Wonder widow Trudy gives lifeline to newly bereaved

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 July 2016

Wonder Widows Pippa Howard, Trudy Hamer and Emma Griffin Wood

Wonder Widows Pippa Howard, Trudy Hamer and Emma Griffin Wood

Tom Sparey Photography

An inspirational mother-of-three from Clevedon has set up a support group to help the newly bereaved after her husband died of cancer.

Trudy Hamer, aged 44, was devastated when her husband Sam died of lung cancer in March 2014.

The couple had three daughters and Trudy found herself struggling with grief while trying to support them through the terrible time.

She said: “I felt very isolated because I didn’t know anyone in my situation.

“When it happens, you think you are the only person to be widowed in their early 40s.

“People can empathise and sympathise, but if you haven’t experienced the death of a partner you don’t understand how it feels to lose your whole future and to find yourself as a single parent.

“I never realised how hard it would be. Even though I knew Sam was going to die for 18 months, nothing prepared me for the loneliness and the reality of never being able to see him again.”

St Peter’s Hospice, which helped Sam when he was ill, provided counselling for the family, but Trudy was desperate to talk to someone who was going through the same experiences as her, so she decided to set up a support group.

The Wonder Widows now meet once a month at the hospice and Trudy says the support has been invaluable.

She said: “It’s nice to spend time with people who totally understand. It’s been really important. One thing I find helpful is to realise how far I’ve come.

“Even though I still miss Sam every minute of every day I don’t wake up crying every morning and it’s not the raw grief it once was.

“Helping people who are in that early stage made me realise how far I’ve come and that I’m slowly piecing my life back together.

“I’m sure it’s helpful to other people to see that, two-and-a-half years down the line, I’ve not turned to drugs and alcohol and life doesn’t stop.

“It’s difficult, but if you’ve got a family you have to keep going.”

The group is now hoping to put on activities with their children too.

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