Peo­ple avoid me ... but I love to talk about Ir­fon

Bangor Mail - - NOSTALGIA - Ir­fon Wil­liams with Re­becca

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

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