6.2.13

His Last Walk


 His Last Walk

Dear friends  - on January night, 2013 my beloved life partner and soul mate of 21 years, Andy, left this earth forever. I had been keeping a close watch on him at the cottage for six days. He had gone into a downward spiral of stress and depression which eventually tipped him over the edge. On the day he was signed off sick from work, he began saying strange things and I looked into his eyes: it was not my Andy any more. It was another person, a tortured soul who was convinced that because he could not do his job properly, that he would be sacked and we would lose the cottage, all within two weeks. Now of course, this sounds irrational, but then, he was suffering from paranoid delusions, tortured scenarios of our imagined eviction and thought that the world was conspiring against him. He believed - this great hearted man, who pushed himself beyond endurance - that he was a failure and it tore my heart in two to hear him say this. He was anything but.

Many years ago, when we were at the seaside, he said that one day he would walk into the sea and just keep walking. And more recently, when we were walking through the woods in the snow, he said that if he had to 'go', he would like to sit under a tree in the snow and let hypothermia take him. Because (he said) that way, you just get an illusion of being warm and sleepy, whereas in fact, you are freezing to death. It is an easier way to go.


It was a nightmarish six days of trying to look after my darling, as he tormented himself and he had been unhappy for some time before. The last year, with so many changes - for a man who hated change - was too much for him. It had not been a happy year for him; it seemed to me that every week brought a new thing to bring him down and add to his load. And he did not deserve that.


On the night he left me forever, it was a freezing, snowy Shropshire night. I had seen him go into the kitchen minutes before and when I went to ask if he wanted to eat, I saw the back doors wide open and I knew what he intended to do. I ran into the garden, in the dark, screaming across the countryside that I loved him, and to come back to me. But there was no answer except the thin wind  blowing across the snow.


He walked out across the back fields, in nothing but day clothes and without boots. His disappearance was a matter of minutes and it was not until  daylight the next morning that we found his footprints on a side wall, out of obvious sight. The Shropshire police put out a full team that night, and a new team in the morning. There were dogs, Search and Rescue and the Mountain Rescue team. They did everything they could to find my sweetheart, but I knew from the start that he had gone to end his tortured thoughts.
'I just can't do this any more' was a phrase he repeated time and time again.


He was found a couple of miles away, the next day, in a small river two miles from here. He had walked across country - by which time he must have been completely frozen - and I think (I hope) that in the end it was a gentle way to go. A falling asleep in icy running water, surrounded by the countryside he loved. My beautiful Nature Boy, with nature at the very end, surrounded by trees. Going in both the ways he had mentioned before. 


I am slowly picking my life up and trying to get back to work. Because ironically, now that he is gone, the future of our cottage may very well be in jeopardy and I must work as hard as I can to earn a proper living. But oh, my friends - it is as if part of me has been ripped out. I can take some small comfort knowing that shortly before he vanished, I put my arms around him and kissed the top of his head. I told him I loved him, and he told me that he loved me. The one thing he could still say with clarity. 

 

Dear Lord, the suffering is unbearable at times but I am blessed with such wonderful friends here and around the world and they are looking after me here and afar. Without that, I fear what I would do. But the real Andy, who promised me he would never 'do anything stupid' - because he knew he was all I really had - would not want that. So I must go on, for him, for my friends and bear this agonising grief as best I can. For Andy. Forever.  
 

Andy Macauley April 23 1971 - January 21 2013

199 comments:

Birdie said...

Gretel, saying how sorry I am is pitifully inadequate. I can barely begin to imagine what you have and are going through. I am thinking of you, both of you and I am so very very sad Andy suffered so much and felt this was his only way out. Much love Gretel, Sarah

Lea said...

There are no words...only my tears at reading this, and those are not nearly enough either, to express how very sorry I am this has happened to you both. You have my friendship and my love, and support, xxx maya

Sue said...

Oh Gretel. You have somehow given even this terrible story a sad beauty. There is a powerful creative life force in you and I'm sure that that's what will keep you going, as I think it has in the past, too. Thinking of you every day. Xxx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Gretel you have been in my prayers and my thoughts so much since I read of your loss on Rima's blog last week. I was so shocked and sad for you. I wish I were closer. Edward and I would knock on your door and I'd throw my arms around you. And I know I'm not the only person who feels that way. You are loved. You will get through this. You will be changed, but you will get through it and walk in the light once again.
So much love,
pamela

ANGLESEY ALLSORTS said...

