Saturday, 12 December 2015

Making New Memories

I bought a mug last weekend. An unremarkable, cheap souvenir of a short continental city break. The kind that can be found in kitchens all over the country. But this particular mug represents something profound, something of incalculable value, something so unexpected that it has almost floored me. It symbolises the creation of new memories and in doing so marks the first genuine proof that this new life can still be worth living.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Pushing the Boundaries

Take a deep breath and keep on walking. Focus on the far side of the bridge. Don't glance at the spot where we had our photo taken after one of our first visits to the theatre together and where others are now posing for the camera. Don't think about the Whitehall Gardens immediately behind me, where we decided to give things another try after a short break up in the early days. Try not to look at the glittering night time panorama of London, sweeping across the Thames and taking in St Pauls Cathedral, the distant behemoths of the Square Mile and across to the Shard, the Oxo Tower and the South Bank.  Our skyline. Our city. Ignore the couples walking hand in hand, huddling together against the cold. Hand the beggar a pound because Louise would always do so. Choke back the welling tears and make it across.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Receiving Signs?

Perhaps Louise is closer to me than I dared hope. Barely a week after writing about the lack of signs, I left the house this morning to discover a small white feather sitting nestled between her muddy walking boots which still sit in our outer porch.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Waiting for Signs

I had resisted the temptation for months until finally I cracked. Sitting under the trees around which Louise's ashes were scattered, in a moment of desperation I choked back the tears for long enough to ask her for a sign, an indication that she was in heaven and that she was happy.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Maintaining Standards

When we moved into our current home the one luxury purchase that we allowed ourselves was a large and ever so slightly stylish dining room table. This was the house we were going to live in for the rest of our lives and we envisaged many years of entertaining large gatherings of family and friends. The rooms would be full of people we loved and admired and the walls would ring to the sound of their conversation and laughter. Now, even while the hopes and ambition mock me, that same dining room table is something of a symbol of my determination not to collapse into chaos.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Beginnings and Transitions

Its not often that I compare myself to a Roman God. In fact I am reasonably certain that I've never done so before, nor will I ever do so again. But at this particular moment in time there is something of a connection to a classical deity, albeit a rather unheroic one. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Changing Seasons

I remember the snow so vividly. I had been waiting impatiently for it all winter and now, as I stood in the middle of the road outside the house listening to the approaching emergency sirens draw ever closer, I noticed it had finally arrived. Just the lightest of flurries but nonetheless beautiful and mesmerising as it fell gently and silently. Even in the very moment that my world was falling apart I somehow managed to register the irony that it should do so in conditions which on any other occasion, on any other day, would have given me so much pleasure.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

A Letter on our Special Day

I haven't written to you Sweetheart since my reply to your farewell letter. The tear soaked one that I somehow managed to read out to you while sitting next to your coffin in the undertakers, stroking your hair for the last time. The one that accompanied you on your final journey. I haven't really needed to write. I can talk to you at any time, no matter where I am. But today is special.  This time four years ago we were walking on the clouds. It was the happiest moment of our lives. The day that we became man and wife. Our East End wedding.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Bravest Act

Louise was normally a confident passenger, happy to sleep while I was driving long distances. But on this occasion she couldn't settle and sat watching the road ahead anxiously. It was 2am and we were driving a strange hire car in the dark on unfamiliar Sicilian motorways, returning to our holiday villa a couple of hours south after a long, happy but tiring day trip to Mount Etna and the chic resort of Taormina. I was tired, feeling unwell and driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Louise was alert to the risk of an accident. Three months before she took her life her will to live, her instinctive desire for survival was strong. This was not somebody who treated life carelessly. She valued it and did not want to die.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


I've been kidding myself in recent weeks. Proud of my strength and resilience I had begun to believe that I had mastered grief, that I was exempt from the setbacks and continuing struggles experienced by others. I was beginning to find living tolerable again and, trying hard to think positively, even to sense hope and opportunity.  I know the theory. I've read the books, talked at length to those further on in this journey than myself.  I should have known better. Grief might temporarily relax its hold but it doesn't give it up that easily. It merely changes its grip, alters its character. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Help Along the WAY

