The Hate Mail

My late husband always refered to the Daily Mail as the Daily Hate. As many do. I think and indeed hope that he would be quite amused at the furore he, I and Cameron have caused within the tiny minds of the small-minded people that have written such vitriolic comments on my feature in the paper yesterday.

Of course the paper sensationalised it. ‘Husband who told his wife to find new life from beyond the grave’!! Not my choice of header. But it’s what they do to get some of their readers whipped up in a frenzy about things. Dear God, I know Col is not having wee chats with me from beyond the grave. Even if he had one I think my GP or my family would perhaps be getting a little concerned if I was having those types of conversations with my dead husband. Mind you I do have moments where I think about what he might he say…and in this instance, this Daily Hate-gate I’ve created as he might call it, he’d be laughing his socks off. These people and their hateful comments are the very ones that pay the money that will pay me for the feature. And yes you could say I have sold my soul and am trading off my husband’s death…but when Col died I left my London life and my main livelihood (although I was actually on maternity leave) and so now I have to do what I can to get by and feed and clothe my children. When a paper approaches you to write a feature…. well I am a writer and that’s what I do. It’s how I have got through the last 20 months in tact. Judge me if you want. It helps pay the bills at a time when I am up to my ears in looking after my beautiful children pretty much fulltime.

For those who think I am a callous widowed witch who has moved on too quickly. Well, that’s an opinion not so eloquently put by some but they are welcome to it. I was barely half a person after col died. I was functioning and living for my children, as one lady suggested I should have, and perhaps I should have been happy with that. But don’t my children deserve more than half a mother, one who hated waking up every morning, one who fell asleep weeping every night, one who wasn’t looking after herself and was on a path to self destruct as food become a little known concept and wine too close a friend? Do they not deserve a mum who laughs and loves life again? Oh no I forgot widowed women should be dressed head to toe in black and weeping for their loss for at least three years before they earned their true widow stripes. Aye right. Is it here that I should bring up the gender divide in bereavement. You see it’s a well known fact that men move on quicker than women. Many remarry within the first 12 months. But that’s OK because they are men. I wonder if the vitriole directed at me and some of my fellow widows in the comments feed on the Daily Mail site yesterday would have been the same concentration of nastiness if the feature had been written by a man? Who cares really though? To be quite frank these people, that wrote the horrid stuff ( there were so many who were lovely and writing kind ones in between), well I get the feeling that none of them, male or female, have lost a partner. Once again I shall say that I wouldn’t wish the death of a partner on my worst enemy but unfortunately it will happen to 50% of people who are in a relationship, it’s a simple fact of life – people die, so it will happen to many of them and only then will they truly get it. Mind you I do question whether certain commenters have a life beyond their little computer screen, never mind a partner.

21 Replies to “The Hate Mail”

  1. Don’t feel you should justify yourself to these mindless individuals. Enjoy your life again as best you can. Hopefully every day will be a little bit easier. All the very best of luck to the four of you and I do hope you continue with the blog as it’s so good to hear how you are doing. Take care.

  2. Good for you. It’s almost eleven months since I lost my husband (we were together for 23 years and have 4 children) and the people that aren’t avoiding me can’t understand how I can smile, laugh and carry on as “normal”.
    If I didn’t, I’d be a quivering heap in the corner. We lost everything when my husband died – no insurance or pension – so we were evicted (on the day of his funeral), but he would’ve hated seeing me in widows weeds.
    Keep doing what you’re doing – your lives do go on xxx

  3. Just read your piece. Heartfelt and well-judged. Trading on Col’s death? Do me a fucking favour. Some people just love to be offended – particularly those who have no idea what they’re commenting about. Harden your carapace and keep writing. Lots of love. XX