My Goodness girl ... what can I say .. I am so sorry for your loss ... poor Andy .. to suffer so. I send you hugs...be strong.

Vicky x

beckasharpe said...

I am so sorry for your loss and the suffering you'd both been through. I have always found your work and your blog inspirational and I have huge admiration for the way you have written this. You are obviously dear to many people and I hope that this will give you some comfort when it can. Becka xx

Lin said...

Oh, Gretel. My new friend, Gretel. My heart aches for you at this very awful time. My smile sunk as I began to read your post...my heart hurt for you to have gone through this and not be able to help Andy with his demons. Worry not, those demons cannot be fought from the outside--for they are very strong whisperers, those nasty things.

I'm sorry for Andy--that he couldn't fight any longer. I'm sorry that you had to bear witness and now you have to figure it all out without him.

I can only offer love and prayers. I hope you stay strong and find peace in your wonderful days together with Andy. May those memories carry you through the dark times.

Please know that we all love and care for you--even though we may be very far away. But my prayers will travel on the wind and find you. Stay strong, my friend. Please let us know what you need.

Cat said...

Love and many prayers for you now and the months to come. Bear hugs,
Cathy

SAS said...

I am so sorry you have lost this wonderful man. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you.

Take good care of yourself in the days ahead.

Kate said...

Gretel, words can sometimes seem like empty vessels but you have constantly been in my thoughts these past days. I am so very, very, sorry for your loss. Please look after yourself and allow we, your friends, to support you in every way we are able for however long it takes.

Kate x

DollZandThingZ said...

There are no words that can heal such a great loss...but know that people care and are thinking if you. Sending you gentle thoughts and prayers and a hug from across the pond.

kittenamy1 said...

I have read your blog for a long time but never commented. I just want you to know that my heart broke a bit when I read this entry. I am immensely sorry for your loss. I know words cannot fix this it will take time to heal and dull your pain and loss but please know my thoughts are with you.

Frances said...

Andy was a lovely, talented, gentle man, with so much love for you, dear Gretel.

You've given those of us reading this post, who were not as fortunate as I was to have met him, to have a very good sense of all that Andy was.

I think that he is resting in peace.

I send you continued love and support, dear friend. xo



rossichka said...

Dearest Gretel,
It was so difficult to read this post! I couldn't help crying... Losing your beloved Andy was much more hard and dramatic than I could imagine...I'm so sorry!! I believe you'll go ahead step by step with your friends' support and Andy's love protecting you!
Big hugs and kisses!

Trailshome said...

Dear Gretel, from all the way around the world, my heart goes out to you. If caring could have kept him by your side, your love would certainly have done it. He had to have known how much you loved him. We are so very sad for your loss. I hope he is at peace now, and that you can find some too. Know that we love you, and send good wishes your way in this tough time.

Laurel said...

My god, Gretel, what absolute horror. I am so sorry. Of course you feel like a part of you has been ripped out. It has.

I am comforted that you see that his act was not that of his true self but rather of the monstrous depression that had taken over him.

I can't imagine trying to work while you are subsumed by such grief but I know that you have to try.

Please know that hundreds of strangers' thoughts are here with you in these terrible times.

When I was a girl a family friend killed himself at quite a young age. His father, speaking at his funeral, said it felt as if he was walking through flames every second of the day. I think he would say now that it does get better, very slowly. But please let us walk with you as much as you need it during these worst darkest days.

Love from across the ocean.

Merisi said...

Words fail me, Gretel, but I want you to know that you are in my thoughts.
Warmest hug,
Merisi

Zenitude said...

So sorry for your loss. Be strong and have faith that life will be wonderful once more.
Hugs

Lo said...

Oh, Gretel.....What a tragedy! I am so sorry.

Words are so inadequate......I can only wish you a lessening of your pain and some peace in which to heal.

I hope knowing that your friends like me around the world love you, are thinking of you and sending you hugs.

Nancy said...

Oh Gretel I'm so sorry. I cannot think of anything to say except if I can help in any way please ask.

