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It's been just over a year since I began talking to people for this podcast, when it began, I was really nervous. I felt really vulnerable opening up to people talking about such a sensitive topic and something that brought up so many difficult feelings for me. Listeners of the show will know that I felt angry, I felt sad. I've laughed and I've cried a lot. And though we've talked at length about grief being a messy personal journey with no linear path, I think the last year and two seasons of open and honest conversations have helped me arrive at a different place.


I still miss my mom every single day, but I recognize my grief more. I know how to handle it a little bit better. This season on debt becomes him. I talk to people who have experienced unimaginable loss. Each of their stories is unique, but as always, there was one commonality. Talking about it is therapy. On this episode of Death Becomes Am I? Talk to Kathy Stretch. Kathy's family rallied around her sister Elaine when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 after rigorous treatment.


Life was getting back to normal in 2015 when Elaine's husband passed, suffered a fall and sadly passed away. Just over a year later, Ellen's cancer returned and she, too, sadly passed. Kathy opens up about caring for our sister's children, their fundraising efforts to honor Elaine and PA, and how their wider friends and family will ensure Jason and Adam will always know their parents. Kathy Casey, how are you one? It's so funny. When I see your name, I was like, how do you bretzke back?


And then I went on to Sheila Show podcast, which you done with her and I thought was an amazing episode. And I was listening to Sheila's pronunciation of your name and I said, It's Kathy, what a Katy.


Like, I just take anything, anything that goes crazy. Kathy, Katherine, I have how to pronounce your surname.


Strich Strich. Very weird. It's not an Irish name is actually it is an Irish and it is actually. Yes.


Weirdly enough, a lot of people think it's German. Yes.


I would have thought European but not Irish. So like I mean Googling I've done it originates in Limerick and apparently it's the old Irish word for Street.


So that's that's insulting is that she's she works on the street a wink wink.


When I think of the name Cathy, all I think of is Mrs Brown's boys and the daughter Cathy.


Cathy, Cathy. I was thinking, Cathy, welcome to your episode of Death Becomes. Erm, I can't believe I'm here. Thank you so much for agreeing to have the conversation. They're not easy conversations. Yeah. To have. Yeah.


And we are quite far away from each other with this huge glass barrier in between us. But let's try and make it as approachable as we can.


I listen to your podcast with Sheila Show ago and I was unaware of the level of grief in your life. I knew about your sister Elaine. I did not know about Elaine's husband, PA. I was unaware of that and the accident. And I'm losing his mom, which we'll discuss.


But you come off so positive. And fun, is that a decision you make every day that you're going to try and be as positive as you can?


You know, I think like I question myself on that and, you know, am I forced myself to be this way, but I'm not.


And I think the thing that I really learned about grief is you can be sad and happy at the same time, you know, because I do have moments like, you know, obviously we've had a lot of stuff happen in our family.


And like maybe if you had met me a year afterwards, I wouldn't have been so bright and bubbly. But in saying that, like, I've always kept the side out and even even though the loss of trauma and a lot of grief, it's there with me.


But I you can still have fun.


You know, that's that's the thing. Like, you can still be happy and carry the grief with you.


You know, I was kind of adamant that I made the decision that I was going to live my life in the way I thought my mom would want. Yeah. And I was still going to carry on. I say the word as normal, but as normal as I could. Yeah. How long is your mom still be? Three years.


Three years. Just gone through you. My partner. He's not my fiancee.


Congratulations. You know, it wasn't I think he put a picture up on New Year's Eve, but did you get a game of cricket? You got engaged on Christmas Eve. Congratulations. You can we see the bling bling?


Oh, look at the bling. My eyes, my eyes.


But when we got back together because we'd been together before, I quite liked that story.


Because you're the same, right? Yes, we are completely the same. And then it was almost like he came back to you. You did when Elaine was no longer around. Because when I listened to your full story, I it's like one of those things you thought this is a book or it's a movie. It was full of hope. Your story. I think it's romantic. I think it's sad. But then you have baby Freddie, you're now engaged.


There's so many emotions and feelings through your whole grief.


My whole life has changed as well. Like when I go back to what I'm saying with him, when he first saw when we first went out, I used to laugh like a lunatic, like there was no one funnier than him.


And then he literally came in the door literally. The way I see it is like one door closes, another one opens.


Like she was the closest thing to me, my sister, like she was my plus one nearly, you know, and literally the week that she died, he came back because he needed to be there for me. But, you know, it was maybe three months after she passed away.


I remember clearly one day in the car and I've told him this where I remember thinking, oh, shit, he's not as funny as I thought.


He was blaming it all on him.


Nothing to do with you or what you're going to do with me. It's his fault.


Oh, my God. He's actually not the crack. I thought he was Steven's change, but I did not laugh for a solid three, four or five months.


I just I found nothing funny. Yeah. For a long time. And that's like, you know, looking back, I've told him that and we laugh and I'm like God.


For a while I was like, oh shit. Wrong decision. Here it is full of zero crack. But like, that's where I was for a while. It was just like your head. I think your head goes so busy that you don't hear anything. You're too busy turning it over in your head.


You're overthinking and you're coulda, shoulda waddingham. What if and yeah, yeah. It's like you're so consumed with the grief and what's going on that it completely takes off your whole body.


Yeah, there's no room for jokes. And like, you're not present.


Like even on that note, I remember maybe three months after they died, I went straight through a red light one night, like, I don't know how, like I went between two cars, but that'll show you the level of fog, you know, in your head.


You're not there. You're not there at all.


So, I mean, to go through a red light some days, but not as fast safety first thing.


But the fog is not there anymore. But I think it's in the early days. It's quite hard. But yeah, I've always kept a good, positive outlook.


I suppose, you know, you had an amazing relationship with your sister, Elaine.


You were like best friends. Yeah. Talk to me about it. What was she like?


So she was like me, very, like, upbeat. And she was to me, she was a year and a half older, but she felt like she was ten years older. Do you know what I mean?


Because I was like the clown, like she was the serious. She was married at 22 and she had the house.


And, you know, what the hell is this one doing with her life, you know, but poor Kathy, you know, together thingo more like Lane.


But but we were very similar in that, like, you know, music. And we got the same jokes like she but what I'm saying is she would look after me a lot. Like I always felt like she was like a second mother, you know, like Elaine would give out here and she'd be like, keep yourself on her.


You know what I mean? I think it's because, you know, I success and almost like only your sisters can. Give out to you. Yes, but don't ask if you're OK afterwards, yeah, it's not a relationship like I I'm a personal trainer, but I have classes not any more since this whole thing.