An image sprang in to my mind the other day. It was of one of the iconic pieces of Great War film footage so often replayed on television; grainy and rudimentary newsreel coverage of injured troops, all of them blinded, marching unsteadily, their hands outstretched holding on to the shoulder of their comrade in front. None of them could see but despite their incapacity they were each able to help others suffering similarly. And by this means everybody was able to make the same journey along the road to safety. It struck me that there were parallels to be drawn with the young widowed community, a group of vulnerable, grieving but immensely resilient men and women groggily but generously helping each other through the most shattering of experiences.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Letting Go of Grief

At every point in this journey through grief I face loss. Louise's death represented not the end of the process but the beginning. The bewildering and shocking loss of her physical presence is reinforced and multiplied by hundreds, thousands, of smaller but still significant deaths. Whenever something which was part of her life, which stood as a proxy for her existence on this planet, her part in my life, disappears I mourn all over again. When I throw away her favourite food, cancel her driving licence, remove her toothbrush from the bathroom, I experience another break with the past. I take a further painful step away from the person, and the life, that I loved so much. But there is a loss which is rarely recognised as such; the loss of grief.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Early on in this journey I came to the conclusion that the overwhelming experience of bereavement wasn't loss, despair, guilt or anger but love, a love for Louise of startling purity and raw intensity. That love hasn't dimmed. I will hold it for ever, Louise's most precious gift to me. But now, nearly seven months on, the overriding day to day sensation is perhaps different and somewhat less noble. It is exhaustion.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

A Measure of Progress

At just before 5pm yesterday I could have been seen jumping about in uncoordinated fashion rather like an overexcited toddler, arms flailing wildly, my face creased in an enormous smile, and at the same time heard shouting incoherently, not in despair but delight. As life events go, Brentford's injury time equaliser against Ipswich Town is as insignificant as it gets, but my response to it carries real meaning and hope.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Describing the Indescribable

This blog now amounts to something like 43 posts and thousands of words on grief and loss. I am honoured and humbled when people thank me for articulating their own emotions. But I feel a fraud for purporting to be able to write on the subject. The truth is that no words can adequately explain the agony and despair of the death of your partner, and particularly perhaps when that death comes at such a young age, so suddenly and so violently. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Married - Just

I had to complete a staff survey at work this week.  There were the usual questions on satisfaction with pay and rewards and understanding of corporate priorities, but as I came to the personal section my heart sank. I knew what was coming next. I used to fret about the age category I fell into, helplessly observing my relentless march towards middle age. But now I dread responding to the inevitable questions on marital status. Sure enough here it was; Married or Single? A brutal binary choice. Black or white. But I no longer live in a binary world and the only colour I see is grey. Nothing is simple any longer, not even whether I am married.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Hope and Confusion

Anniversaries take on a particular emotional significance for the newly bereaved, even half anniversaries. Six months ago yesterday Louise took her life. In the process the life that I was living, and thought that I was going to live, was violently wrenched away from me. In the time it took me to read the note left on the front door I was transformed from a contented and fulfilled husband to a lonely and despairing widower.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Curator of the Archive

Louise was the least materialistic person that I've ever known. She wasn't particularly interested in jewellery, had a relatively modest wardrobe and was content with the most basic of electrical goods. If she treated herself it was much more likely to be on an experience, a holiday, meal or trip to the theatre, than the purchase of any kind of possession. And yet over 40 years she still accumulated a household's worth of articles, each of which have their own story to tell, their own place in Louise's life and a sentimental value attached to them that has been transformed since 23rd January.  

Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Grace of Grief

One wouldn't expect to find any beauty in grief. It can appear an unrelentingly dark place; the loneliness and isolation, the shock, the sadness, the despair, the anger, the guilt, the fear, the exhaustion, the hysteria, the uncertainty and insecurity, the lethargy, the restlessness, the jealousy, the bewilderment. Its numbing and soul destroying. Never have I felt more dead. And yet paradoxically rarely have I felt more alive. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Shifting Realities

Louise took her life five months ago. I know this because the calendar tells me so but such has been the distortion in my subsequent perception of time and reality that it might just as easily have been five days ago, or even five years. I have become completely disconnected with the passage of time and confused about my relationship to the world around me - what is real and what is not.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A Summer Evening Elsewhere

