People avoid me ... but I love to talk about Irfon
THE widow of former nurse and campaigner Irfon Williams says some people will walk the other way if they spot her in the supermarket, because they aren’t sure what to say to her since her husband’s death.
Last May, the then 37-yearold found herself widowed with two young boys, when her beloved husband died after a long and courageous fight with cancer.
In a documentary, shown on Sunday, viewers saw through Becky’s eyes how a young family deals with death, and how, as a mother, she is helping her two boys learn to grieve and adjust to life without their father.
Becky, aged 39 and a registered psychiatric nurse like her late husband, said: “Irfon and I had always believed in talking to others when facing difficulties and our hope was, from our devastating experience, something positive must come from it.
“We spoke openly about Irfon’s cancer treatment and it felt natural to continue the honest conversation.
“Going through lonely; everybody’s unique.
“I think going through grief as a young person feels even more lonely, as it’s not natural to find yourself a widow in your thirties.
“I’m the only person at my boys’ school who is a widow, it can be very tough.”
She added: “Some people will avoid me in Tesco as they don’t know what to say, but the fact is I love to talk about Irfon.
“When people tell me and the kids different stories about Irfon, it keeps Daddy’s memory alive.”
Irfon and Becky’s sons, Sion, nine, and Ianto, seven, are both doing well, but she says they can naturally get anxious.
“When I had a bug a couple of weeks ago, Ianto asked me if I had cancer,” said Becky.
“But they are both doing OK and I’ve had a lot of help from our extended family to make sure they feel safe and there is constancy in their lives – their grief grief is is school has also helped massively.”
Becky says a lot of wellmeaning people have advised her to keep herself busy, but she says she has also faced her grief “head-on”.
“A mindfulness course has helped as it helps focus to live in the here and now, and not to think too far ahead,” she said.
Becky says there are positives to great loss.
She says she appreciates life a whole lot more, and doesn’t sweat over the smaller things.
“If I’m late to something, I don’t give myself a hard time. I try and be kinder to myself and to give more time to myself,” she said.
“I’ve gone back to work as a mental health nurse and at first it was tough as I have so many memories of Irfon there, but now I like it, it’s nice,” said Becky.
“I’ll always grieve for Irfon, it will always be there.
“We made plans together, we talked of growing old together of buying a caravan and having grandchildren, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Irfon Williams’ widow, Rebecca Williams, with her two sons Siôn, eight, and Ianto, six