Why my life so radically changed, last year

On 9th June 2021 I was having my induction meeting with the CEO of an organisation I had just joined as a non exec director and my phone (conscientiously switched to silent mode) kept buzzing. After ten minutes of this, the senior administrator came into the room and said I needed to take the call.

My wife was in an air ambulance, having suffered a terrible headache at work, started vomiting and then passed out.

The following day I had started planning her funeral.

No warning. Life is going full pelt, then we crash to a halt.

But that is life. We are human. The unexpected happens. But how do we cope?

Well, the ADHD part of me went into overdrive: planning, worrying, spending, charging around. Another part of me wanted to hide under a duvet and hope that everything nasty would go away. My three children were all suffering terribly, and I had to be there for them.

So how are things, seven months on?

The pain is pretty constant. Some days I am just low and depressed. Other days I am feeling more positive as I realise that I have still got a future, something to look forward to. There is no linear progression: it’s up and down, forward and back. But I am definitely beginning to get my act together.

I have found that I have become a lot more sensitive to other people’s pain. Obvious, I guess. I have found people opening up to me in a way that didn’t happen before. I have also been more forthright with people than I would have been previously. Why? I suppose I have been super-sensitised to how short life is. If I want to get something across to someone, I won’t beat about the bush: there might not be time.

I want to live my life as if every day is my last. I know that my key talent is to help others develop their potential. I’m not going to be hesitant about owning that skill, and using it. I’m going to be real with my friends and family, which means I cry a lot, but I also share my hopes with them. My wife was an amazing person, hugely compassionate and giving, particularly with those who were having a hard time. I am going to embrace her legacy.

I hit a wall. My car was smashed up, but I haven’t let it be written off. I’ve been mending it. It still looks as if it was severely damaged, but I know the engine is strong, and the bodywork will gradually be restored.

Standing guard….