6 Weeks on…

Well, here we are 6 weeks on since Jenny died and 5 weeks on since her funeral and life seems to be running at a fast pace (certainly faster than it had been in Germany). It’s taken me a while to get around to writing on the blog again for many reasons – time, motivation and desire to name a few – but here I am feeling like I want to let everyone know what has been happening and that I’m ok!

Where do I start? Not long after the funeral Gemma & I (plus all 3 dogs) travelled down to Essex to stay with the Mackenzie Triplets (Amber had attended Jen’s funeral whilst Fiona & Ellie were in Germany) with the added bonus of seeing Lisa, who was also staying with them before returning to Australia. We had a great time catching up, walking the dogs and eating great home cooked food – drop scones to die for and eggs benedict fit for a king!

Later that week Gemma suggested we got away for a few days to Portugal to visit friends near Tavira on the Algarve – so we did. We had a great time basically doing nothing other than eating and drinking, something Gemma and I could both easily do for a living. It was great fun and a much-needed break – many thanks to Marie & Ray for looking after us. When we returned to the UK, Gemma went back to work whilst I chose to take some further time off (probably until the end of April) which seems to have been the right decision as I don’t seem to have any time to work! I have attended a few conferences over the last couple of weeks which have re-ignited a spark for returning to work and I can feel that when I do, it will be with 100% commitment, but only if I’ve had enough time off which is why I’m not in a rush to get back just yet.

I also travelled South, with my parents, to Wiltshire to visit my brother Glyn & his wife Georgina just before he was deployed to Afghanistan for a third time.  He serves as an RAF Regiment officer who this time around has a secondment to the Army for this 6 month tour. It proved to be quality family time and we all hope the next 6 months goes quite quickly and without incident.

I also had a surprise visit from Ellie who was passing through the North West and called in to say hello and to deliver an amazing bunch of flowers for Gemma’s birthday. It was great to see her, even if she was late for her evening rendezvous, and Gemma and I are hoping to visit her in Buxton this Friday for a cocktail or two!

Ellie & Andy Gemma's Flowers

I have a few plans in the next few weeks which include catching up with a lot of people, seeing Cirque du Soleil in Manchester (courtesy of Cathy & Gemma), visiting Belgium, going to Majorca to watch a 70.3 Ironman race, attending a wedding and a planned trip to see a fair few “clinic friends” in Australia sometime around July – plus much more – I just hope I will fit the time in to return to work! Last weekend Gemma & I decided to spontaneously return to Bad Salzhausen for a couple of days to catch up with many of our friends and this proved to be an amazing 36 hours, so much so that it warrants a post of its own…so watch this space.

In summary everything doesn’t seem too bad at the moment with the odd wobble creeping in now and again. I visit Jen’s grave once or twice a week and we are in the process of ordering the headstone and finalising all the legalities etc surrounding her estate. I think people are expecting me to crack at some point, but it doesn’t feel like that at my end – maybe they’ll be proven right in the future? What might be difficult for some people to understand is that, as mentioned in my eulogy, the ultimate outcome of Jen’s illness was something I had been preparing myself for over a relatively long period of time, and whilst you can never be fully prepared, the previous preparations in my mind have gone a long way towards helping me with the grieving process. Everyone is different, but I’m a realist and knew some time ago that Jenny’s death was a very real possibility, and during our time in Germany it became apparent, certainly in the latter part of our stay, that it was a question of when, not if.

The way everything unfolded in the final 2 months of her life, including the people we met, the experiences we shared and the environment we were in, provided us both with a very positive and thought-provoking experience – one I wouldn’t have thought possible under the circumstances, but one I took an amazing amount of comfort from over the last few weeks. What I will say is that these last few weeks have been easier because of the people around me – some very special people indeed (you know who you are) and I certainly couldn’t have done this without everyone’s support over the last 6 months.