But what thing what's happened to my classes? But like, I would ring her for the honest.


I used to do my classes in a small village and you know, like if someone died for example. I do. I do. I do.


Do I have the music pumping. Of course. Something while I do like will I stop the class. I'm like, she would be the one to. Absolutely, yes. You need to not have the class. OK, but I find now like no one's no one's going to give you that honesty.


A friends say, oh whatever you think you know where she. But no, don't do it. She can't do it. You know, it was just that relationship where you could count on her, the loyalty, you know, if there was ever anything, she was stand by you no matter what. And I'm sure you know that from your own sister.


It's like you can't it's very hard to find that again.


You know, it's almost like I think my sister's in with my mom. We're all best friends. And before I used to be kind of embarrassed, I said, what sort of idiot says they're sisters and their mom are their best friends? Because I used to be embarrassed and now I go, well, yeah, my mom was is my best friend and I still struggle with the wars. And it's so funny what my sisters all live in the same village, all in rehanging counterculture, bringing up all their children together and they are best friends.


Yeah, I think that relationship strengthens to when you get a bit older doesn't it. Like I mean you're wiser and you know what's. But it took me a while. I mean when I was younger, I mean I barely, you know, look at her some days, you know, kill each other.


But and that's what makes me a little bit sad because I feel now like, oh, God, if she was here now, I think we would have just got closer and closer and closer, you know what I mean? But especially since the path I'm on now is very similar to hers, where it wasn't when she died.


Talk me through Elaine's diagnosis and when you guys kind of realized, oh, something's wrong.


Yeah. So it was in 2014, she was married, happily married with two babies and the youngest was one.


So young. Yeah. So you're so young.


And she just kind of was getting headaches and different things. She would be the type that would get migraines and headaches anyway. But there were severe because there was one evening I was there and I remember I think we'd been at a funeral or something.


What else? Local village. Of course, there was a funeral. So we went back to her house and she was literally running me out of the house. You know, she was she switched off the lights and like Henton get out and was about half eight or nine oh.


And she she wanted to go to bed because she had such a bad headache.


And I thought that was really weird, you know. But anyway, she got diagnosed, she she had a scan in Castlebar Hospital. And on the day they told her, you have a tumor, three centimeter tumor in your head, a brain tumor.


And so, you know, from there we you know, I went to the hospital to her and she the following Friday, she had surgery to remove the tumor.


That's quite quick. Yeah, but there's no hanging around with that brain tumor like, you know, is a good thing, obviously.


Yeah. So it was the following week that you went and, you know, fantastic surgeons in Beaumont to take out a brain tumor is very different to take the breast tumor something out because you can kind of take tissue so far.


You can go with your brain. It's so precise. So, you know, there was we were always told, you know, if there's any sort of a cell left behind at all, the chance of this cancer that she had, it was a grade for glial sarcoma. It was called.


The tons of that coming back was very high. So they did tell her initially on that first diagnosis day. So after they took the tumor out, they biopsied it and brought her back and gave her the news that it was cancerous. So, you know, they did tell her on that day that this is going to significantly reduce your life expectancy, I suppose. And of course, I went onto the Internet, Googling and worst places to go to Google.


Yeah, Dr. Google.


But I like to know and you know, the average life expectancy is, you know, up to five years, years from diagnosis. So and this was twenty, fourteen, twenty fourteen. You were thinking you hovatter at least twenty nine. I think on that day we started to grieve there. And then because you're like you, this is not something that you're expecting. And straightaway you start imagining life without her straightaway, even though she's there. So yeah.


So I mean she was, she was good after that. She had her treatment and all the rest of it. So she she was very well in terms of how she reacted, you know, in my head I thought, oh God, you know, what goes with chemo is use all the hair, get sick.


She really looks sick. Yeah, she never did. Wow. No, she didn't lose her hair. She looked like she did like they shaved the side of her head to operate, but she never she made the decision not to shave her hair. And you would never have known and she didn't lose it with the chemo, some chemo as you do, others you don't. Right. But she so she didn't look like someone who was sick. Not at all.


Which is probably a good thing. Yes. Yeah. Well, she quite upbeat and positive about it all.


I mean, she was in the beginning, she was knocked for six course. So shocking. Yeah. It's so shocking. And, you know, she she kind of she used to cry a lot over like, you know, why did I have to get it in my head, you know, if I might have a chance if I got it somewhere else.


And then two very young children, two babies. So she had her chemo day one chemo on his first birthday, like it was just sick. Ridiculous.


But she was very positive. Yeah, she was very positive. And she was open. She was it. And there did come a stage where we thought, OK, that's done.


And actually did you. Yeah, we were like, you know, the doctor said that.


But, you know, we very much said there's always where they get it wrong and you cling to you hear a story here and there where this guy had this tumor and he lived for 15 years, you know, so we did kind of say there's no point in dwelling on it. But however, I do think we always lived our life knowing she may not be here. Yeah.


So were you still were you as carefree as you were? Are were you still thinking if she ever called you the back of your mind, you were going, shit, this could be bad news again?


I was from the day that happened, my life changed in that. My anxiety around a phone call and then it only just got worse after that as it triggers so much pain. My God, like the anxiety that it gives you.


I suppose the first phone call that she gave me definitely rattled me a little bit. But then, yeah, I mean, the way it played out with us was she would have a checkup every three months. So every three months when I was like waiting for the news.


OK, so they would monitor her every three months. Yes. If it was any reoccurrence.


OK, well that's quite cool because it's a short space of time, short space, and it's not what you see anything that hopefully catch it in enough time.




But on the flip side of that, you could never breathe because someone didn't say, OK, we'll see you next year.


She never goes. Come back in two years. Time is always 12 weeks. Yeah, three, three months. And he was always hanging over us.


Always. So, you know, there was always nerves which was going for her scans.


I would go on with her and my brother would take her. And, you know, you'd just be waiting for the tests and she would just text because she'd just say, Oh, God, and you like Grace and then you could breathe. But then you had another scan coming in three months, you know. What was your relationship like with Elaine during that time from her diagnosis to having the operation?


I mean, we definitely did more in terms of life. You know, she wanted to live more and do things and go on holidays and make memories. Yeah, 100 percent. It definitely shook her into, you know, this this could happen, as I said, like the diagnosis itself.


You grieve there at that moment because it's like, you know, what's the difference between a certain death and an illness is you start from the very moment they say, look, you could die very young from this, you know, and then you're just I think our relationship then I suppose in a way it's nice because you're more aware, you know, of course, you have your bitchy moments and your comments.


