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Is it OK not to feel happy? Is it OK to be sad?

During this Covid-19 Pandemic, everyone is being told to stay positive, keep our spirits up and join together to get through this.

But sometimes, you feel sad, it may be due to the death of a friend or a colleague or an anniversary of the death of a family member.

Today for me is a sad day, it is 24 years since the death of my brother. Taken from us at the age of 31. My brother died from a massive heart attack whilst working, delivering food for schools across the country. He died in Bourton-on-the-Water. He left behind a partner and a very young child. That young child died last year (2019) in a car accident leaving behind his young family, a terrible tragedy.

Most of us have experienced death at some point in our lives, it is inevitable that it will happen to us all, how we cope with it depends on our own mental health and the support of family and friends.

As a trustee of a Veterans charity (, we receive notices weekly of the deaths of our veterans, their wives and their descendants. Each one is extremely sad, listening to the stories of the Veterans, their bravery and their continued fight brings tears to your eyes. At this time, the pain is worse due to not being able to be with them at the end. I was fortunate enough with my sister to be there at my mothers bedside when she passed.

The strain put upon families by a bereavement or an illness is massive, a hole is left when that person passes on, a hole which is never filled. Remembering them through video footage, pictures and stories means that they never leave us, our memories of good and bad times, with laughter helps us to continue to stay strong and move forward.

Listening to Veterans wives who have been married for 50+ years, who now have to live alone; young children who will never really know their mother or father, it is heart breaking.

Everyone says time is a great healer, and that the word goes on. It does, but it is never the same, the world as we knew it is different. This pandemic has taken some exceptionally brave, very talented individuals who put their lives on the line to help others, it has taken people who had so much to give. All that is left is memories.

It is OK to be sad, we all have to deal with bereavement, we must deal with it, it is inevitable. It is how we deal with it that we must understand, utilising family and friends and professional help to help with the burden. Charities and organisations can help you through the sad times. We must remember that one day, it will be our time to go, and we will leave behind loved ones and people who care about us, it will be their time to grieve.

My family have suffered a number of early deaths, my mother never really got over the death of her husband and eldest son in the space of 18 months, she stayed strong for us all, but it affected her massively. We all get affected when someone we loved, someone who was a major part in our lives is taken away from us. These people were our heroes, people who protected us when we were growing up, looked out for us and had our backs.

Each day is a new day, a different day, we must remember those that have not made it this far and we must never forget them. So today, contact your loved ones if you are apart, say hello, if you can hug them, do it. Don't put off that call, for some of us, we would love to make that call one last time, but we can't and never will again.

For those that are currently going through the grieving process, it is not easy, but with the help of family and friends, you can get through the sad times, the person will be forever in your memories and forever in your heart. Remember the good times, watch old video footage, look through photographs, these people had a major impact on our lives and through your memories and stories, they will never leave us.

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