“I found out that David had progressive lung cancer and six weeks later he passed away. It was a really traumatic time for our family, as one of my sons was starting a new job in Germany and couldn’t get back in time to say goodbye. It was devastating for everyone.”
David died only 18 months after he and Eileen had enjoyed a lovely trip to Eastbourne together, organised and funded by the MCF.
The MCF organised lovely day trips whilst myself and David were away, like visits to Brighton which were really enjoyable. We went with others who were from all over the country, which was something we both liked. Evenings were very sociable, and we enjoyed nights in the hotel with music. We had a lovely evening before the holiday ended, sharing a meal with everyone on the trip.
After David’s loss, Eileen felt very lonely and socially isolated and she looked back on the holiday spent together with her husband as a beautiful memory. Then the Master of David’s lodge asked Eileen if she wanted to go on another trip organised by the MCF, this time to Malta.The time spent in the company of other widows helped Eileen to recover from the traumatic experience of her husband’s loss.
“My husband and I used to go everywhere together, so after he passed away I thought I would have no life and no friends. I asked my children and they just said, ‘Mum, go for it… Dad would want you to’. The holiday coincided with the year anniversary of David’s death, but the people I was with were brilliant; I had such a good time and we really enjoyed ourselves.”
I never thought I’d fly again after David died, but I had company and that really takes your mind off things. I made some great friends including other widows, and they helped me to talk about what I was going through as they understood my situation. Since the holiday to Malta, I’ve started to go to the widows’ Christmas meals each year where I catch up with one of the ladies who was on my trip to Malta, and we exchange Christmas cards with each other. The holiday gave me the confidence to do things on my own — I flew out to Germany not long ago to meet my new grandson!