I have come to dread people asking me how I am. I don't know how to respond, to come even remotely close to articulating in a few passing words the confused, powerful and often contradictory emotions swirling around within me, to describe the deep lows, the occasional highs and the almost ever present and all encompassing dull void. If I had several hours, a good thesaurus and a skilled counsellor to help me give form to my thoughts I might be able to come close. In the absence of such resources I usually settle for 'as good as could reasonably be expected in the circumstances'. 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Putting Myself in the Dock

Bereavement is almost always accompanied by a sense of responsibility and guilt on the part of those left behind. The relatives of people who have died of cancer agonise over whether they should have encouraged them to seek medical advice earlier or pressed for a different form of treatment, those who lost somebody in an accident find themselves wishing they had delayed them leaving the house that morning until the car with the drunken driver was safely elsewhere, or conversely, perhaps, not delayed them. The partners of heart attack victims spend the rest of their lives regretting that stressful argument they had the previous day. But the scope for guilt seems to loom even larger where the cause of death is suicide because, superficially at least, it seems so avoidable. This was an act of Man rather than God and thus it must follow that either in some way we were responsible for it ourselves or it was within our gift to prevent it.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Fighting Back........Sometimes

Its very easy, and in many senses comfortable and rewarding, to assume the role of victim that society wants to assign to me. I receive sympathy, favours and have few expectations placed upon me. I barely need to make it out of my front door fully dressed to be praised for my strength and bravery. This can be very gratifying and rewarding. There are times when I genuinely need those allowances and favours and that sympathy, times when I want to pour my heart out to the stranger on the other end of the phone line, or to the supermarket cashier or the hairdresser. Times when I need to tell them that my wife has died and I am broken and to receive their support and understanding, or at least soothing noises which I optimistically choose to interpret as understanding. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Post Mortem; To Know or Not to Know

Death brings with it a succession of intensely painful ceremonies and events which have to be endured before we are finally left alone to grieve in peace; the farewell visit to the undertakers, the funeral, the memorial service (two in Louise's case), the scattering of the ashes. Now, after months of frustrating delay the very last of these hurdles is finally in sight; the inquest. This presents me with possibly the biggest and most distressing dilemma of all. How much do I want to know about the way Louise died?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Understanding the Beginning

Grief has an uncanny way of catching out the unwary or the overconfident. I've astonished myself at how well I've been coping in recent weeks. Of course the underlying sadness, bewilderment and sense of loss is ever present but I've been conscious, 4 1/2 months in, of a steadying of the emotions and at least a partial re-engagement with the world. My concentration levels at work are much improved. I enjoyed an evening at the cricket with friends without feeling the need to constantly talk about Louise. Some sort of routine, empty though it may be, has begun to emerge. For the first time in 133 days I even went a whole 24 hours without crying. But my pride in my resilience was misplaced. This week marks the fifth anniversary of Louise entering my life and it has completely floored me.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

A Thousand Deaths

I've decided that I need to take the sympathy cards down. They started arriving within 24 hours of Louise's death in the darkness of midwinter and were soon overflowing from the shelves on to the dining room table. Meals were eaten next to a forest of sorrowful messages and tributes, bottles of ketchup jostling for table space with 'thinking of you at this sad time' cards until space was cleared in the conservatory to absorb the excess. Now, two seasons on in full summer, it seems to be time to pack the cards away in a memory box, if only to preserve them from damage. They will come down together with our last Valentines cards to each other. (Louise died three weeks before Valentines Day but I found her card to me, unwritten,  in her bedside drawer). It could be interpreted as a step forward. A sign, to use that ugly phrase beloved of the non bereaved but rarely used by those who have suffered real loss, of 'moving on'. Maybe it is. But for me it also feels like a step away, a further break in my bonds with Louise and one less sign of her presence within the house.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Little Things

Its times like tonight when I miss Louise the most. Of course I miss her all the time. I feel constantly incomplete, almost physically so, as if one of my limbs has been amputated. There is a void where she should be. But its often in the most mundane moments of life that her absence is most deeply felt. Like coming home from work.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Faith, Hope and the Unknown

Whenever I am asked to identify my faith for official purposes I always hesitate over the box labelled 'Agnostic' before eventually ticking the one marked 'Christian'. Of course to describe myself as Christian is anything but a simple and unambiguous statement because its interpretation will vary enormously depending upon your own faith, or lack thereof. I should therefore be clear that I do not come from the same Christian tradition as Louise, one where belief and worship and the word of scripture are not just central to life but the very meaning for life. I respect it but I am not part of it.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Relief of Numbness

'Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.'