That's just what you're do. Yeah, but there was always like a kindness there that, you know, I just wanted to make sure to always do anything that she needed. And I'm glad, like, obviously I'm so glad now because I had no regrets when she did die. I'm like, I did everything I really like. She became my life because, as you know, as I said on Sheila's podcast, like I was single. So, you know, it's different for you, your own family.


I didn't have my own kids or anything. So she was your family. She quite literally was. Yeah.


I think in our age group or at our we're encouraged to take pictures and videos.


You know, there's some stuff that I can't I can't look back on videos and pictures. How are you with that process?


Really good with us.


Then I did it from dead art like I would while she was ill and while she was dying, like there was videos. And I would make sure that I had them. And she kind of really made sure that if you have videos, keep them, save them, all of that. But yeah, no, I did it from the start because of the fact that I felt like if I leave it, it's going to be too hard.


And also, I wanted to for the first few months after she died, the boys spent a lot of time with me, her sons, and they would watch the videos and they wanted to watch the videos with me a lot. And so I did.


I remember asking a counselor at the time, like, what's the right thing? Is it going to upset them?


And he said, just act normal, do what you always do. And I had the fear that they would forget what she sounded like. Yeah. And I wanted I didn't want to turn around when they're 18 and go, OK, here's a video of your mother and send them sideways like Husar.


Do you know, I wanted them to it to be normal, you know, to hear her voice, to see her if the if and when they want it. Not that it had to be this big. Sit down. And now we're going to show you a video because the time has come, you know. So, yeah, she's everywhere.


This photos of her everywhere in my house and videos. I love looking at them. Yeah.


So during these checkups every three months was playing quite confident that she was over this, that it had passed.


I was focusing on living a kind of regular life. Yeah. I mean she was.


She was. But you know what, at the end of the day, she, she was she was no fool either to what the disease was like. She knew the seriousness of it. So she always was wringing our hands with nerves when she'd be gone for that checkup. So she knew that there's always going to be a chance that today's the day is the bad news. But she did try.


And when you say it like that makes me feel so anxious. Yeah. You know. Yeah. You know, so, like, she definitely was positive and she was, you know, trying to say, I don't think it's going to come back. I actually recall one conversation.


We're sitting at the kitchen table and she just said to me, I think that the doctors are wrong.


You know, do you do you think that maybe I don't think I'm going to get it back? Do you think I will?


I mean, you all obviously, I was going to say no, I don't think you will either, because you're not going to say, yes, I do.


I think yeah. Yeah.


So, like, you know, and she was confident at a point that she may get it back, but maybe we're way, way down the road, you know.


So she was living life, you know, in terms of thinking that she's done with it. And then she did get very fit and healthy and she was good as as I've ever seen her. And she was full of life. Yeah.


Great fun. Like, you know, like I'm so aware of things can happen and I do. I have such a positive outlook on life.


But I'll always I'm not cautious, but I always know I'm aware.


And I think it actually helps me to live my life in a better way because, you know, I'm aware that I could get hit by a bus. I'm aware that I could get cancer. I'm aware of all these things. So therefore, I'm like, let's do this. You know, we might be here tomorrow. I do. I do. I feel like I'm strong enough to take on the truth of things and hope that they don't happen during all of this.


When Elaine is getting better, her husband is part and parcel.


Mom, mom passes away. Talk to us about that. And then what led up to par losing his life also.


So his mom had been ill. She had had cancer, but she had she had made a recovery as well as she was a young woman.


You know, she was not at all by any stretch of the imagination at all. And she hadn't been feeling well. But she was in recovery. She wasn't ill at the time, but she she was taken back into hospital and she died very unexpectedly in hospital.


And so, you know, it's a there about cancer, how cancer affecting on both sides his wife and his mother. That's a loss for for him to take on, isn't it?


The two women he loves most.


And I mean, he was a you know, he was a tough guy, but I mean, as in a strong man.


But it broke him like it broke him. I remember one laying on her diagnosis, like I had to go over and bring her back to our house because he was getting sick that day, because they had given her her diagnosis. Absolutely broke him.


But just so his mom had passed away and, you know, there were preparing for her funeral and they had they needed. Out the back, because there was no lighting for people coming to the house, and so he was erecting a light and it basically catapulted him, it was on a strap and it just kind of slipped and catapulted him. So he this was her funeral was to be now, it could get mixed up in the days, but I believe her funeral was to be that evening and he fell.


So it was absolute pandemonium. I was his home house was about three miles, four miles from their house. So I was there with Lane. So we went over and we were there on the scene.


And did you know how serious it was? I didn't really know. She got the call and she just was rattled. She knew. She knew.


Because, you know, this is the thing.


It's like there's so much that words, you know, other things like body language and all of that.


You know, she just knew by the the the energy, I guess, is what I'm trying to say.


Yeah. She feels this is serious.


They didn't say it was serious, but she knew. So, yeah, when we got over there, like, I wasn't expecting it to be anything like I thought it was, you know, that he'd fell and broke sometimes stitches in his forehead.


Yeah. Twisted his ankle. Exactly.


But when we got there, like he was just in a very, very bad way, I went to try and help. There was some men trying to hold him in place, you know, in case he broke his neck or whatever. But he was he wasn't really conscious. He was somewhat conscious. But I did go down with them and I was holding his hand and all of that. The ambulance came and they realized it was very serious. So they called for a helicopter.


Yeah. When you when you hear of a helicopter being involved, you know that this is life threatening. Yeah, yeah.


And, you know, we didn't really think I don't know, like, I knew it was really serious, but you're just in you know, you're in a mode where you remove all the feelings.


And actually, I remember when the helicopter left that I started shaking from head to toe, even though I had been there for about an hour.


And I now know that that was adrenaline. It just went down through my body and I started shaking like hell uncontrollable, but it was just adrenaline. So, yeah, when we got up there anyway, you know, he the news was grim and yeah, he he passed away two days later. He was on life support for two days, but he passed away so unexpectedly.


It's so bizarre that he's going through the trauma of his wife's diagnosis and the joint that point being optimistic. She was still, you know, living her life and healthy and going back every three months. His mom also kind of in the same predicament, recovering from the exact same disease him to have was not completely healthy.


Yeah. And then the one person you probably weren't worried about, which was him getting ready for his mom's funeral, is the one that dies because of a tragic accident.