You are very brave to write your thoguhts for your friends to read.

I will pray for you and send warm thoughts your way.

Gerda said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you. What a terrible disease, depression. It destroys you, your self consciousness. I've been there. I will light a candle for Andy. Groetjes, Gerda

BumbleVee said...

Oh, Gretel.... words can't even begin to express the feelings...

Like everyone here I just want to send love and hugs and help to somehow buoy you .. even if only ever so slightly ... by knowing you have friends in all corners of the world...how I wish I were closer ...

Biba said...

You are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

Rowan said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and for Andy who ended his life in this tragic way. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Soozcat said...

I hope no one will take it amiss if I mention that there is a donation campaign to help Gretel get back on her feet. If you can spare a little something to help out, that would be fantastic; if not, please do pass the word along in social media.

Jane said...

My dear Gretel, there is nothing I can say that will help. But I hope that slowy the happy memories will come to the surface and they will bring you joy amongst the sadness.
If there is anything I can do for you please get in touch.

Annie said...

What a beautiful post. What a special man you have lost Gretel. I hope you will gain lots of strength from the words written here by so many people that love you.
Sending you big healing hugs and we hope to meet up with you soon.
Annie x

Dartford Warbler said...

Dear Gretel,

You are in my thoughts. It was so brave of you to post this wonderful tribute to your beloved Andy.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Chloe said...

I am so sorry Gretel *many hugs*

Gemma Mortlock said...

Oh Gretel that was such an amazing post i am sitting here with tears in my eyes and i didn't even know Andy. The way you have described his last day and what you were both going through is heartbreaking. You are an amazing woman and by the sounds of it he too was an amazing man. I know you will pull through this, but remember when you are feeling low there are lots of people around the world who care for you and are here to support you. My thoughts and prayers are with you Gretel. Stay strong xxxxx

Gerry Snape said...

We couldn't add anything more than what all those before have written....just to know that we are thinking and praying for you...and I am in tears for you Gretel. Love Gerry and Alan

Asif kamal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie said...

What a moving and beautiful tribute to 'the real Andy'. Much love and sorrow for your dreadful loss.
x

Claire said...

Gretel, thank you for sharing this touching post with us all........I thought I had cried myself dry two weeks ago!!

I've been thinking of you and Andy on your walks and picnics with boiled eggs.......funny little things.

I'm so sorry Andy suffered, that you had to fight this battle.

A wave of love and has been winging it's way to you from around the globe Gretel......I hope it has been able to support you through these dark days.....

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there.........

Much love from Oz,

Claire XX

Asif kamal said...

Andy really a good man, the end of life is for every one and it can be soon or later but for my friend Andy it is very soon that you gone. I wish a very happy life after.

Mlle Miracle said...

Gretel, you're the most wonderful person I can ever imagine. Everytime I read about Andy's pain, your Andy, an incredibly sensitive soul, I think of your amazing strength, and the way you're dealing with it.
Your mutual love will live forever.
An enormous hug, a million lots of positive feelings for you, Gretel.

Charlotte said...

Dear Gretel, what a beautiful tribute to your darling love, I wish you every strength xxx

Soulsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the veg artist said...

I am so very, very sorry. Please, ask via this blog for the help that you need. We are a multi-talented lot, and will help in any way we can.

Soulsong said...

Oh Gretal somehow I've missed hearing of this - I am so sorry you have lost your lovely man. Sending you much love from across the world - please take care of yourself.
Lyn xx

sylviesgarden said...

Gretel, I am so, so sorry for your huge loss. Your post was so beautifullly written and yet so sad. Your love for Andy so clear and true.
I am sending you love and many hugs. Hopefully Andy will be in a better, more peaceful place.
Much love x

acornmoon said...

I don't know what to say other than what I have said already, I am so, so sorry. My heart breaks for you.

Louise Peers said...

No words will ever be enough Gretel , please just know you are in my thoughts . x

Kelly Ann said...

My heart aches for you...sending you hugs from across the pond...
xoxo
KA

Jelley said...

Dear Gretal,

We haven't met except here in your vibrant virtual world. So sorry to hear of your loss. Such a touching, beautiful post; one that was no doubt painful to write and hard to share.
Wishing you strength in the knowledge that he died surrounded by trees.
x

julochka said...

