Shades Marathon Training

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Yesterday at 15:09

Emmy, thanks for your message.  I think you're right that this is "normal" and I just have to deal with it the best way I can.  "Coming in waves" is the best way I can describe it I think.

Yes, I have been offered counselling.  That type of thing is "not me", but I am going to take them up on it.  Her GP surgery is equally shocked - they held a team meeting about her and what to do, what support to offer etc etc so that is an option.  Plus, there is a councillor associated with the critical care unit who I think I am going to try and see next week.

My two closest friends (not runners, or really interested in fitness) have offered to go out with me for a bike ride on the weekend.  I may well take them up on that, as it could be "interesting"......

Suzy has had to go back for a couple of days, but Steph is still here.  We are spending the day together tomorrow and we'll get a walk in I expect.  I am seeing someone relating to the funeral tomorrow AM, then I need to choose some pictures for the order of service booklet as they need to be printed up, then I expect we'll go out.

I have received lots of email from people from her school.  This is one from a parent, and this type of sentiment is not uncommon, even when she was alive:

Good morning,

I was saddened to hear of the passing Claire of my daughter favorite teacher, Alicia is heart broken. She was an amazing influence in Alicia's young  life and such a wonderful, amazing teacher.

Alicia always says that Mrs W is The Best Teacher in The Whole World !

Claire Widdicombe was a teacher who taught from the heart.

Claire made you believe that you were important and gave you the confidence every day to believe in yourself. She was a big smile and a positive thought every time you saw her.

She had a passion for the children that shined brightly and made you want to be the best you could be.

Claire W will always hold a special place in our hearts.

May she rest in peace and may her family find comfort knowing that she is home. God Bless.

Our deepest sympathy

Edited: 23/09/2014 at 15:10
Yesterday at 15:12

I replied with the below.  Writing this stuff is helping me actually.

thanks very much for your email.  I can imagine what a shock it is for you and everyone at EA.

I think we actually met very briefly at Paignton Zoo, probably 1 or 2 years ago; Claire and I were members of the zoo and visited regularly.  Claire was very fond of Alicia and your family as she commented how much you support Alicia and could see how you wanted the best for her.  I am glad Claire had some input into the young lady Alicia now is.   Can you remind me; was it your family who took Fred Bear (I think it was) to Lapland a year or two ago?

I can’t believe what has happened to her.  Your words have rang true with me, as those qualities were there for me to see every day.  She did everything in her life in the same manner that she taught. She threw herself into things, made sure she enjoyed herself along the way and just did her best at everything that she tried.  

You may not know this, but she was a good runner and she enjoyed swimming, although she wasn’t the strongest swimmer.  However, she was getting better at swimming and competed in a race called an “Aquathon" which is a swim in a pool followed by a 5K run.  There was a slight risk that she may come last in the event, but it didn’t put her off from entering and giving it her best.  As it happens, she didn't come last, but I think that attitude is fantastic and is something I am going to try and continue in my life.  I think that attitude is also clear in how she taught, just instilling the confidence in children to give things a go and I know that is what she would have done with our son.

Thank you very much for that photo.  Would it be possible for you to send me the individual pictures?  Also, do you know when these pictures were taken; was it her last day at school in July?

If you like I cam make sure you get to know the funeral details, if you are able to attend.  There isn’t a date for the funeral as yet.

Thanks very much for your email - it means a lot.  She was a truly inspirational lady and I can’t believe she has gone.



(Shadies, if you are wondering what Fred Bear was I'll tell you.  Every year, Claire would buy a bear and take it on our summer holiday and take a couple of pics and write a story about his holiday in a special book.  Then, through the school year, she would give it to the children for weekends away or holidays and they'd do the same.  They loved it.  She had some very well travelled bears!).

Yesterday at 15:14

Not sure if it's appropriate to put a pic of Claire up that the parent sent?  I don't mind.