You kind of have to think, how do you get your head around that? What is that? It's it's totally insane because, you know, Elaine even said that. She said, you know, he was the fittest, healthy. He never smoke. You know, he was a healthy, healthy man. He had no he'd never been to the doctor. Maybe once. I think his whole life he'd never been sick. And so she would say, you know, that just goes to show you, you know, you can be like, don't eat this, don't eat that and stay healthy.


And then you're killed in an accident. You know, you just never know. But yeah, I mean, and that's why I suppose I can kind of somewhat.


Empathize with you and the sadness that were like his death to me through me because. I just I couldn't, as you said, couldn't wrap my head around it, so we stayed in Beaumont for two days as well. We just went straight there, didn't come home until he passed away. But when I came home, I remember going into their room, you know, because I used to stay in the house and I was getting ready or whatever it was, he was coming home or whatever.


And I just remember looking at his pillow and I was fixated on the pillow, on his head was on the pillow.


And he got up and he never knew that he would not be on the pillow again tonight. It's just it's insane.


You know, he's going down to his home house, you know, where you grew up as a boy, as a child. He's safe. He's getting ready for his mom's funeral. He's putting up a light.


It's like, are you religious?


Not no, I wouldn't say I wouldn't say that like I love our local priest because he's just he brings me so much peace because he's been there for so much.


He was there for paths. He was there for Elaine was there for so much that like, I love him as a man. I'm a religious no. I get a lot out of things like anniversary masses. But I guess it's because it's your you feel supported and you feel that that's a time to mark the person. And so that's why I do like matters. Right. In that sense, it's what they what they symbolize. Yes. Remembering that person, could you find because Elaine in your mind was OK and she was still with you, did you find paths passing more shocking?


And you you said you couldn't get your head around it?


I think that, like, in hindsight, they're just different. But I do think so.


His was no goodbye. You know, there was no goodbye, although, I mean, I had and I'm thankful that I was there that morning and I got to speak to him and I got to he went out the door. I watched him go out the door. I'm really grateful that I had that.


But for me it was extremely traumatic, like even just the whole scenario, the helicopter that you're like, oh, my Jesus.


But yeah, I definitely found it out of the two. It definitely has left a lasting effect on me in that like my anxiety, like I'm scared of things. I'm afraid people are going to die and things like that. My own mortality.


I would be afraid to do things now in case I would fall. And you can't go around dodging things.


But I'm I'm terrified of of Stevens climbing the ladder.


I'm like, careful. And you could fall down. And, you know, it's just really it taught me a massive lesson that it can end in a second, literally in a second to anyone.


It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, what you have is gone. And then there's no like to see that. I couldn't help them. No one could help them. No one could wake them up. You know, I remember coming into his room saying, please wake up, please wake up. And he wasn't going to wake up.


You know, talk to me about then Elaine and where you guys kind of thought we have an issue here with her health.


So it was about a year later.


So it was during that year was when she said good spirits. But was she living her life?


Oh, like like you wouldn't believe living her life. She was doing it all in one year.


She was doing it all you have said, girl. Yeah, she was. She just I don't know how she did it. She was like she was beyond broken and she just did everything and you know, she started like and going a nice way and she was like, let's go here, let's go out there.


And she did a fitness event with me, the Tough Mudder thing she did, she join my classes and she became really into that. And I do recall her saying that to me. Like she said, I have to be well, I cannot get sick here. I am all that these two boys have. Well, yeah, her maternal instincts kicked in.


The mama bear kicks in. Yeah. And she just didn't want she didn't want to have them to have a a bad not a bad life, but she she wanted to stay really happy for them, you know.


And I know that she was just broken hearted, but she just she liked the zest that she had was unbelievable.


You know, she was just she was just really, really upbeat and positive for that full year and so much fun. And like, we did so many things. And that's I'm so happy we went.


Patrick, we did. You're smiling when you talk about. Yeah. Which was just great.


Cracked like to you know, when you say the first year, the first year is the hardest, longest year. And you know yourself, when you go through a grief and loss the first year, it can feel like it's where they can feel like five years, that it can feel like six months. Yeah, but the first year I always find it's the toughest one to find your feet because you're almost looking for a new identity. Yeah, you are.


You're also replaying everything like I found that to it's the first birthday that comes around. It's the first Valentine's Day in her case, the first everything that came around.


I even recall their first wedding anniversary and I took her for dinner.


You know, there was all those things. I'm like, don't get me wrong. As though she had moments where you would come in and she just, you know, she wasn't even able to talk.


She'd be just so brokenhearted. What age was Elaine at this when she lost part?


She would been thirty four. So young to be a widow.


Isn't that to me a widow with someone and hold an older lady, an old woman, 78 years of age who used to laugh. This is the thing. She would make jokes. She'd like to look at the widow's pension. Don't you joke with?


Look, I think you're a bit like maybe. It comes to humor. I've got yeah, I've really had to kind of really rely on all aspects of humor in everyone because I used to always say, if I don't laugh, I'll cry.


I mean, we used to have such a laugh.


I mean, she was such and this is the thing that I miss so much about her is I can't laugh in the same way with anyone that I did with her. And you know what's funny? Because I was thinking that this reminded me so much of I have told the story to my friends so many times about her bringing me one day. It's one of my favorite memories. But it was about Big Brother, right?


So she rang me one day and she said, Where are you? I was like, Why? What's wrong? Have you watched Big Brother?


No. Oh, please. Can I tell you what happened?


Oh, God, don't ruin it for me. Tell me, please. Please. Can I tell you please? Can I tell you? I know you can tell me.


And I turned out it was the episode where David is dead. Oh yes.


And she was weak. Laughs Very funny. Oh my God Almighty. We just howled.


Laughing And you know, the thing with Tiffany Pollard, I think, is one of the best reality TV people ever. But she was like, please go home and watch that. She was crying, laugh. I thought she was crying. She was laughing so much that she sounded she was crying.


But, you know, those are the things that you miss, too, because it came up the other day that it was five years ago. And I was like, I can't tiger.


I know it. And it's so funny, though, and stuff like that that you're not thinking about at the time, of course. But it's those unique moments that you share that you'll never be able to share with. I know. Yeah. Because your only sister. That's what a relationship is, isn't it?


When you think about it with everybody, it's your own one on one personal things that no one else in the world can replace. And that's why grief is so hard, because once that person is gone, there is no replacement.


But, you know, you have you have to be able to to work through it. So it just doesn't lead you down a dark, horrible road.


Yeah. I mean, I put an awful lot of all this on Stephen's poor head.