  4. I am in a parallel – I am slowly losing my partner due to addiction – situation to you. Sometimes the reactions of my friends to decisions that I make which are contrary to what they believe I should do upsets me. These are my friends. They should support me, whatever I do, whether they agree with me or not. I have learnt, however, that unless they are ‘walking in your shoes’, going through exactly the same thing as you, there is no way that they can truly understand, however much they love you, however long or close your friendship is. Remembering this, that they are not ‘walking in my shoes’, helps me to understand my friends more. My experience has also taught me never to be judgmental of others in extreme situations, like yourself. So I don’t have an opinion on what you are choosing to do, and I wouldn’t dream of having one either. You are an intelligent lady, who adores her children and who is in the middle of an horrific situation, one which I would never presume to understand. As I’m sure you do, trust yourself and your judgement and if you’re happy with that, then you must be doing the right thing. And now I’ve read what I’ve written back to myself, to remind myself that that’s what I need to do too. Because it’s blooming hard sometimes, isn’t it to have confidence in yourself, and it doesn’t half waiver sometimes? There are also moments of horrific loneliness too. Thinking of you. Emma x

  5. What ever you do in life,you’re still gonna see people who are against you in all means.. Please keep your self strong, you give hope to others, a hope that is life-saving…. And waking up every day is damn hard but when you do it, it’s alot easier for the rest of us to give it a try

  6. Well what can I say, I read the Daily Mail on line, I’m not going to waste my money buying it! BUT I’m not quite sure who they allow to comment as when I read comments on subjects I know a lot about you can tell the small minded people know nothing at all. Yes the headline was “over the top” but that’s newspapers Not you. Who can say how we would feel in your situation, in the small hours of the night when I can’t sleep and the negative in me takes over I consider my husband not being there, where would I and my son live, how would he cope losing his father, I don’t normally think of being with anyone else because I don’t think I would be brave enough to put myself out there but I am lucky I roll over and cuddle my husband. Nobody should tell you how to feel, I have read your blog for a while now and your feelings for Colin still come across. A friend of mine was left with 3 children when her husband died in a car crash, the youngest 9 months old. In the last couple of years she has remarried and is very happy, she had a boyfriend before this. She recently did an article in a magazine to show there can be life after widowhood because she says although he was the love of her life, she was young and thought her world had ended and reading articles about other widows who had managed to move their lives on helped her. So good luck to you and I hope it works out, take no notice of them at all xx

  7. I have been following this blog for over a year and have just seen the DM article.

    Take no notice of horrible people who have no concept of what the loss of a partner is like. I am a widower ( just a week after Col died) and once the initial grieving slowly clears, we are faced with two choices, the dark hole of depression and grief, or be positive and choose life. We must do whatever is needed to try and start again. For some that is a new partner.. so what.. it doesn’t lessen your love for your deceased partner.. it simply means you have chosen to live. Some people never find anyone else but that doesn’t give them or anyone else the right to criticise.

    Stay strong, laugh, cry and enjoy.. its is what Col would have wanted.

  8. I for one, and I have been where you are, wish you every happiness and blessing. Many an actress/actor has been quoted as to “not reading the reviews the morning after an opening night”. Ignore the critics, you write for only two reasons – to encourage others who are walking the same path and secondly to earn a living. I think you are doing marvelously well in both areas.

  9. I agree with Tony, you have chosen life and chosen to be the best you can for you and your children. Our husbands would not want us to live a depressing life? They would want us to make the most of the life we have and that means loving again.
    You have been an inspiration to me, I am at 10 months now just reading how your journey has gone, gives me hope.
    We all have to make a living and what your doing is interesting and people want to read about it, even if some are negative. You just can’t please everyone and some just want to moan and be miserable, well as we widows know, life is just too short to be miserable x

  10. I have been a widow for 15 months, I find the pain and hurt and lonliness very hard to cope with. But one thing I do know, I want to be happy again, I want to live. I never got the chance to talk to my husband about death and future. I thought we had all the time in the world. But no, he went so suddenly. I knew him so well after being together for 34 years, and I trully believe he would want me to be happy. Sometimes its hard to accept that bit. So if I am lucky enough to find a new man for me, then I say GO FOR IT. Because we know how precious Life and Time is.
    Ignore all the critics, and do whats right for you……..

