Norma Escrig

Firstly Dear Helen wherever you are I hope you are at peace.
I have only just found the website and wish (rather selfishly) that you could read this.
on 11 October 2015 my husband Juan died in Paradise. Well that was the name of the beach in Malta.
I had said goodbye to him at 9.00am that morning after breakfast. My friend and I decided to visit a Sunday market and the two men did not want to come. They knew we would just walk around and buy nothing. It was always a joke with Juan he always gave me 5 Euros to spend at markets which I never did. He knew me so very well. Anyway he stood on the balcony of the hotel room watching me waiting for the bus. I blew him kisses he pretended to do a striptease for us I took a photo of him at 9.15am he waved as I got on the bus and little did I know that by 1.30pm he would be dead.

Juan and Phil decided to walk to Paradise Bay Beach a nice walk from the hotel. They arrived had a coffee then Phil went for a swim first he came out and then Juan went for a swim. Phil took a photo of him as he entered the sea. Juan was at home in the water he was a very strong swimmer. He swam three times a week in our local pool. He was brought up by the sea and understood the dangers of the sea. After around 15 minutes Phil was being shaken by someone saying his friend had collapsed on the beach. Juan had been walking out of the sea and was hit by a massive wave at that moment he had a heart attack and drowned. They all tried so hard to save him but they could not. Its ironic that he drowned in the Mediterranean. But then my son said that “only dad would die in Paradise”. Obviously I was not there we arrived back from the market at around 3.30pm to find the police waiting to give me the awful news. I couldn’t breath.

So dear Helen wherever you are although I had my friends with me in Malta I still understand how utterly devasted alone and helpless you felt.

For me it has only been 7 months like you we had 20 wonderful years. I miss him more every day I still sleep with the T-shirt he wore that day I cannot wash it. I feel my heart is breaking. We had 13 years of retirement together and I am so happy we did. He made me laugh every day. He was the nicest person you could ever wish to meet and I know there will never be anyone else but him for me. I cant spread his ashes that is impossible. He was 67 years old and looked 57. My Peter Pan.

Grief is unbearable especially when your heart is broken.

Dear Helen thank you for making this possible for me xxxxxx


Beverley Colley
Reply July 22, 2016

Like you Norma, I only discovered Helen and this website through Helens tragic story
Also like you and Helen I lost my Husband suddenly and very publicly in September 2015.(Wife at breakfast, widow at lunch) We had been together for 37 years, married 35.
10 months on I still can't bring myself to talk about the circumstances yet. Helens blog has made me realise some of my irrational thoughts and behaviours in the past 10 months are not unique and I am not going crazy.
I hope Helens site continues on in her memory.
Rest in peace Helen, reunited with JS xxx

Jacqueline Lee
Reply July 23, 2016

Like so many people, I have been very affected by the death of Helen. Not only did I not know her personally, but I didn't even - until she went missing - access her grief blog. I'm not widowed, but have experienced a lot of grief and loss - my sister being the worst loss - and when I DID access her blog, wanting to understand, I found someone who had (I think - and am happy to be corrected if I'm wrong) had struggled in many ways, for many years, even before the death of her beloved John.

One of the reasons that I think Helen was so special is not only because she reached out to so many other widows, but that she reached out to everyone who's lost someone, something, some idea, some belief. But in reaching out, I feel that she - somehow - diminished her own sense of losses, which may have been very "old" losses. But like all human beings, we not only trundle on, but we attempt the impossible sometimes and try to MOVE on.

Personally, I am very "stuck", 8 long years after the death of my beloved sister, best friend, and surrogate mother. I am only just beginning to understand that, sometimes, against all the well-meaning advice of pop-psychology, "self-help" books, and even well-meaning therapists, that being "stuck" in a place you don't particularly want to be, may actually be the best place to be for possibly a very long time.

I've read Helen's blogs carefully, and I find myself rather wishing that she had stayed stuck in that horrible place that she was, and been alone, for as long as it took to come to terms with Life as we know it, and her "self", and her past, and stayed with Mr Kipling and a bottle of whiskey or wine or sherry by her side.

To me, it seems as though that latter scenario (endless almond slices) was just beginning to seem more attractive than the option I believe we are all tempted to choose.

Jacqueline Lee
Reply July 23, 2016

Having re-read my comment, it seems a very tough one, compared to those that I've read. I am just so, so upset that such a lovely, insightful and caring woman hadn't had enough time enough to begin to care only for herself.