Yesterday at 15:26
Big G, that's a beautiful description if Claire both from the parent but also in your reply. I can understand how you must feel about the house holding too many memories for you to cope with but agree with you that it's too soon to be making decisions like that. You won't know how you'll feel about it in the future. I think Emmy's idea of getting some fresh air sounds like a good one so the bike ride might help give you some space. Don't give up on the running as I'm sure this may help a bit too. But there are no set rules to deal with all this so you have to do what you feel is best for you. And if you'd like to share the pic with us, we'd love that. Don't worry about what is deemed appropriate.
Yesterday at 16:19

Big G - That sounds like a lovely idea of Claire's with the bear. A great way of engaging the children and making them enjoy some holiday homework.

They say that a good teacher can last a lifetime and I believe that Claire has touched so many lives and changed so many with her attitude and teaching methods that her memory will live on for some considerable time yet through her pupils. When a teacher believes in you and gives you their time; it's the most precious feeling in the world. I'm sure that a lot of Claire's pupils got to experience that.

Grief comes in stages but how it affects you is so individual. I remember my father laughing, crying and anger all within a few minutes. There's nothing strange about the emotions; they make us human. I hate to use a running analogy but it's like a marathon. You can turn from joy to despair in a few short steps but then back again.... but just like a marathon: this takes time. Give yourself time.

You can also tell me to shut up I don't mind that either!

I agree with Slowkoala - if you'd like to share a picture; please do. Can i get one of fred bear as well please? (if that's OK).

Yesterday at 16:55
Thankyou for your updates Big G. It must be all so hard and upsetting. Good you have yours and Claire's family supporting you.
Thankyou for sharing what some parents have said.
Still in my prayers.
Yesterday at 16:56
Iain congratulations on your bike ride and Emmy on your amazing double
Yesterday at 16:59
lily of the valley wrote (see)
Iain congratulations on your bike ride and Emmy on your amazing double

Thank you Lily. How are you getting on? Double feels quite a long time ago now!

Yesterday at 17:11

Emmy, I have one of Fred, but RW won't let me upload it as the file size is too big and I can't seem to get it down below the 250K limit.  He is on the train in Europe, taking care of the train tickets.

Here is one of Bananas in Annecy in 2012, enjoying the sunshine.  A few days before this he'd enjoyed the London olympics



Here is the picture collage that the parent sent me of Claire on her last day of school.  You may not be able to see it, but she appears quite overwhelmed by it all in a couple of the pics (top right and bottom middle).  You can she's quite pregnant here, with a lovely bump.  Alicia is the girl in the top left.  She won the "Colegate Cup" in July.   Mrs Colegate was the previous Head who Claire had a huge amount of respect for, but left due to changes going on in her school that she didn't agree with.  This cup is for the student who just got stuck in and gave it their all and it was always Claire's honour to present the cup on the last day of term.



Edited: 23/09/2014 at 17:12
Yesterday at 17:34
((Big G)) thankyou for sharing those beautiful photos xx

Emmy I am fine. Running when I can. No races planned. Just park runs. Hoping my daughter can reach 10 before she is 18 in January so she can get her 10 t shirt.
My aim is to enter Windermere marathon in May and do a half sometime in the spring. It will be my 5th marathon one I have always wanted to do.
Yesterday at 17:48

Big G - I saw a few pictures of Claire on Facebook but those are truly special. I love her smile. You can see that she was truly happy there and with such a beautiful bump. The top right picture is my favourite... and I can't tell you why. I love her expression.

Lily - that's a great marathon to run. I know a few of the 10in10ers running around lake windermere for Brathay. It's on my list but it takes a long time for me to get there so a little out of the way. I'd love to do more parkruns but they're still not accepting new countries

Yesterday at 22:30
Those are beautiful pictures of Claire, Big G - she does look quite overwhelmed but very proud and happy too. And I love Bananas - he must be one very well travelled monkey. I have a friend who lives near Annecy and it's a really lovely place to visit. I also have memories of camping there as a child. That's good that you can spend tomorrow with Claire's sister. Is she the sister who ran a marathon this year? I bet you'll have a big choice of photos to include for the order of service. Are Claire's parents close by too?

Emmy, I thought parkrun were planning to launch in France soon? Realise that France not Belgium but it's a start. I thought one of te reasons for them starting this online store thing was so they could launch in more places. I have suggested they stock these wrist bands which are currently only available in South Africa. I want one!

Well done to your daughter, Lily for almost getting her T Shirt. I'm still on only 7
I think.

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