Where do we go from here? I suppose all I can say is watch this space…

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8,615 thoughts on “6 Weeks on…

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  16. Tracey

    I read a letter from CATHERINE ROE today in the Daily Mail and was touched by what it said. I am a mum too, albeit with younger kids and I guess I just wanted to say sorry for your loss. I googled this blog and think its brilliant. I hope others can find help and support here. Very best wishes and hoping you have the fondest menories of your “Brave Warrior Princess” xxx

  17. Gail

    Think of you all often x So glad your keeping your faith x its what Jen would have wanted for you all XXX

  18. Jill hamiltn

    😉 xxx

  19. Georgina

    Andy and Gemma,

    Is so lovely reading the blog. I am glad your trip back to Germany was the right one and that you managed to meet up again with so many of your friends that you have made. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you all, and quite often find myself ‘chatting’ to Jenny, I hope she approves of my recent bag purchase!!

    Gemma, I hope your new job is ok and I once again want to extend the offer of B and B down at Roberts Towers (Dogs welcome too). We could even squeeze a visit to Stonehenge in too if you like.

    I/We are very proud to be part of the family and just wished we were closer.

    All my love me xx

  20. Rebecca

    Mate, you are amazing. It’s so lovely to hear what you’re up to and what your plans are. Really pleased, as well, that you’re giving yourself plenty of time before throwing yourself back into work.
    Keep blogging when you can. It always was and is inspiring and uplifting.


  21. June

    Andy and Gemma,
    Thanks for the blog and staying in touch, much appreciated. Have thought of you all a great deal since Jenny’s passing. It did not hit me until after I arrived in Australia at our Lynn’s a few days after Jenny’s funeral, my sadness was very apparent…my sister listened to me as i needed to tell her about a truely amazing story of warrior princess Jenny and her fight to stay vital to the end…you were her Rock Andrew and I feel so proud to know. Gemma, it seems unreal to think that your sister is no more in the real sense but the memories that you have will be with you forever after all Jen was “our kid” to you…Jen was so proud of both you and Andy, she was truely an amazing person. Andy you will always be able to dip into your “treasure trove” of special memories and the great time you both shared…what can I say except “you are the best better than all the rest”…and yes you will come through this “your way” in your time !
    you will return to work with commitment because that’s the type of person you are.
    Gemma good luck in your new job….regards to Cath and all your family, take care….

    june ron and co….xxxxxx

  22. Lesley Furey


    lovely to read your blog I am so glad you are traveling and not back at work yet. I think of you and Gemma often. Jenny would I’m sure be so proud of you both. Look forward to your next blog and reading about your trip back to Germany

    Take care


  23. Iain and Emma

    Hi Andy,

    Good to see you blogging again!

    Emma and I will be back up in Liverpool next Wednesday
    And this will be probably the last night I’ll be back
    In Liverpool for quite sometime and would love to
    Meet for that drink!

    Speak soon

    All our love and thoughts


  24. Laura Oakley

    Andy & Gemma
    Brilliant to hear from you. I look out for the blog everytime i check my emails. Its so habit forming, Glad you both keeping busy. Good luck in your new job Gemma, if it all gets to much you can always stop ‘dicking and f@c4in around’ and bugger off to Australia ? Keeping busy is good but keeping it real is better, especially i the sunshine on a beach somewhere.
    Big hugs
    Laura Oakley XX

  25. Claire Standish

    Andy, so glad you’re doing well…and really lovely to listen to what you’ve been up to over the last few weeks. I truly think travelling is one of the best things that you can ever do (you know i lived abroad for a few years); and id say to anyone to go out there and see everything possible; its great for reflecting, focusing on whats important and just basically taking some chill out time! i think of Jen often and smile at the memories i have, and the lovely girl that she was. We haven’t been over to Liverpool since Jen’s funeral but when we do, we will definitely visit her grave, have a little chat and tell here what a fab husband she has! Take care; you know you’re always welcome here (we cant promise a beautiful sunset or fab beaches haha but we will have an endless beer supply for you and two smiley faces and one ‘naughty little monkey’ waiting to greet you mate!) See you soon xxx

  26. jo and vinny

    Andy, you and gemma are amazing. So glad you are letting others spoil you!
    I had a wee smile before…I’m packing as we move house tomorrow and dragging ny feet a bit today. Jen’s voice came into my head with my favourite saying she gave me…”stop dickin’ and f*kin’ around”!

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