  11. I already follow your blog, and whilst you and I have never met, I am filled with the utmost admiration for the way you you have managed to live your life and bring up your children since your husband died at such a tragically young age. I am appalled, but sadly not surprised, that the readers of the Daily Mail have been so vitriolic in their response. Sadly their readers have shown a great propensity to spew their vile thoughts about many people and on many different subjects. Rest assured that sensible, compassionate, intelligent will people will find joy in your new found happiness. You deserve to be both loved and to love again, you are a young woman with a beautiful family and it is your right to live your life to the full. No one, and certainly not a DM reader, should deny you the chance to be happy. There is no rule book for grieving, we all must do what is right for us. As a bystander it would seem to me that you have struck the perfect balance between looking back at your life and lamenting the loss of Col, whilst also looking forward and attempting to find a new and happy way of living your life with your beautiful girls. Good luck to you girl! Enjoy all your new found happiness, you certainly deserve it.

  12. I read the article and the comments yesterday – did not register it was ‘you’ until just now! I was really frustrated with all the shallow comments. My mind raced with all the points you beautifully raised above. I have only been a widow for 3 months after 20 years together. I am nowhere near close to considering finding a new relationship, however, one day, at the right time in the future, I hope I do. I do not want the end of my gorgeous husbands life to be the end of mine – 2 lives wasted. He was never meant to suddenly die – that was not our plan! Im 41 with 2 boys to raise. Yes, they are my prioity, but how can they ever be truely happy if their mother never is?? Thank you for your open blog, it helps a newbie as I navigate a similar road to yourself.

    1. Thank you for this comment. I am sorry you are reading it all with the eyes of a widow. eurgh. What a word.I hope that you’re getting through each day with some humour and that you can see a way forward. It’s there and it’s what you make it…xx

  13. My darling husband died 10 weeks ago today. You can be surrounded by friends and family supporting you but no-one understands the loneliness and desolation you feel unless you too have lost the love of your life.

    When I met my husband he was a widower with 3 young children, his first wife had died only 22 weeks before we met. From the very first moment we both knew the relationship was right and that fate had brought us together. Meeting me did not mean that he stopped grieving or loving his beloved wife, but it also did not mean that he could not also love me. He had a huge amount of criticism from his family for embarking on this new relationship. All his friends were hugely supportive and were pleased when they saw him come alive once more. His family thought it was wrong and that he should be on his own for the rest of his life. Thank goodness he did not listen to them and we had 14 wonderful years together. Despite me loving the children and the 2 of us bringing them up together and seeing them into their adult lives, the family never really accepted me and since his death I seem to be have been airbrushed from history and dropped from the family. It is only now that I have gone through the same devastation that I can really understand how alone my husband felt and how he needed to have that special love back in his life.Right now I cannot contemplate having someone else in my life but if fate intercedes once more who is anyone to criticise a person for wanting to love and be loved.

    Only you can decide when you are ready to love again and if you have found that special person to love you and your girls ignore the critics, embrace life and this new relationship and be happy. As we all know life is too short to miss out on a chance of finding that special person to share every second of the day with.

    1. I am so sorry for your very raw loss. Thank you for reading my blog and for your kind words. Only those close to widows or widowers or those who are going through the same can truly understand. Wishing you all the best in a horrid situation. Much love to you. X

  14. Well done for the writing the article, I totally understand where you are coming from I lost my husband 14months ago and you have continued to inspire me. I take great strength from your article and hope I too will find somebody new, life is too short to waste anymore time. I was only 35 when my husband died and I know he wouldn’t want me to be alone forever so well done and best of luck for your future happiness. x

  15. Your blog and newspaper articles have helped me so much since I became a widow in June 2012. Cameron sounds a lovely caring man, just what you and your two girls need and I am sure Col would have had a helping hand in bringing you two together. Enjoy every minute of the rest of your life. X

  16. I’ve got some eloquent words for you: fuck ’em, love! I had a similar experience with the Mail on Sunday. I was so angry at the time but looking back I’m glad the deputy editor bore the brunt of my rage rather than my family. Take care x

  17. Just read about peoples reaction to your article. Before I state my feelings to that one small correction not all men get over a loss quicker today is two years since I lost my wife hasn’t got easier haven’t got over it.
    Regarding the morons who have TRIED to give you grief yes you are probably right they haven’t experienced a loss. Sod them
    Keep going the way you you’re an inspiration Thankyou

  18. Nicola darling: PLEASE DO NOT READ THE DAILY MAIL comments section- just don’t.

    The majority of those “people” are bitter and twisted, have no life and are insane, the end.

    Much love, positivity and best wishes to you x

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