You know, I'm constantly fiances or and not myself beyond say thank you. The first official.


Yeah. But, um, yeah. Like I mean, he is brilliant in that I get to say the things to him and the memories and he knows it inside out.


I mean I remember we were at a wedding one day, me and him and he saw that he came in, I was with somebody else and he heard, you know, the parting glass.


Yeah. We played that as she left the church, the version by Ed Sheeran. And he left what he was doing. And I knew and I said to my friend, I said, I bet you any money Steven's going to arrive here now. And he did because he knew he was. Just want to see if you're OK and everything.


OK, this is what Ed Sheeran with these heartbreaking songs. That means so much for us. That supermarket flowers. Yes. We a photograph for her.


We went to Ed Sheeran, me and her together.


Oh, OK. So that's that's a whole. Yeah. Yeah. The whole other thing. Yeah. Is that why the supermarket flowers is. Yeah.


Someone contacted me on Instagram saying I should listen to the song and I listen to the song and then author compiled this videos and picks up Mom for a few minutes and plays over there.


Right now.


I repeat it is therapy and I believe it with just sometimes I'm like, not today. Yeah, listen to it today.


But I suppose as time has gone on as well, I am a little bit better with handling that, that side of my grief, you know.


So you come up to the first anniversary, Elaine, as we said, she's living our life. You know, concerns, though, that obviously concerns are about her. You know, her husband, her best friend have passed. But, you know, concerns regarding the diagnosis from before.


Um, yes, I know, right. Because she did start you know, it was his anniversary and it was that weekend that she left my class with a really, really bad, blinding headache.


And like, straight away, you are worried because you're thinking, oh, God, are we going down this again?


Could it be that boss, coupled with the fact that it was his anniversary, we were kind of thinking, well, maybe she's just having a rough few weeks.


And so she started going to the doctor and going to the hospital and all of that, and she progressively got worse.


But the problem was they were telling her she was fine, that there was nothing wrong. You know, she went for scans, you infer MRI, and every time she would come home, she was just progressively getting weaker. She was, you know, vomiting, her headaches, her head was killing her.


And we would go in and out to any nearly every weekend. And it started at his first anniversary just after that. So and because she'd been so well and because it had happened around that time, we started thinking, well, I don't know, maybe she's just it's just all too much.


She's having a breakdown. Yeah.


So we just but but every time it was like in a medical emergency to us, we would bundle her up and put her into the car and bring her because she was.


In that much pain, so we would go to any and they would do all the scans, do all the tests, and there's nothing there, there's no tumor on your brain. We'll see what happens. Go home, come back again. And it went on for ages. And, you know, she was losing weight.


She was clearly very ill, very ill at home.


She was getting sick and we could see it, but there was nothing we could do. And she started because we were doing the one thing you do is go to the hospital and they were just say, no, she's fine.


Why do you think there were if she was losing weight and she was in physical pain, did you think that they thought it's all in her head?


I wouldn't say that they did, in fairness to them. Right. But doctors are very step by step, you know, they have their checklist, OK, you have a history of brain tumor, loskarn, your brain, OK, there's nothing there.


Yeah, I know. There's nothing.


They're not looking for it anywhere else. Yeah. And what, you have a headache and you're getting sick. That doesn't necessarily mean anything to them. And what they would do is give her something for the pain and then the pain. You feel fine. You should be grateful to send her home. Yeah. That would happen again. Again and again and again and again.


And I was at my wit's end because my whole life literally was teaching my class, coming home, bringing her to the hospital, sitting in the hospital with her, going to my class, bringing her home from the hospital.


She couldn't drive because of her history of the brain tumor course, but she became so weak and so ill.


When you guys turned up at the hospital, were the doctors like Jesus? Here they are again. You can imagine you're thinking that, aren't you? That like, oh, what's wrong with her today?


One of the problems was that we are from a border village. And so she would go between two hospitals.


OK, so that didn't really help in that. She wasn't always seeing the same people I know.


Are you starting from scratch again? Every time. Each time you're it in. Hi Julie again. What, you give a lady's name. You would like to think the medical history quick diagnosis.


OK, so this is one because they go by a chart that's not even on a computer, as far as I can see.


Need to be on a computer. Yeah, but it's insane. It's all like backwards, if you ask me. That's just my own opinion.


Of course.


It's and we also we all know that doctors do go above and beyond also the honesty in the patient. For a couple of minutes, I could be seeing different doctors, I presume, as well. Yeah.


And they were trying their utmost for her, but they just they just couldn't get to the bottom of it. And they were it was the problem was because of the bad situation, she's been passed from here to there to here to there. And she was in Castlebar one week and then she was going the next week presenting with headaches. It didn't look like anything too serious to them. But then she did start to collapse. She did start to have fits and that's when they kept her in Castlebar.


But Castlebar is like, I don't know what the equivalent would be like.


Maybe the Midlands. It's not a specialized hospital. They they wouldn't have any neurosurgery in there.


And so because of that, there was no one there equipped to kind of specialize in her history.


So they were just taking care of her, you know, with pain medication, but there was no bed and go away.


So she ended up there for two weeks.


And the whole what happened during those two weeks was it was just it was horrible, really, with her.


And that to me, it really upsets me when I look back and think of it, because they just left her there because and again, I have to stress, I'm not saying anything about a doctor or nurse, but they couldn't do anything with her.


They would call go away and there was no beds available.


So what are they going to do? They were doing their best. They were doing their best job.


But she was a really, really sick 34 year old girl.


Thirty five, perhaps at that time, she was really ill.


And we were begging them. I was crying. I was saying, you have to do something because she was as fit as me, you know, a couple of weeks ago. It's like she's just gone downhill and we we'll see what we can do. And like they were only looking at the stint that they had, not that the previous visits to any, you know, OK, she's here three days now. Sure. We'll see. You know, and for me, it was extremely frustrating.


And eventually I got onto her consultant in Galway and all we could do was to get her to go there for an appointment and she'd be taken by ambulance. She couldn't walk. I mean, I had to shower her and Castlebar, that's how weak she was.


And that's, you know, to be in that position. That's also frightening, isn't it? When you're showering your 34 year old sister, you just go, this is how serious this actually is. It was really sad because.


Again, those are the moments that I'm so glad that I could do it for her, of course, and it was the retender kind of moments, you know, I remember her saying her hair was so knotted because she couldn't move at this point either, as she couldn't lift her. Or if you think someone paralyzed, that's what she was like because of the fact it was in her brain stem.