Oh, Gretel, what a lot you've been through. It's truly a tragedy, for both of you. I'm so, so sorry to hear this. If it's any consolation, you have written it beautifully and movingly. I definitely got tears in my eyes, even tho' I didn't know him and I know you only through your whimsical work. My heart goes out to you.

Textureknit said...

Gretel I only had the pleasure of meeting you once at the Wool in Winchcombe event last year and you were just preparing to leave for you next adventure.

I then started to follow with great interest your blog and loved reading how things were going and seeing how you and Andy were managing with the various moves that took place.

Words can not sum up how heart rengingly sad it must have been for you over the last few weeks. But for you to share such a personal story is I can only but hope something that will help heal the pain you must be suffering now and their are some lovely images of Andy too.

I feel sure that you will make a great career as you are so talented.

Sara x

WESTOWN GIRL said...

So sorry Gretel to hear of your troubles and grief. I have suffered depression myself and would have some understanding of what Andy went through and my heart breaks for him and for you. Wishing you strength. Clare.

John Nez said...

I hope that your burden is lightened soon... and I think telling your story is a good step on a road to a brighter future. I still remember when my mother died, and I found her when I came home from school... (she died of a stroke at 37). But I still remember seeing her footprints in the snow in the backyard.

Life can seem so cruel sometimes... but I guess like Shakespeare said "There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so".

So here's my prayers for you to have good thinking and good thoughts.

:0)

jn

Fiona said...

Gretel, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Since hearing your news via facebook, you have been in my thoughts. Your post is a beautiful tribute to Andy. I've shed many a tear reading it.

I've been reading your blog for a while, and have never commented, until now. You have been a great inspiration to me, as a fellow illustrator/crafter.

I wish you all the strength in the world.
Much love and hugs from Norfolk xxx

fhiona galloway said...

Hi Gretel, there are no words to express the pain you are so obviously feeling but I hope with the thoughts and help of others you can begin to pick up the pieces xxx

dowhatyoulove said...

Dearest Gretel,

You are such a stunningly beautiful, loving and strong woman. I am so honored that you put the story of Andy out into the world for all of us to share in. I smiled and cried as I read this post, all the photo's of him clearly happy and at peace, and the sadness of his tortured end. Sending you endless love as you pass through this time. I wish I could be there to wrap you in a big hug for hours.....

Love and Blessings,
Stacey

Lisa Oceandreamer Swifka said...

Dearest Gretel, my heart aches for you..... and for dear Andy. This was such a brave post and one that must have proved difficult to write. Many of us may be a great distance away but geography does not prevent love,caring and compassion from reaching you!
I keep trying to find just the right words and then I remembered this poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye....I thought it fitting.
***************
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Warm hugs from across the pond, Lisa XO

ellen said...

Dearest Gretel, my heart aches for you and for your beloved Andy. Please know I send much love your way. You are and will be in my thoughts and prayers each day. Ellen.

Kim said...

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh - I am so sorry for you! My thoughts and prayers are with you...may you find some peace and God Bless you! Depression sucks! I suffer from it myself - although not as severe - it just sucks...

Sarah Wimperis said...

My tears are for you both Gretel, how lucky Andy was to have had such a love to share his life with, I am so sad for you but know that the thoughts of many will be surrounding you now, Rest in peace Andy.

Gail said...

Thank you for sharing with us something that must've been very difficult for you to write ... I am still lost for words ...
You are continually in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs and big love xx

Jess said...

This is a lovely tribute to Andy. I cry tears for you even though we've never met in person I feel as though I know you through our emails and blog exchanges over the years. You're an amazing person Gretel, I wish you a peaceful heart and much love.xx

H.Ellis X said...

This is a beautiful post of Andy that tears came to my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss Gretel and I don't know what to say, only that my thoughts are with you. Stay strong, if that helps.
Heather x

jfidz said...

So, so sorry Gretel. Thinking of you.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Bravely written and bravely born through your pain. Grief is felt in the brain in the same area as physical pain; it does truly hurt and is excruciating. Sending you lots of love from California, from human and bunnies too <3

mountainear said...

Your news is heartbreaking and I admire your strength in writing so eloquently about the loss of this loved and lovely man.

My thoughts are with you. Take care. Take time.

