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MICA Travels are a group of family and friends that are dedicated to raise awareness of Bile duct cancer and sepsis, two illnesses that claim 1000’s of lives each year and are barely known about. I lost my wife; our sons lost their mother and many others lost a dear friend. We as group will be doing a series of endurance activities to raise money for these charities as a lasting memorial to Carol, so that our sudden loss is not in vain.

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14/214 Fells completed


Posted in Coping With Bereavement by Mike Hall


This is an extract from my second book in the series which attempts to plot my path as I journey through the wilderness of grief. I do hope that I can read this in time and see how far I have got, maybe experiencing happier thoughts, maybe even find the things that are important to me, but maybe not. One thing I do know is that I can’t go on this way, to be honest, the future scares me, old age, illness, never experiencing some form of companionship, just can be summed up in the phrase, “what’s the point”, I do hope that things change, but I have to try and un-mash my mind, quieten my heart and come out from behind the mask I hide behind.

My book attempts to be a pragmatic look at grief retrospectively of course, but I am writing it as I live it, which makes it a factual and not storyfied, but it is a part of my life story, so I will try and portray the facts positively as it is for the most part a negative journey.

Most books, but not all, it’s fair to say,  that I have read are a list of feelings that historically people experience, a form of warning you what to expect. Some of them are written from an personally experienced point of view, but most are observational. More of an accumulation of research rather than written from the point of view an actual griever.

Yes they do offer hope under the banner of “acceptance” but not as it really happens. I hope I can show it as a real life experience, well as best as a novice writer can do.

Extract from "A life shattered" written by Mike Hall

“It is said that there many stages of grief, some follow a formal route such as shock, denial, anger, judgement, bargaining, guilt, envy, loneliness, depression, acceptance even post traumatic disorders to name just a few stages. Each one of these stages can sub divide into physical and emotional feelings they can cause insomnia, fatigue, feeling worthless, illness. You may feel, isolated, vulnerable, reclusive, the need to punish yourself, maybe gain or lose weight.

The one certain thing is that you will feel heartbroken and that there is no point to things without the one you love by your side. You will go through all the above at different times, sometimes you will dwell or get stuck at a stage, you may revisit the same feelings several times over. The important thing is to recognise that it is ok to feel like this and there is no order or timeframe. It will take as long as it takes. Don’t rush to fill the space, the void in your heart, you cannot just fix this or replace the feelings or just forget and move on. The pain you feel is the one you have loved and lost impacting upon you. Try and embrace that pain and learn to live with it instead of running away from it.

Understand your mind has to heal, your heart need to mend, your resolve will be challenged at times, but remember it’s not your fault, so don’t punish yourself too hard or too long, be kind to yourself, your loved one would not want to see you suffer all the time.

Nurture the memories that you made together as they will help soothe the pain. Talk often about your feelings, don’t suppress them or blank them out, they won’t go away until you face them. Open your heart to the good that has happened in your life and the good you can still do in honour of the one you have lost. Keep their memory alive in your heart and they will lead you through this pain, above all, listen to your heart.

I write all this and you may think that I have conquered my feelings and moved on. Well I haven’t, I have learnt to outwardly project the former image of myself whilst I learn and deal with all that I have written, but I and getting there slowly, and writing helps me process the feelings, so perhaps by the time I finish this book, I will be in a better place and if so, my writings might help others understand the ups and downs of this unfortunate journey that you find yourself on. Nothing will ever replace the one you have lost or the life you had, quite rightly so, but you will find a new way, a different life, maybe even a good friend to share new memories, or just simply allow you some eventual peace and contentment. I do hope so.   Xx”

So you can see that I’m trying to cover the typical feelings, to be honest these are all the things I feel most of the time, but with some positivity, well that at the moment is the bit which is tongue in cheek, but I know I have to find it somehow, somewhere, sometime.