We kept trying to find out that controls your cancer, everything. Yes, right. And so we found out she couldn't drink. I would have to physically pour the water into her mouth.


I would have to feed her. And what makes me angry is when I look back, you know, a lot of the people would say, Elaine, come on, do it yourself. You're well able to.


And I would get so upset saying she's not able to do it.


She would do it. If she could type, why would she lie in bed with two young children? Exactly. Four and not feed herself.


So we needed to be there for her because she couldn't do anything.


So I would carry her in line to the bathroom and all of that. But, you know, as I said, those moments were nice. I remember her saying, oh, she goes, you must hate me now.


And I said, You mentally, like, no way I would do anything for her.


You're probably so happy that you were doing it. It was a privilege. You know, that's the thing. That's the word privilege.


And her hair was not it, because she wasn't able to you know, it was really knotted in her hair. And it took me a full hour and three bottles of conditioner to get the out of her hair.


And we had a laugh. She was like, oh, stop, stop. I guess it hurt you obviously three bottles later.


But but to look at that and think that shouldn't be happening, what age were the boys at this point? And they just they'd lost their dad. They're still super young. There were three and seven. You have these two young children are three and seven that lost their dad. And now this with their with their mom.


It's. What do you do? I mean, it was like the whole atmosphere in our family was just nobody had any clue really of the depth.


You would never know unless you were going through it. It was it was pandemonium. Like because. Everyone in our immediate family was doing something, but at the same time, you're trying to keep her privacy and everything like so down to earth. And also it was our core family and we were going between visiting her, helping her. Someone had to be with her in the end all of the time because she couldn't move. She couldn't feed herself. And no one is going to come.


They're understaffed as it is to come and sit and feed her. So we had to be with her.


I had to try and deal with my own work people to know I'd have to go home and go, OK, let's do some perp's you know, no one knew the depth of it.


And the boys then were so young that we had to be at home a lot with them taking care of them. Obviously, there was so much help and, you know, DPAs family and, you know, other people that would take care of them.


But, you know, at that time, it was just it was one of the most stressful times of my entire life.


I don't think anything will ever top the stress of that.


It's also a lot of tragedy to hit one family. Yeah, it said, like, you know, a son, a mom.


And now. Yeah. What is life in the middle?


My uncle died. We were used to laugh and and they are who we would say, OK, we can't tell anyone because they'll say, oh, here they come again. What are they doing about how it all fake. But in the middle of it like that was my mom's brother and he was very close to us and he died in the middle of it.


And we just didn't have time to we had to park his because she was getting sick and we had to look after her. That was our only goal. She was having fits and kind of seizures, which they thought maybe mental, you know, they thought, you know, I heard it's been awesome.


She needs to go to a psych ward, that this must be in her head.


And then the day he said, you know, she's in big trouble, she's gravely ill.


Um, this was the day that we had got her from Castlebar to go away and they checked her out and. Yeah, OK, you know, there is something wrong. The cancer is back. We've done the scan. We can see it. There's his words where there's a three centimeters tumor on her spine. But that's the least of our worries. Wow.


And from then, like, parts of it was kind of like almost like relief. Yeah. Because it's your aha. Moment. Yeah, we told you. We knew. But then you you'd be angry going. We've been telling you this for how long. But then there's relief because you found what's wrong with her and then you can go into trying to fix it.


Yes. But we knew she was like she was at the end stage of cancer. Right. Well that's why the anger because.


He said those fits, the shoes have more from pain, so I'm like, you know, a person at that stage in their cancer journey would be, well, medicated.


And on palliative care, she wasn't getting anything.


Only Tramadol or whatever was living it and feeling it. She went through the whole thing all the way. Torture.


Yeah. So the look, the consultant was phenomenal at just a phenomenal man. He did everything that he could.


He really what they wanted to do was to get the fluid off her brain because that's why she couldn't move and it was for her to try and prolong her life. That was it. There was no other options, really, in terms of chemo or radiotherapy.


There's no point they did a spinal tap to try and drain the fluid. It didn't work. We we went by ambulance to Beaumont. I went with her in the ambulance and they did a shunt which drains the fluids down into your stomach. But it may give her a better quality of life. But they said the trouble with that is your stomach. Then the fluid travels to your stomach and it can kind of speed up. You know, the cancer is going to go straight throughout you, you know.


But she had the shunt and it didn't really work. But from that day that she went in by ambulance to go away, she died three weeks later.


Wow. And she never came out of the hospital.


You know, to us, it was really sad because she never got home. She never got to have a goodbye.


She never you know, and even though, you know, I know we talk a lot about the the difference between a goodbye and a sudden death, but in hers, there wasn't a goodbye either because she was so ill and, you know, they just had to medicate her and she didn't get to go home.


She didn't know that this was going to be the end for her. Did Elaine know that this this was it for her, that she wouldn't be leaving hospital?


She had you know, there was one conversation, I guess, you know, we she was that illness there were kind of speaking to us also on her.




But they would speak to her to like mean don't get me wrong, they would go in, but they would tell us kind of first and then they'd go in and tell her.


And there was one conversation where he told her to. Sean hasn't really worked.


And she did. No, she said, you know, I always remember that evening because she she's someone that everybody erm she was like the bath get in here, the lady.


Whereas Kathy I was often the corridor that she was like, oh my God, I like to call the shots and sort of get in here.


Yeah. Cause that's the last part of your hand. So she called us all in but she, she just almost got a base, you know, she started giving all the instructions.


I want this to happen. I want you to do that. I don't want you to be frightened. You have enough heartache that your cousin funeral. Yet she didn't really go through the funeral, but she knew, you know, stick together.


You're going to have I remember her words saying you have enough heartache now coming up with all of this. But then we kind of came out of that night and didn't really talk about it again because she needed to have hope. It's too real, though, as well. You can't, like, say, OK, this is it, I'm going. She knew. But at the same time, you know, we would she would be hopeful. She would talk about when I get out of here, we'll do this.


We'll do that. You know, she never really. Because if you don't have hope. Like what? What's your what's the point? You've nothing, you know? So even though she was aware, she she kind of couldn't go there a lot. You know, we did bring her boys in to the hospital to her.


That must have been so difficult for them to even understand at that age.


It isn't. Yeah, it was really which is really hard to know that they didn't understand. I think so. But, you know, they even asked me recently about us. You know, they asked me one of them asked me what was their last word. Yeah. And I don't like I don't you don't have the answer for that. Really?




Just the way it played out, you know, she was just went into a sleep, I guess, towards the end, but they do I do have videos of that and which I think is important for them in years to come so that there are no probably old enough to also understand the feelings that come with watching.