Jane Aston said...

Beautifully written post and very moving. I have been thinking of you all day. You have my deepest sympathies. So brave of you to cover your loss in your blog. I hope we can all give you some comfort. Take Care.

Shona said...

What a touching post and one which, without a doubt, must have been incredibly difficult to write.

We all love you very much, Gretel. And so did Andy, as he told you even in the darkness that he battled with, and as he still does now in his peace.

Lots of love

Shona xxxx

frayedattheedge said...

My dearest Gretel
My thoughts are with you at this terrible time.
With much love, Anne xx

Val Reaves said...

Oh Gretel,.... How very sorry I am for you and the loss of your love... Sending you hugs and love from far away... We are all here for you...
Val in Kansas USA

Vic at Blossom and Snowflakes said...

I'm so sorry to read of your loss. This is a lovely post. Will be thinking of you, Vic xx

yvette said...

Dear Gretel, may all the love and support from all your friends help you through, with all my love too, Yvette xxx

Jan said...

That was a beautiful post, and I am so sorry for your loss. You wrote such a loving tribute.

If there is anything we could do to help, please tell us; I'm sure every single one of those posting would be glad to be of service to you.

Jan x

Sophie B said...

Oh Gretel I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time, it must have taken a lot to write such a beautiful post. We are all here for you.
Sophie xxx

acornmoon said...

I have had this poem in my head ever since I heard about Andy,

“In Beauty may you walk
All day long may you walk
Through the returning seasons may you walk
On the trail marked with pollen may you walk
With grasshoppers about your feet may you walk
With dew about your feet may you walk
With Beauty may you walk
With Beauty before you, may you walk
With Beauty behind you, may you walk
With Beauty above you, may you walk
With Beauty below you, may you walk
With Beauty all around you, may you walk
In old age wandering on a trail of Beauty, lively, may you walk
In old age wandering on a trail of Beauty, living again, may you walk
It is finished in Beauty
It is finished in Beauty”

Bee said...

retel, you have been constantly on my mind. I'm just gutted for you and your terrible loss.

I'm so sad for Andy's sufferings. The sort of depression that afflicted him must have been absolutely horrific for both of you.

I would like to do something to help you if I can. lots of love to you xx

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Oh Gretel... my heart is breaking for you and for Andy. you were such a team. No wonder you feel like a part of you has been ripped out... because it has. My sincerest condolences. No one should have to suffer what Andy suffered. I hope that you are able to keep yourself buoyed up with faith and loved ones. And I am certain that when you spring comes and you venture out to walk, Andy will be walking by your side as he always did.

storygirl said...

I am so sorry, as people have already said , so many people care about you, even those who haven't met you. Thinking of you

Nicky (greenphoenix)

* said...

Gretel I just can't find the right words to tell you how sorry I am. You need time to take care of yourself. Hope you can feel the many, many hugs we are all sending you. May you find comfort in all the beautiful memories of Andy. Please know I am praying for you. Don't stay away to long because I cherish your friendship will truly miss seeing your creations. Your talent has always brought everyone so much joy. Take care.

Terri said...

Dearest Gretel, I am so so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. We have never met, but you have been much in my thoughts these past few days. Sending you all my love xxx

Gwen Buchanan said...

Dear Gretel, I am so very sorry. I felt the impact of every word of your story and I am at a loss for words. Please Take care.

Brent I. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brent I. said...

Oh Gretel, I am Cindy's Garber Iverson's husband, and I echo her entry above and ad my condolences to and prayers for you. We admire your creations greatly and are thankful for your generosity of spirit and talent with the world. We grieve with you at this time and pray for you and your families.

Justine Picken said...

Gretel...what a beautiful piece of writing you have shared amidst your grief. And what a wonderful but tortured soul Andy appears to have been. I find your writings so brave when you must have been facing your 'Everest', and still are, along with Andy finding his 'Everest' insurmountable. You sound like you have been the most amazing, understanding and supportive partner anyone could wish for and yet unfortunately sometimes, although there is as much support as is humanly possible, it does not have the desired effect. Mental illness is so misunderstood and dismissed (i do not mean by you) so easily by society and has a stigma attached to it that it makes it more difficult for sufferrers to reach out...society has it so wrong. I send you strength, love and peace to get through your tragic loss and i hope Andy has finally found peace also. Lots of love
..Justine x

Fay Iseminger said...

