Ten months without our husbands - Emma Charlesworth & Pamela Addison

Ema and pamela

Ten months without our husbands - Emma Charlesworth & Pamela Addison

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On this episode of the Stolen Goodbyes podcast, Karen talks to Emma Charlesworth in Kent in the UK, and Pamela Addison in New Jersey in the USA, who both lost their husbands to Covid 19 in April 2020. Both of their husbands were in their mid 40s when they died. 

Despite the distance between them, the women have bonded through a shared sense of loss, support and grief including how both their husbands experienced their first Covid 19 symptoms on the same day, March 22.

In this special interview, the two friends intimately recount the highs and lows of grief to Covid 19, how they are getting through daily life, how their children are coping and their hopes for the future. 

0:00 – Intro 
01:32 – Emma explains how both of their husbands experienced their first Covid 19 symptoms on the same day, March 22
01: 55 – Emma says when she reads something Pamela has posted on social media, she feels Pamela could be speaking about her story 
03:09 – Both women thought their husbands would get better 
04:30 – Emma was helped when Pamela sent her advice about how to survive the first holiday after losing someone you love 
05:44 – Emma turned Charlie’s Christmas clothes into Christmas teddy bears and blankets as a way to keep his memory alive. She also used some of his ashes as Christmas decorations for the tree  
06:11 – Pamela made Christmas teddy bears from Martin’s shirts 
09:05 – Karen asks Emma and Pamela how the last nine months have been for them  
09:50 – Emma explains how she struggled a lot with the second lock down in the UK 
10:30 – Emma’s grief hit her really hard around December 27/28 to point where she struggled to get out of bed  
12:12 – Emma says a a new puppy has brought a new element and energy into the house 
12:45 – Pamela is saddened by how many people have joined the Covid 19 club since Martin died 
14:44 – Pamela talks about feelings of anger  
17:00 – Emma sums up her situation by saying: I’m not alone but I am on my own
18:30 – Pamela relates how exhausting it is having to do everything by yourself 
20:20 – Pamela explains how helping her daughter Elsie with her grief, brings out her own
20:55 – Karen asks both women how they envisage the future 
2:115 – Emma says thoughts of the future are too overwhelming 
22:14 – Emma explains how she has celebrated every big birthday with Charlie apart from her 40th this year 
24:10 – Karen asks how both women are coping financially without their partners
24:20 – Pamela says she qualified for the Brave of Heart fund for health care workers in the US but feels more should be done for young families
25:11 – Emma explains that all the bills remain the same even though your partner is no longer here  
26:21 – Emma says there is a bereavement support payment that lasts for just 18 months but if you’re not married you don’t qualify 
30:30 – Emma expresses concern about how nobody has been able to grieve properly due to Covid 19 restrictions and she worries what effect this will have on children
31:40 – Emma explains how her situation has forced her to assess her own mortality and she finds it overwhelming to realise she’s all her daughter has got now that Charlie is gone
32:00 – Pamela relates how she was determined to get the Covid 19 vaccine for the sake of her kids because they can’t afford to lose another parent 
33:15 – Emma says she still can’t understand how Charlie is never coming home
35:00 – Pamela misses some of the dishes only Martin could cook and feels sad that he’s never going to make a paella for her again  
36:01- Pamela reveals how she didn’t get any Christmas presents this year as that was a job that Martin always took care of 
37:12 – Emma says she was unprepared for just how different her life was going to be without Charlie
38:20 – Pamela says she’s still trying to work out who she is age 37 
39:20 – Emma says it all seems like a very long tunnel and she still doesn’t know whether they’ll be able to hold a memorial for Charlie in July, something that really needs to take place 
40:10 – Emma’s aim for 2021 is to find a new normal and rhythm for her and her daughter
41:00 – Pamela says that life has to normalise before she and her two children can find their new normal 
41:20 – Pamela reveals she hasn’t been to a grocery store in year and a half 
4300 – Emma says she hasn’t been shopping for nearly 11 months because that’s something she always used to do with Charlie 
44:47 – Pamela says people need to realise that this virus is devastating and that people shouldn’t brush it off 
47:17 – Emma says people need to be aware that there’s no rhyme or reason as to why the virus affects some people mildly and others fatally 
47:50 Karen asks the women if they have any plans to meet up in the future
48:43 – Emma says that when they do meet it will be an incredibly emotional meeting because they’ve formed a bond in this way