Yeah, yeah. So, you know, it was it was it was so hard to bring them in so hard. You want to protect them little kids. You don't want them to hurt.


But it's inevitable like, you know, so you want to almost try and be as honest as you can as well so that they grow up almost in case someone else assist them in school or someone passes a comment that they know what they're dealing with must be very difficult.


You know, having the one sister you've one sister like to kind of. No, that this is this is this it's time to say goodbye, did you get a chance to say goodbye?


I feel like the weeks leading up to it was my goodbye.


OK, you know, I, I was with her a lot being female. I got to care for her and it was the long goodbye.


I didn't actually sit down and have a conversation with her and say goodbye. But to me it was my biggest honor to be able to to help her when she needed help the most because she always looked after me so much.


As for me, that was that was my way of saying goodbye is caring for all the way to the end. There was no goodbye, really. Um. I think I didn't I didn't I knew she was going to go, and in the end I really wanted her to go because she wants to be at peace. Yes, she was. Because she was in pain. Pain that the day she went, I was just happy that she was gone on that day.


But I guess you don't really realize what's coming after that, you know, and the loneliness that you'd feel. But yeah.


And the heartbreak, the guilt of looking at her boys with no parents, you know. Yeah.


That's another level as well, because there's no family of no mom and dad. My whole family shifted the dynamic because now my parents in a way, I lost my parents too, in a way, because they are now the parents of my nephews. So they left their house there. And then they did an unbelievable thing in that they left their house that very day and never went back and moved into her house. And, you know, they should be retired.


And, you know, my dad photo the other day and he's making a snowman, right, with the boys. And, you know, they're going to school and they have to do all these things. I mean, we were very involved. I've always been really involved with my nephews. Like, I feel like they're like my own.


I know totally the same the exact same process. They're mine. Yeah. And from day one, I was like that. And so there was a while where, you know, we had to kind of figure out what's the new way, you know, and we kind of had to step back.


And I struggled with that, to be honest, because I was so used to being there with them that I struggled to, you know, to to understand the new dynamic that it was. Now, my mom and dad were now their parents. Yeah.


And like that whole relationship changed, I know, in a way was the eldest because she was gone.


And everything changes your whole life.


And I feel like that's the first step for me into grief with her. And again, it was a totally different grief to my brother in law.


When it's your own flesh and blood, it's just it tears your heart to think it's inside of you. Yeah.


Like your mom's flesh and blood.


It's a different thing where you think, you know, did they hurt and, you know, were they in pain and did they know and were they scared?


And you go through all of those questions and they really hurt you. Um, but just the shuffling around of the family dynamic, like for me, I found that hard. I found who am I now? Because I think I might begin. The age is mixed up. I think I was thirty three when she died, but I thought I've had thirty three years with her in my life. There's no year that she hasn't been here. So now I'm in this world where she doesn't exist, you know what I mean.


She's not there. So everything was weird and wrong.


And you know, you just feel like a fish out of water because everything has changed. Like my parents no longer live in their home house. They're gone.


They're my two pets, my nephews that I adore.


They now have a different set of parents in a way. And just everything was different. And it was really, really, really hard to step into the world and navigate that, you know, talk to me about.


Elaine's funeral.


Yeah, it was it's a big blur, really, hindsight and time haven't passed. I look back and I think even the parts where she was laid out at home, I couldn't it was too much for me.


But I remember maybe last year waking up in a panic going what I should have like I didn't when I said goodbye, you know, when they were putting the lid on, I didn't.


I just give her a quick kiss because it was a people behind me and walked away and then years later, this is more of the anxiety coming out and I should have stayed for longer.


I should have held her hand for longer and all of these things. But I think during the funeral, I was just I had like we were exhausted because we'd spent six weeks of 24/7 care and trying to juggle a life.


We were exhausted and I just went into a mode where I just switched off. It wasn't happening, but I was there. But I was like having the chats.


And my friend flew home from England. I was like, oh, my God, hello. And, you know, I thought, oh, my God, are you OK? I'm like, I'm fine. Everything's fine.


That was my mother. I have it on t shirt. I'm fine. I'm fine. Everything's fine.


You're drinking tequila at one o'clock. I'm fine with the tequila down until you're not.


Yes, but we all have a breaking point, though. Yeah. Did you ever get to a breaking point where people went, oh, you're not fine, you need to check yourself?


Yeah, I mean, there was I think for the first year I was fine.


And that's the time where people are looking at you the most, like, oh my God, are you OK?


And if you're not doing so well, maybe you need to get some therapy. And that was my kind of aha moment. That what grief is about that. No, I'm actually supposed to be bad.


I'm supposed to be feeling like crying. I'm supposed to be upset. I'm supposed to be lonely, angry role, all of these things. That's what I'm supposed to be doing. You need to kind of embrace that. But people kind of were like, you know, obviously worried for me and say it's a lot. And you're still I was back working two weeks later building my business. Go, go, go, go, go.


But I was happy in that bubble.


And whether people want to say it or not, whether they say or, you know, she's in shock, I'm not in shock.


I know what happened.


You know, I'm just not ready to go through the motions yet. But you do what you do to survive.


But I do think the second year it caught up with me a little bit in terms of the anxiety and stuff.


I mean, I used to get really struggled with sleep.


I couldn't breathe properly with the anxiety was just massive.


And I think it just came from physical anxiety. You know, where you have the tight chest. I would feel like my chest is in a vice. I can't breathe properly worrying. And then I was pregnant and all of this had happened so quickly as well. I just think my life had just changed so much that I definitely was struggling with anxiety and I suppose lows.


I started to get quite low.


But again, I felt like if I say this, I would have no problem in admitting it. But, you know, Stephen was helping me through and I didn't need other help.


I felt supported enough. But there were days where I woke up and I was just low for no reason, like no reason. I would just wake up and I would know today is a bad day. Yeah, absolutely. And that was OK because I knew once I could talk about it. I feel I'm OK. I'll be fine.


But then there was times where I would cry and I would know I was crying for no reason, because when I compared it to the early days, I would know why I was crying. Like, I might cry and say, I heard a song today and I can't believe the loan. We'll never hear the song. And that's my reason for crying. And then, you know, Jason and Adam, my nephews would say something and break my heart.


And I would know I'm really upset because of that. And New Year's Eve, I was devastated because the New Year was starting without her and they were all reasons. But then it got to the point the following year where, I don't know, I am sad. I just feel really low and really sad.