Gretel,
It is with sadness I read the story of your sweetheart. You obviously loved him dearly. There is much pain behind the words you write. No words from me can heal that. But know that I will keep you in my heart and prayers, as I have suffered losses, and understand some of what you are going through.

Blessings to you as you make this difficult transition.

Fay

Michelle Palmer said...

Gretel~ have been keeping you tight in my thoughts and prayers. You bring such joy to so many of us~ with your beautiful art and creative posts. I pray that your wonderful memories shared with Andy continue to bring your heart peace.

Cro Magnon said...

How very sad. From fellow painter and sometime Shropshire-man. Cro x

Lunabee said...

Heartbreaking to even read this, I cannot imagine what you must be going through. I hope you can find some comfort focusing on the beautiful crafts you make in this dark time. Lots of love and Hugs, Sarah (misk) xx

Jean RR Anderson said...

I can't stop crying - I just want to give you a hug...
with prayers, Jean

Barb Cady said...

I do not know what words to offer, your post is the most moving testament to love ever, he will be part of your spirit for eternity. Thinking of you... X

Vikki said...

Its at times like this I find myself struggling for words, they just seem inadiquate. Please stay warm and safe my lovely, know that all our hearts go out to you & that you are loved very much by everyone who reads this blog. Vikki x

Peter Sheldon-Battle said...

I can only reflect what others have said: what beautiful words. I had the honour and privilege of having Andy as one of the best bosses you could have hoped for. Two great years. Gone but not forgotten. . .

Tonia said...

I'm so so sorry about Andy and what he must have been suffering inside, what loss you have been left to carry on with. I wish you strength and courage - both of which you have in abundance - and much love.

E Wix said...

Dear Gretel,
What a horrible, horrible sad loss. I feel so sorry for Andy's pain and your pain.
Frances says what a wonderful warm person he was.
Sending so much love.
Thinking of you both so often.

julie said...

Oh Gretel, you have been so incredibly brave to write this, and braver still to be waking up and facing each day. There are no words that I can write here that would offer you the comfort that I would so dearly like to give you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and I, like so many others, would love to be able to help in any way possible.
Rest when you can and take care of your precious, special self. With much love, Julie xxx

the walking man said...

I don't know you, nor you me yet we have in common loss of ones we love still though they be gone. Your Andy is tortured by his thoughts no more and is comfortable, asleep with his ancestors, that is a good place to be for the ones who get lost and terrified of this place. They have no more fear of anything.

To you I say mourn, grieve and walk yourself to the place where you find your own peace among us yet in this place. It is there somewhere just awaiting your arrival. Take your time, walk as slowly as needs be, your life will get you to joy again, your love did not pass away with your lover and companion.

Peace

Walking Man

Nan and =^..^= said...

So very very sorry... your beautiful words of love and loss brought tears.
Thinking of you everyday and hope that comfort and love fills your days.
xo

alipercival said...

I'm so very sorry, Gretel. This was a beautiful tribute to your love. Thinking of you lots x

Mike Woodcock said...

I find that I don't have words to say something that will really, truly help. Then I realise that it's because there are no words that can do that. So I can only say, however inadequately, how very sorry I am that this terrible event has come to you and hope that you will find the strength and courage to weather the dreadful storm. x

Nancy Payne said...

Dear Gretel,
My heart goes out to you. Take it one day at a time, and I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Jeri Landers said...

Gretel, my heart and my prayers go out to you. I learned of this through Valerie a while ago, and have been thinking of you ever since.There isn't much one can say at times like this. I am glad you have people that care about you all over the world. God bless you.

bonne destination said...

Dear Gretel, your heartbreak is clear to see. I am so sorry that Andy has left you but he is now at peace and you have shared 21 wonderful years with him. I have read about your adventures, your successes, your hopes for the future and I hope you continue to be brave and strong. You are gifted. Take care of yourself.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-gretel-parker-project?c=home
This is a link for those of us able to help Gretel cope with her unexpected situation.

Lizzie Powell said...

Dearset Gretel I'm sending you a huge amount of love. I hope in some way that Andy will still be with you.