I never swear. Ever. Well, hardly ever. I swear so infrequently that I feel incredibly self conscious whenever I do so. When I used to read to Louise as we lay in bed, my left arm always curled around her, holding up the book in my right hand, she would be amused whenever the dialogue demanded that I use industrial language, enjoying the novelty value of hearing me utter profanities, even if they were in the voice of another. David Nicholls provided her with much more of this form of entertainment than Dickens. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

All My Trials Lord

I've been doing well this week. Fortified by numbness and that familiar sense of incomprehension and disbelief, I have at times come close to some kind of normal function. The hammering of grief in my head and heart has been reduced to a low pitched hum, ever present but not disabling. The stream of tears has slowed to a trickle and I have been waking each morning in the near sure - if always mistaken - expectation that the coming day would be my first without crying since 23rd January.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Learning from Louise

As we go through life we all inevitably find ourselves marked by our experiences. We collect and carry our scars, whether they be of disappointment, disillusionment, failure, betrayal, trauma or tragedy. And these experiences in turn help to make us the person that we are, for better or worse.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Living a Lie

People think that I'm strong, that I'm getting through. They ask me if things are a little easier now. I can see why. I look and sound normal. I get up on a morning (usually), go to work, do the shopping. Sometimes I bring myself to talk about other things. Occasionally I smile. Once or twice I have even laughed. Sometimes I manage to fool myself. I think that I am making progress, that I can do this, that there is still a life worth living even if it is diminished. Sometimes I am even rather proud of the way in which I am managing things. 

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Surviving Louise's Birthday

The only predictable thing about grief, it seems, is its unpredictability. Yesterday would have been (or should that be 'was'?) Louise's 41st birthday. I have been steeling myself for this moment almost ever since Louise died, conscious that many of my fellow widows and widowers who form such  a valuable online self help community report significant anniversaries to be particularly difficult occasions. This was the first, and one of the most important, of those anniversaries and I expected it to be one of my biggest challenges to date. So too, it seems, did family, friends and colleagues who got in touch to wish me well in large numbers.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Cutting Through the Grief

Today was a numb day. That's good because disbelief and not feeling is better than the alternative of understanding and despair. And its especially good because it was a Bank Holiday, and I have already found them to be difficult days to navigate  - everybody appears to be out and about enjoying themselves whereas my day is empty and I can't stop thinking about what Louise and I would be doing in normal circumstances. I resent the holiday mood because it jars so much with my own.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Resisting the Domino Effect

There is often panicked talk in the media about suicide clusters. This usually concentrates on young people and the possibility of copycat deaths, vulnerable and depressive teenagers following the example set by a peer to take a way out. But the contagion of suicide can also manifest itself when the intensity of despair over the loss of a loved one leads a member of their family or a friend, to take the same course of action themselves shortly afterwards. Only today I learned of such a case locally and Louise herself took her life just three months after her father did the same, although with Louise the relationship between the two incidents was a little less direct. Her father's death didn't make her own inevitable but it created the conditions in which it became possible. 

Thursday, 30 April 2015


After 4 1/2 years together and three months since her death, I thought that I knew everything there was to know about Louise. But this afternoon I discovered another aspect of her life which I had previously only briefly glimpsed.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Piercing My Soul

Since Louse's death my laptop has barely left my side. It has become my constant travelling companion. Even when away from home it has been the first thing that I have packed. I have long since discovered that the only effective balm that can applied to my wounds when they are at their most raw is writing about them. Whenever my emotions overwhelm me I therefore reach for my laptop and write, either in my private diary or here on this blog. Indeed it is the very reason for the existence of the blog. Somehow the discipline and structure that writing requires of me helps both to process my thoughts and to calm me. And this evening, sitting in a hotel room in Stockport after a family wedding party, I really needed to be calmed.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Crying Time