But yet you could get up and teach a class and be jolly and turn on, turn it on.


And it kind of caught up a little bit where, you know, the anxiety part of it was just so you know, I couldn't breathe with it, worrying about things gone wrong, overthinking, and this might happen. And what if this happens? And what if, you know, I have pain in my leg, maybe it's cancer.


And so eventually I did go to my doctor, my GP, and she was phenomenal because I just said, look, I'm full of anxiety.


And then, you know, two seconds later, like, where it all came out. So I feel like Dods, though, eventually it catches up with you. Yeah.


Even though I am a strong person and I talk about it so much, I've always talked from Day Dot. That's my therapy. And I never felt like I was struggling with this. I just think it is what happened.


It was a part of the process. Yeah. That I just I'm anxious afterwards and the anxiety got too much for me. So the doctor helped me.


She's giving me antianxiety medication and like a part of me was a bit, oh, God, am I going to become this like Zombie Folley Metropol?


No. Ostro sister. Yeah, there she is.


I know. Like a statistic. Statistic if I say that right. Statistic. What we're trying to say statistic. Thank you. That's the word, but yeah, I thought, oh, God, I'm going to be drugged up.


Eyeballs, totally. The lights are on, but there's nobody home.


No, I am the same upbeat, happy person.


And what I felt when I took give them a bit of time was I thought, oh, holy shit, how hunched up I was.


Like, I was constantly I spoke to some girls recently. They're brilliant psychologists into smiley talk about grief, loss, but they the way they described it was there were brace for impact. And that's what I feel like, was until I started taking the medication, it just I relaxed like I felt like my shoulders drop down.


I wasn't finished my teeth and my fist, like it's a physical thing in my dicenzo.


Aggressive. Yeah, but that's how I was ready for a fight. Yes. And Stephen would tell you, like in the early days I would wake up, I would lash out in my sleep. I was having nightmares, I was thrashing about the place just all over the place and I feel like I wish I did that sooner. I went to the doctor.


Were you at all concerned what people were thinking about you?


Not really.


To be honest, I was it was just me that I feel like shit and I thank you and yeah, just me. Just bad son.


No, I think you know what Elaine said such a good example because I thought if she could get up and get out and have the crack and you not really care what anyone thinks when her husband died, then I got to do the same thing.


And I didn't because I feel like I really owned grief. And the way I looked at grief was it's just emotions. It's just feelings like so, you know, if someone's, like, just got engaged or whatever.


Did you get engaged?


Congrats. I didn't know. I know very well. But you know, what's his name?


Steven. I know Steven SPDM to me a lot of stuff. It's late into the year. I'm saying no, you can't say nothing.


Oh my God. You got engaged. Oh my God. You're expecting. Oh my God, that's fantastic. And people want to celebrate it. And to me, grief is the same thing on the flip side of that.


But we're not supposed to talk about it, really. We're supposed to stay quiet about it. If you fight it.


I feel that you would have a harder time, you know, constantly trying to pretend you're not OK, trying to pretend you're happy.


That's what grief is. You're supposed to feel all of these emotions. And so I would allow I never hit it. You know, I publicly to all of my friends or whatever, I would say I'm not doing well. The thing is also that's what her death and his death has taught me. You dare not here, get your earth up and go and you live your life.


Yeah, because how dare you not. Where do you think they are? They're together now. And what they're doing, I don't know. I struggle with that right now. Are they together that I don't know. I hope that they're I would love if they were together and if they were happy.


But it's I find that hard to to navigate.


I'm not sure. Do I believe in heaven, I suppose, and all of that.


Do you feel when you look at the sky, I look at the sky, even though I don't believe in heaven, Persay say, but I always look at the sky and feel like that's where they are. Yeah, actually you're totally right.


If I look up and it's a sunny day or if I see a rainbow or if anything, it's so funny you saw that. Yeah, I do look to the sky. I always think it's everyone that's on this journey. You have to find peace with what works for you and me thinking my mom is on a cloud doing all that works for me. That may not work for you, but it doesn't have to.


It's like I said, I'm not a professional. I'm not a counselor. I'm not a doctor. You know, this is just my journey of grief and what worked for me. It doesn't work for everyone. So talk to me about grief, Ireland and what grief Ireland does.


So I decided because I have my own fitness business page, I, I wanted to come on and talk about and if I felt like it and sometimes I don't know if everybody wants to hear about that, I believe that it should be normalized, which is why I love what you do, because let's just talk about us.


You know, it happens death happens every day to everyone, I guess what is going to happen to us, too.


So I think it's good to normalize the conversation and talk about it. But I do know I'm aware that a lot of people might not want to hear about it too much. So I decided to just separate it and just set up an Instagram so that I could talk there. And it's lovely because it's a little community.


I just wanted this particular place to just talk about it. And it's insane. The amount of messages that I've got. It's a tiny page, but everybody has a story.


Everybody wants to be heard. They're all unique and individual, but also everyone wants. To relate to others, like I found that. Anyone that has lost someone immediately, like I gel with them because you're in the inverted commas club now, aren't you? You want to be in the club, but you're in it. Yeah, you're in the you're a VIP member.


Absolutely. I feel like we need to have a.


Accepted a normal that people want to share their stories and they shouldn't have to feel awkward or basketry, that it's not a negative thing, they're difficult emotions, but it's not negative.


Thank you so much for this conversation and what's been really good. As you know, the one thing that I wanted to do with these conversations was also to be able to inject humor into conversations that are so sad. And I think the fact you have been so honest about your mental health at one point and getting that checked by the dynamics of your family has changed. I think that's something that people don't talk about. There's so many levels to grief and how it affects people.


And you're so tanned and I'm so jealous.


Thank you so, so much.


Thank you. More Kathy's strength and determination is incredible. Not only did she raise thousands of euro to remember, her sister, Kathy also supports others through online chats on the grief arland Instagram page. Kathy is incredibly open and giving and really helping people process, grow and heal. I thank her so much for sharing her story with me today. Next time on deck becomes him, I talked to Brian Burke, wrote A story is a lesson in appreciating every moment in life.


Her and her husband, Thomas, had incredible plans for life. They love spending time with their twins. We're looking forward to planning holidays and it just moved into their forever home. Tragically, Thomas passed suddenly in April 2020. Bronner talks about the trauma and the little signs she sees that prove Thomas is still looking after her. Why me, why give me so much pain? You know, why you give me so much pain, a space of five years, but give me so much joy as well.


And you know why tech a good one, the good guys away.