This is the post that ended The Frugal Family, and began my first musing for this website you are on now. I’ve added it just for the history, evolution, of me and my purpose. I can still feel the rawness of these words, they still bring tears. Grief is a long game, a roller coaster of emotions and abilities.
Our website has always been about our family and the changes and choices we’ve been making to help keep us on budget and to live sustainably. It’s been a real adventure and we were floating along with all the usual ups and downs of family life, we had the most amazing holiday this Summer and when we got home our two oldest children were invited for a day trip to Alton Towers by one of our besties – they were excited to be going on Monday morning, but at some point during the night our son died in his bedroom in a tragic accident.
All hell broke loose at 7.30ish on Monday morning when Mr Frugal went to wake him up – surprised that he was still in bed as we are all early risers and the girls had been up for over an hour. I can’t tell you what we found as it’s too distressing, but our world changed in that moment and will never be the same. Naturally we took some time out, but as everything we do in our average day is part of this website, it felt odd to suddenly not be here – everything feels odd now. I have taught Coping with Loss for over a decade so have lots of professional experience to draw on during these dark times. That’s been a blessing and a curse in some ways, but one thing I do know to be true is that people are terrified of grief, have no idea how to behave or what to say and do (not that there are rules really). I want to use this opportunity to share our process, even if it helps one other family to work towards their new normal too.
I’m an expert on the theory, and now I’m becoming an expert on the practice – I would give almost anything not to be.
This site is full of photographs from our adventures, they are so precious and I’m so glad that we made the decision to catalogue our lives in this way, what a rich bank of memories we may not have had otherwise. I haven’t yet had the heart to change the description of our family, or some of my favourite shots from our 20th Wedding Anniversary. I may update them in the future, they aren’t things I can even look at right now such is the sharpness of the grief. Everyone had different coping mechanisms, a range of things they find helpful and not. These diaries, and then a book to come will be a very practical and honest approach based in our knowledge and experience.
One important thing to mention is how truly overwhelmed and grateful we have been for the outpouring of love and support our family has received from our local community as well as the wider internet family, many of whom we have never met but still felt they wanted to offer us words of encouragement or practical help. It has been humbling and a beacon of light in an endless pit of pain. I’m also in awe of our three girls who are proving to be resilient and breathtakingly powerful in what must be the most confusing and frightening of times. As a family we are strong and together we will be able to carry ourselves and our son with us into a happier future, but it’s a long time to get there and we ask for patience as we walk that rocky path.