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.
Louise was also a talented painter with a particular love of watercolours, she loved cycling and running - she had completed the Coast to Coast cycle ride twice and the London Marathon - and also enjoyed, birdwatching, gardening and choral singing and undertook nature conservation voluntary work. She was a much adored Aunt by her six nephews and nieces and almost equally loved by her numerous god children. She was increasingly politically active in an effort to maintain the values and services of the National Health Service to which she was so committed. Louise's energy, enthusiasm and zest for life left many people trailing in her wake.
Yet on Friday 23rd January 2015 I came home late from work to discover that Louise had taken her own life at the tragically young age of just 40. Unseen other than by those closest to her, Louise had also fought a long battle with extraordinary strength, determination and tenacity against intermittent but insidious depression arising from what had been diagnosed as bi polar disorder (Louise sometimes characterised her condition differently but whatever the description the impact and outcome was the same).
This blog is part of my attempt to come to terms with the loss of my beautiful and much loved wife and an effort to reach out to others affected by the loss of their partner in such devastating circumstances. It will record my journey through the early days of grief and my attempts to make sense of and adjust to the new realities of my life as a widower at the age of 46. If just one other person in a similar situation reads this and finds some comfort in my words, perhaps in the knowledge that they are not alone in their own distress, then at least Louise will, indirectly, still be reaching out to help people even now.