22-Nov-2015 Contemplation

Posted November 22nd, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

I’ve never been in this position before. There’s no training school for it, how to deal with loss, no training school for grief.

A phrase which we heard over and over so many times this year was “Everybody’s different”. We’d ask questions. What can we expect? What usually happens when…? and out it would come, almost by rote “… everybody is different”.

So there is no norm, there can be expectations and probabilities and possibilities and maybe’s but at the end of the day we are all different, we are all individual and none of us can really know how we’ll react to something, or feel about something, or deal with that something, until that ‘something’ actually happens to us.

And so it was with Jimmy’s situation that everyday was a different experience, never knowing what that day or even the next day would bring and just having to deal with whatever was thrown at us and do the best we could. That’s what we tried to do, the best we could.

None of us knows what is around the next corner, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring – happiness, sadness, tragic loss as another terrorist attack takes more innocent lives, so I guess all we can do is make the best of what we have, enjoy the time we have, enjoy being with friends and family, enjoy life. That’s certainly what we tried to achieve together. Life was good.

So, I will grieve in my time and in my own way because everybody is different but, I have good friends and family to enjoy time with and forever how long I have left on this earth I will endeavour to be the best I can be and do the best I can with the life I now have.

Who knows what may be lurking round that corner for me!


I was delighted to receive a call this week from Keith Taylor of Cramlington Folk Club who informed me that the club, in memory of Jimmy, had made a collection and raised a wonderful £50. This has been sent to Macmillan. Thank you!


Jimmy & Val (jiva)

15-Nov-2015 The Future

Posted November 15th, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

It will seem a very odd thing to say but Jimmy’s funeral on 09 November was just wonderful. The service put together by the Reverend Charles Hope went smoothly and I was completely overwhelmed by the number of good friends who had come to pay their last respects.

Over the past few months Jimmy and I had spoken about the funeral (in fact we had everything pre-arranged by August as Jimmy wanted to be sure I wouldn’t have to make instant decisions at a very stressful time) and he was convinced hardly anyone would be there. I told him you’re wrong and boy how wrong he was – the church was full.

Many had travelled a great distance to be there to say their farewell to Jimmy – from Manchester, London, Wigan, Falkirk and even Whitley Bay(!) – and I am so grateful to you all for helping to make the day very special for me, and in it’s own way for Jimmy too.

The tribute from Anthony John Clarke was just so ‘spot on’ I could almost hear Jimmy saying the words and for Brian Willoughby and Cathryn Craig to be there and sing, our ‘One More Song’, just rounded off the whole service beautifully.

I thank you all for your love and kindness through, not only the service on Monday, but through the past weeks and months during the uncertain path we were treading.

FutureIt’s been an unusual week for me coming to terms with the changes in my life and wondering what the future may hold for me.

My future is now in my own hands and I hope to be out there singing and playing some new material, with the gorgeous guitar which Jimmy bought for my birthday in August, in the not too distant future. Over the past weeks I have often played for Jimmy and he would say “that guitar is you and you are that guitar” so I owe it to him to try my best.


Jimmy & Val (jiva)

08-Nov-2015 The Last Breath

Posted November 8th, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

The suffering is over. My lovely, beautiful, thoughtful, caring, gorgeous darling of a soul mate – my husband Jimmy – breathed his last breath and passed away, oh so peacefully, at noon on Tuesday 03 November. We lay together on our bed  at home as time ran out, as his body and mind could no longer fight the BASTARD cancer that had taken over our lives for most of the year.

I held his hand and said a final farewell to the man I have loved the most in my life and shall always and forever more.

Our Wedding Day

The funeral is tomorrow 09 November at St Mary Magdalene Church in Prudhoe followed by interment at Edgewell Cemetery. Then an informal get together at the Falcon in Prudhoe. Everyone is welcome and it was Jimmy’s wish that you either have with your or you wear something purple and that there be no flowers.

There will be a collection at the Church and it seems only fitting that money should go to Macmillan. Our Macmillan Nurse Angela has been such a steady rock for us to lean on and depend on over the past months. How we would have coped without her I’m not sure.

Our Facebook page jiva Jimmy Val will continue and I intend to keep the weekly blog going as well.

jiva the duo may be no more but the memory of jiva and all that we have done and achieved together will remain in all our memories.

The last 13 years have been the best part of my life and I shall treasure them for ever.


Jimmy & Val (jiva)

01-Nov-2015 The Fog Has Lifted

Posted November 1st, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

Health issues again this week. The medical term for the fluid retention in Jimmy’s abdomen is Ascites and the ascitic drainage procedure was carried out on Monday morning. This went well.  By weird coincidence as Val was waiting for the lift to take her to Jimmy’s ward he was being wheeled along so we were able to go back to the ward together. A relief for both of us.

Some visits from friends helped to keep Jimmy’s spirits up.

We were quite excited on Tuesday morning when Jimmy rang Val to say they were going to let him home that day! But unfortunately our excitement was dashed when it was decided they would like to keep him in for a further night. There were some blood tests which needed doing so that the correct dosage of medication could be calculated. Nurse Val is back to giving Jimmy daily injections but these can be done in the shoulder area and makes things are lot easier.

It’s been a difficult time for us both but that muggy foggy area we were in finally lifted when it was confirmed Jimmy would be discharged on Wednesday. Jimmy’s son Lyndon was there to help, although Jimmy was brought home in an ambulance. For a short while Jimmy sat in the lounge but then it was up the stairs, with Lyndon’s help, to get him safely tucked up in his own bed. There’s nothing quite as comfortable as being in your own bed. Anthony John and Julia came to visit and it was lovely to spend some time with them.2015-09-13 10.55.40

The rest of the week has been taken up with visits from the District Nursing team, a bed bath for Jimmy from the Rapid Response team and both of us just resting and spending some quality time together.

Jimmy is quite weak and not quite fit enough yet to sit up in the study in his chair at the computer but we’re working on it!

Unfortunately the week in hospital has sapped an awful lot of Jimmy’s energy and on top of that the movement in his right arm and hand has, for now, gone. We’re hoping for a visit from the physio this week so let’s hope that brings some positive results and some movement back.

Fingers crossed eh!

Jimmy & Val (jiva)