I didn’t spontaneously combust & I didn’t collapse. I was with my friend Vikky, in Australia, on a road trip driving from Port Douglas to Airlie Beach.  I knew I didn’t want to be alone that day…

Two women in sunglasses taking a selfie by a clear blue sea
A black and white photo of a man drumming

The Send Off…

One year ago today we had our send off for Terry. How do you even start to prepare for saying goodbye to the love of your life? In my experience, in a daze. How do you do such a force of nature justice? Unfortunately having had a lot of experience over the last year (I lost my Dad in March & my father-in-law in October), I knew what I wanted & what I didn’t. I wanted to make it true to Terry…

First Christmas, 2nd Christmas?

Despite passing the year anniversary of losing Terry it still felt like the first Christmas to me, and again I put on my best performance & survived. It’s weird how your body takes over to protect you from stress & trauma as I actually remember very little about last year…

A Man in a yellow Christmas hat winking at the camera
Two women sitting with the heads touching smiling at the camera with a view of whitewashed buildings on a cliff behind them

When is this going to stop!?

Contrary to what you may think the title suggests, this is not a “woe is me” post about my situation, but the comment made by my cleaner when I told her before Christmas that I was going away (again!) for 2 months to Australia. She looked at me & said “When is this going to stop?”…

No Kids, No Pets, No Houseplants

For many years this has been my mantra for avoiding responsibility & only made real sense to me when I was on a work session a few years ago to find our “Essence”. Mine turned out to be FREEDOM which suddenly seemed to make all my big decisions make sense…

A blonde woman and a man standing in a bar holding cocktails surrounded by people and flickering lights
A dark haired woman in a green jumper and two young children in dressing gowns stand smiling at the camera

A tribute to mothers in general (but mine in particular!)

Last weekend marked 17 years since I lost my Mum & this weekend, with everyone celebrating Mother’s Day in the UK, it seemed an appropriate time to pay tribute to my wonderful mother, Wendy. Seventeen years is a long time but I can still hear her voice every day…

Being Something vs Being Everything

In my experience there are very few people that you mean Everything to. These are your parents, your children (although they don’t always recognise this) & your husband, wife or partner (marriage is of course not the be-all-&-end-all). To everyone else you are Something, and in special cases Something Important.

SueWhereWhyWhat and Husband Terry Malaga, Spain – May 2014
SueWhereWhyWhat Bungee Jumping from a bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand – March 1995, while a couple look on

Mad things I’ve done while Grieving

Grief is a very unpredictable state in my experience. Sometimes when the calendar tells you, you should be emotional, you’re not. Other times for no apparent reason you burst into tears in random places.  And at times you throw caution to the wind…

Hitting The Wall…

Today (21st April 2016) marks my 15 year wedding anniversary and comes hot on the heels of the 16 month anniversary of losing Terry, my husband. On Sunday it’s the London marathon & as many runners will face along the course, I think I’m starting (& only just starting) to hit “The Wall”…

A man and woman smiling having a selfie with their heads together with an ornate city scape behind them
A couple sitting in a restaurant overlooking the sea at sunset

A tribute to my Terry

It would have been Terry’s 55th birthday on Saturday (9th July) & to mark the date I have been sharing the tributes from his send off.  Its taken me a while but today I feel ready to share mine  – my first attempt to capture my thoughts, my love & my loss.  Enough said….

Facebook…or Fakebook?

I’m back!  I’ve not posted anything for a while so I must be doing OK, right?  I’ve definitely been busy as my Facebook persona demonstrates it regularly. The thing is I’m suspicious as to whether it tells the whole truth. My sister Al calls it Fakebook & I have to say, I couldn’t agree more.

A Screenshot of a family of 6 people holiday in the sunshine
Travelling With Grief title pic of the back view of SueWhereWhyWhat walking with no shoes and carrying a red bag on the beach in front of a fallen palm tree

Travelling Through Grief & Overcoming Social Awkwardness

Losing my beloved husband in 2014, changed my life forever. I chose to follow my passion for travel to create distraction for myself but it has given me so much more than this. Travel has allowed me to heal & grieve but it also presented me with some huge challenges. Here is my story about travelling through grief & overcoming social awkwardness.

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