All my love Lizzie xxxx

natural attrill said...

Sending you all my love and sympathy. Penny.xx

Caroline B said...

You are so courageous to write and post this wonderful testament to Andy.It breaks my heart to read it yet I'm so glad I did. Thank you,and I hope you find the strength to get through this.

Camille said...

Dearest Gretel, I am so very sorry for your loss of dear Andy. I'm holding you in my heart and prayers. Wishing for you courage and strength to carry on in the days and months to come.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Oh my darling girl. (( ))

lemonade kitty said...

My thoughts are with you at this incredibly sad time, take strength in the thought that one day you will meet again, and that you both loved each other deeply, Lucey x

Amanda M said...

Dear Gretel,
I don't know you and you don't know me, but I love your art, have been visiting here for some time and am just heartbroken to read this here today. I can't even say how sorry I am for your loss. I wish you courage and strength through this sad time and I hope you can find joy in your beautiful work. - Amanda

Phil said...

It's strange, here I am a stranger half a world away shattered by your heartbreaking news. A stranger but not quite a stranger as I have visited this place almost daily for what must be years now. In this time when you must be feeling so alone I hope you know your are anything but alone. Those you know are reaching out to you and those you don't know are holding you in our hearts during this difficult time.

May you find peace.

Jemjoop said...

Dearest, loveliest Gretel;

My heart breaks for you and for Andy. What is there to say except we all love you so. Following you two over the years, cheering you on your walks, motorbike rides, felting, painting, cricketing, baking, small kitchen holding, and gardening. I am terribly sorry old friend and send only the most love and light to you and to him. -Jen

Rosemary said...

What a moment to discover your blog, I am so sad for you.
Sometimes people we love are like butterflies, you can hold then gently in your hands but then we have to let them fly away.

Danielle P. said...

Words from a complete stranger may have little weight, but know that my thoughts are with you. Your courage is remarkable.

Shelley said...

Rachel sent me over to read your heart wrenching,but beautiful story. What a handsome man with such a sweetness to his face. I join everyone in sadness at your loss.
Shelley

Rose H (UK) said...

I too was sent here by Rachel. I am moved to tears by your loss. I believe The Walking Mans' words say it perfectly.
My thoughts are with you...
Rose H
x

jabblog said...

I came from Rachel to read your testament. You and Andy will be in my thoughts. I wish you strength for the dark days ahead and that you will be surprised by sudden laughter as you remember your life with Andy.

The French Bear said...

Oh Sweetie, I am so, so sorry.......my heart aches after reading your post. I can't even begin to know what you are going through, I shall keep you in my prayers.....
I came here via Rachel also. Please know that I care and I am here if need me......
Hugs,
Mags
xxx

K said...

We do not know each other. I have come because your friends have rallied around you and are concerned about the cottage. If I were rich, I would secure it for you. But perhaps, in aggregate, something good will happen. The story you have written here with such courage (who can look such a thing in the face?) is a very tough one. The thing I have begun to understand in my sixty years on the planet is that love is a sure risk - an investment of the whole heart, which includes the soul.

It's greatest value is in the journey, though we always wish it to be the outcome that makes it worthwhile. It is the shredding of self in the service of one you have been given (for a while) to protect, watch over, tend. With the understanding that there is never a legitimate use for the word "enough."

I have never lost a person as integral to me as what has happened here. But other beings that have been dear to my heart. And even that is impossible. At the center of what I have to say to you is this: that I do, with all my heart and all my hope, believe in a God who sent us here on purpose, but who stepped back to let us live our time out, so that we could see who we really are - not in the way it Turns Out, but in the moments when nobody - not even ourselves - is looking.

I think it is love and sacrifice we are meant to ferret out in ourselves. And they come out in the things that come out of us, the care we take of those we love, the pictures we create - in action, in handwork, in jobs, in the way we move among strangers - with our lives. I see the bits that come from your hands, and now your heart, and I see a great soul. Perhaps gratitude is the greatest testimony of love, and of our connection to that God who eventually welcomes us home with relief, glad that his child has been through it, and is now safe - and I can see gratitude in every line, every detail of the visions of your heart, made real in your work - and now, in this story.