I've now cried on 90 consecutive days. I never imagined that I would come to know the experience of crying so intimately, to recognise so well the sensation, the distinctive noise, the smell and the taste of the tears themselves and the burning sensation that they leave in my eyes. All now are as familiar to me as breathing.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Spring Blues

(For Philippe - may the Swallows bring peaceful days with them)

Its 12 weeks today since Louise died. I've stopped counting the individual days but the number of weeks which have passed still comes to me as naturally as breathing. Its become a mark of my identity. I'm not alone. I've noticed that whenever people who are recently widowed gather together in support groups, whether online or in the real world, the passage of time since the loss of our partner is one of our first self descriptors,  handy shorthand for the condition we currently find ourselves in, not dissimilar to women in pregnancy. 'I'm at 6/10/12/15 weeks' is often enough to tell others much about our current mental state and ability to deal with the world.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Living with Uncertainty

The night that Louise died about the only thing that I grasped straight away was that my life had just been turned upside down. Nothing would ever be the same again. All the certainties were gone.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Life and Fate

I should be in work by this time on a morning. Instead I'm sitting in our bedroom crying and feeling bitter at the unfairness of it all, that I should be wrenched away from my wife who I loved so very much, and a life that I loved so very much, and handed instead a lifetime sentence of sadness, a burden of grief and loss that may in time lose some of its rawness but will remain with me to the day that I myself die.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Feeling Bad about Feeling Good

I've been wondering what kind of person I am, examining self critically my response to Louise's death and the way in which I am mourning. In the last few days I have generally been calmer. There have been moments in each day when I have keenly felt Louise's loss and the tears have flowed. Just seeing a couple kissing in the street was enough to cause me to break down, there and then, prompting me to rush for the nearest cover to hide my tears from passers by. But outside of these moments I am relatively emotionally stable.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Falling in Love Again

I expected bereavement to bring strong emotion. Loss, guilt, anger, despair, fear. But what I've realised is that the strongest of all is love. When I cry out in my pain to Louise, occasionally its to say 'Why did you do it?' or 'Why didn't you call me?', sometimes its to say 'I miss you', but mostly its simply to say, over and over again, 'I love you Louise'. Its this that I urgently want her to know now, more than anything.

Friday, 27 March 2015


I try very hard not to ask why Louise took her life. There is no need. I know why. Both the short and the long answer.

The short response is that Louise was temporarily overcome by the bleakest of darknesses which she tried bravely to fight but eventually overcame her. It subverted her ability to think rationally, to lift her head and look beyond the short term desperation she was struggling with, to think about the consequences for myself and the rest of the family.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Two Months

Louise's death provides me with a new reference point from which I measure the passage of time and my own personal development. In a sense a new self was born on 23rd January; wiser, sadder, hopefully more gentle, loving and understanding and with different ambitions and goals to the one that had existed before.  There is no other single event in my life which has so defined and reshaped me - and will no doubt continue to do so in ways which I cannot currently imagine.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Counting my Blessings

It's curious how misery is so often perceived as being relative rather than absolute. We hear on countless occasions the phrase 'there is always somebody worse off than you'. And we take comfort in this, as if it's a zero sum game - another person's suffering can somehow alleviate our own.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Thinking the Unthinkable

A few days ago I thought that I was making some progress. Some of the rawness  and immediacy of the shock and grief had worn off. There were intervals when I was able to concentrate on other things, slowly re-engaging with some of my interests. I was beginning to lift my head a little, to think about the short term future. I made arrangements to return to work, started to consider what I might do to occupy my spare time and even began to contemplate a holiday later in the year. I still broke down several times a day. The tears didn’t stop and there was obviously no happiness. But neither, for much of the day, was there an overwhelming sense of sadness or despair. I found myself thinking ‘I can survive this’.

Thursday, 12 March 2015


I have just looked out of the kitchen window and noticed flowers Louise planted in the garden beginning to come through. She will never see them. I have broken down again.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Lets Talk about Sex

That instinctively doesn't sound right does it? Over the course of the past few weeks I've read extensively about bereavement, and coping with the loss of a partner. And one subject that seem to be rarely addressed is the sense of loss the surviving partner experiences for the sexual relationship we enjoyed with our loved one.  

