Dear Prison Widow.
Both my husband and I are pensioners and I read the post from a lady who quoted that she felt out of place at a support group because of her age.
Our son is in prison and he is a lifer.
We will never see him again here outside before we pass away.
He needs to be in prison, there is no doubt about that, but as a parent it doesn't make life any easier.
We visit him but not often because my husband is in ill health. Our real only means of staying in touch is via phone calls and it isn't the same as seeing someone in the flesh.
What he did made us both ill and we didn't go to the trial although that didn't stop the press from hounding us. That in itself was enough to put us both in hospital. It was terrible and very stressful. My husband wouldn't even go to the shop for his morning newspaper. Eventually we had to move area and that was emotional and very hard to do. We had lived in our home for over 40 years and brought three children up there.
It is more than just being a mum or a dad of a prisoner. What comes with it is devastating and people don't realise this unless they have been through it.
We now live somewhere quiet where no one knows us. It's peaceful but we miss our old home and community. Sadly though we had no choice but to move courtesy of a select few who made our lives a living hell because of what our son did. We didn't do anything wrong but was sentenced along with him.
I hope our story can raise some awareness for you and give people some insight on what impact these situations have on families. Our daughter has written this email and submitted it for us. Love to all other families who are going through similar. From Mum and Dad of a Lifer.