Death can often come at unexpected moments. When you're young, fit and healthy you don't often consider the possibility that something may happen to you or your loved ones.
But tragedy struck Lotte Bowser early in life.
31-year-old Lotte tragically lost her fiancé, Ben Kouijzer, 36 in November 2020. Since then, she has been navigating through her feelings of grief, the Mirror reports.
After meeting in 2014, the couple said 'I love you' within four weeks. They moved in together just a few months later. For the two of them, life was full of happiness and light, music was a passion for them, attending music festivals around the world from Burning Man to Glastonbury following Ben's career as a music agent.
They were a young couple living their life and it was entirely unforeseen that Lotte would lose Ben so soon.
Ben received a terminal diagnosis of a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) in 2019. What followed was a journey of highs and lows before the pair subsequently travelled to Tijuana, Mexico in 2020 in order to access life-saving treatment for him.
Something which he was responding well to before contracting Covid-19, spending a painful 24 days on a ventilator and slipping away on November 14, 2020.
Nine months later and Lotte is a voice for those navigating grief, attracting 18.4K followers on Instagram with posts highlighting her grief and talking about her journey in the most transparent way, showing the lighter moments and the much darker moments that she in experiencing.
She even recommends books for those that may be struggling with grief, resources that she has found to have helped her.
Recently a guest on The Good Glow Podcast by Georgie Crawford, Lotte spoke about her story and how she is dealing with the crippling grief of losing her fiancé and 'twin flame', Ben.
Speaking of Ben, on the podcast, Lotte said: "He was a walking embodiment of love and life, his mission was to make a positive difference to help people no matter what shape or form that took, he had an enormous impact [in his] albeit short life – it was very meaningful."
She also delved into the most painful moment of her life, the moment when Ben passed away, saying: "I remember my body just shaking uncontrollably, like a sematic earthquake, just full body shudders at that point, the trauma of that news was just indescribable.
"We got there a few minutes after he passed and the experience of having to step into a Covid specific ICU ward head to toe in a hazmat suit in the latex gloves, the mask, the goggles, the hairnet etc and to not be able to touch the skin of your loved one who's passed, only touch through his gloves, it’s just utterly horrific.
"There's no time to wrap your head around this utterly world shattering experience that you've just gone through before all of the horrific administrative responsibilities that come with death start unfolding."
Her words surrounding grief itself were also poignant, adding: "There were days when I didn’t want to feel such intense pain, it was all consuming, mind body soul pain, there were days where I felt I was actually going to die because the physical pain was so intense.
"But it has changed, it ebbs and it flows and the waves of grief when they hit me, they are just as intense as day one but I have a bit more space, I can breathe a bit deeper, I can smile, I can laugh and I can go periods of time without being consumed by my grief or consumed by my thoughts of Ben.
"And that’s weird because you’re then grappling with feelings of guilt like 'you haven’t thought about it today, you haven’t cried today' but actually we have to grant ourselves some grace, it’s impossible to be breathing and in pain 24/7, 100 per cent of the time. Let’s seize those lighter moments and be grateful for them.
"How can you live without somebody you never thought you could live without? And here I am eight months later, still living.
"I really hope that what I’ve been through and the way that I have moved through my grief and integrated my grief over the last eight months, I really hope that shows you that no matter what happens – breakups, divorces, tragedies – whatever life throws at us, we are gonna be okay and I didn’t think that I would be but now I know that I can and I will be.
"What’s helped me to get to this point in my grief is holding out for better days, surrounding myself with a really incredible support system of friends, equipping myself with resources, therapy, counselling, yoga, meditation.
"I’m doing various things to honour Ben, I’m in the process of establishing a non profit in his memory, I’m in the process of actually writing a workbook on grief, supporting my grief community, and these are all things that get me up in the morning, make me excited about the future and are a way for me to carry Ben with me.
"As time passes, Ben will always be at the heart of what I do and I’m going to be shouting about that man until I join him."
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