Monday, 9 March 2015

Anger (and Love)

Everything that I have read about bereavement suggests that anger is a natural emotional response to the death of a loved one. Perhaps this might be expected to be particularly true in the case of suicide. How could my partner have done this to themselves? How could they have been so selfish and done this to me? How could they have left me with all this to deal with, not just now but for the rest of my life?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Living with the House

Louise and I moved into our current house less than two years ago. It was the first place that we had bought together as a couple and we intended to stay here for the rest of our lives. I will now always treasure the photo of Louise about to cross the threshold for the first time on the day we moved in. It was just a snapshot taken on my phone but it perfectly captures a moment of happiness, excitement  and high hopes for the future life we were going to create together.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Empty Bed

When I was first grasping for language and imagery which would somehow convey the scale of my loss and grief I tried to describe things by saying that  Louise's death profoundly affected every aspect of my life from the moment I got up to the moment I went to bed. But of course that is only half the story  because it omits the seven or eight hours in between which are the most intimate of any marriage.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Going to the Match

Its now nearly 6 weeks since Louise died and I still spend virtually every waking moment (and many sleeping moments) thinking about and analysing the events of 23rd January and the implications. Its both emotionally and physically exhausting to focus so intensely on something for so long almost without any distraction. I can't open a book or watch TV because I just wouldn't be able to concentrate. In any event Louise and I almost never watched TV so having the set on would only serve to emphasise the abnormality and Louise's absence. I avoid complete silence around the house with music but can't play my favourite tracks since most would have an association of some description with Louise.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Reading Louise's Mind

One of the many reasons that I loved Louise so much was that she was extremely analytical and reflective. Always thinking, always challenging, always seeking the truth but always realistic and flexible enough to recognise that when she found it there was likely only to be ambiguity and uncertainty. It gave her great wisdom and insight and an acute awareness of and identification with the needs of others. It was what made her so passionate about championing the socially excluded and was partly why she was such an effective and popular doctor. Louise would spend hours at the end of the working day reviewing case notes and re-thinking earlier consultations. This would often give her fresh insight and lead to improved outcomes for her patients, who loved her for it.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Losing the Past

It seems that every day I discover new aspects of loss. I was thinking this morning of all the wonderful holidays Louise and I enjoyed together. We were fortunate that we had sufficient time and disposable income to take two holidays  and usually a couple of weekend breaks a year. We were probably able to experience more in our 4 1/2 years together than many couples do in twice that time. I am blessed with a precious store chest of memories and photographs, for which I am very grateful.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Still Dead

Every day I wake up and every day its the same. Louise is still dead.

I can't get my head around the concept. I genuinely find it baffling. There are large chunks of the day when I get by. When I'm feeling a general sadness but I'm not on the verge of tears. I can function. But I know that is because the reality of what has happened, the sheer hugeness of it all, the tragedy of it all, and the permanence of the loss, hasn't remotely sunk in. Every time something pierces that veneer of protection I sit bewildered, and try to come to terms with the reality all over again, struggling to take in the enormity and to understand what it means. It's almost as if the news that Louise has died is broken to me afresh several times a day.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Carry on Breathing

My apologies to anybody who may have come to this site in the hope that it would contain tributes to Sid James, Kenneth Williams or Hattie Jacques. I am afraid that you will be disappointed. Much as I loved the 'Carry On' series as a child the  reference to Carry on Breathing in the blog title relates not to a previously undiscovered Ealing Comedy Classic but the best advice I have so far come across for dealing with the immediate aftermath of the suicide of your partner.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

In the Beginning There was the End

Louise and I met relatively late in life, in June 2010 and were married in September 2011. Louise was an inspirational doctor working in general practice in a socially deprived area of Bermondsey. She cared passionately about people and making their lives better, instinctively supporting the underdog and seeing beauty and goodness where others saw none. She was much loved by her colleagues for her intelligence, commitment,  energy, enthusiasm, willingness to help others and sense of fun. She was also hugely popular with her patients, giving unreservedly to provide them with the best possible care, often at the expense of her own wellbeing.