Don't worry for him. He has everything he always loved all around him now - this I believe as I believe the snow and gray outside will fade away into spring again. But everyone who knows you worries about you - not because they suspect you are weak, but because they hate to think of the pain you must walk through for a while. The loss of someone so significant to the soul is a terrible tear in the fabric of a life and leaves holes that we cannot hope to avoid falling into - at first time after time - then often, even as time passes.

But I think the greatest gift you can give him now, as I simply do believe that he can see you and worry over you - is gratitude. Let him see that you love the things he loved because he loved them, that the years you spent connected were rich and beautiful and a delight to you. That his live had not been lived for nothing, but that he left much beauty and meaning behind, regardless of the despair he sometimes knew. That his time with you was remarkable and meaningful, and that the world is better for his having walked through it.

This does not mean that you should not grieve, but that under the grief, you remember the joy that you had with this man, that it not be forgotten in this time of pain, and confusion and question. That he taught you to be happy, and you remember the lessons, that under what you feel now is a solid self full of joy at the gifts you have been given, and you will float, and hold on, and forge on and never forget - and look forward. Because, that you will see him again, I have utterly no doubt.

Life is no accident. We do with it what we can, given the variables. And there is more to it than most people are willing to realize.

Hold on, dear.

Hold on.

Kris Keese said...

Dear Gretel,
I am also one who feels like you are a special friend even though we have never met. Your felting has been such an inspiration and has always made me smile. I have enjoyed getting to know you and Andy through your blog. I have loved seeing the English countryside through your pictures. You have been so generous in sharing your life and talent with so many. I am saddened by your loss and grieve with you. I am praying thay you will find the comfort and strength to carry on. Words sound so weak but my heart hurts for you. Kris

Sharon Stanley said...

bless your heart gretel. you don't know me, i don't know you, but please please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort.

delia hornbook said...

I just wanted to say that im so deeply sorry for your loss. Im little lost for words after reading your post. But feel the need to send you a huge hug. Best wishes to you, dee x

Nomi McLeod said...

Gretel,
we don't know each other, but you and I were both mentioned in a post by Rima. I lost my baby in January, and now you have lost your man.

I am so sorry for your pain. I'm sending you love for the journey ahead, for the grief, misery, darkness, joy, love and the continuation of things.

Those that we love are never truely lost

Nomi xxxx

Lyn said...

Dear Gretal, so so sorry to read this heart breaking post. I can not dream how you feel at all. I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you at this very sad time. Xxx

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Libby Buttons said...

My Dear Ole Friend,
My heart is wrenched for you and, I cant imagine...dont want to imagine your pain. It grieves me to finally find you again, only to read of your recent tragedy. I dont know what to say. All I know is, depression is a horrid thief . It robs and gives nothing in return, perhaps occasional fiery bursts of creativity born from the intense inner furnace of pain. I have suffered from depression since childhood. My mum first took me to the doctors at age 8. It is an illness that steals some of our finest human beings, of which your beloved Andy was surely one. Please, if there is anything I can do.....

Libby Buttons

Liza said...

Oh no...so, so sorry. Sending you love and strength, xxxx

Poppy Cottage said...

Thank you for writing this. My thoughts are with you and I know no words that I or anyone else can say can help ease the heartbreak that you must be feeling. But hold on to the fact that it was a different Andy who chose to leave, that your Andy is with you, watching over you and would be so proud of you. Keep strong xx

vicki said...

i am so, so very sorry. i marvel that you could write this so eloquently. thank you for sharing the wonderful photos of Andy. Sending you good thoughts for strength to do what you must do and to feel lifted up with love from all around.

Vintage Jane said...

Dear Gretel - I read the first line of your post and it sent me reeling. It was the last thing I expected to read and I am typing with tears in my eyes. You don't know me but I feel as though I knew you both so well. I have read your blog almost from the start before plucking up courage to comment a couple of years ago. You felt like friends and I have followed your journey. I can't begin to imagine how you are feeling, I hope you are coping and have friends around you who can help. My own man suffers from depression and I know how hard it can be. I am so, so sorry ... I don't know what more to say. Please stay in touch with us all. We really do care. M xx

Isabelle said...

Oh no... I too am so sorry. My lovely son-in-law suffers from depression so I have a faint idea of how you must be feeling. Words are useless but - my profound sympathy is with you.

Amanda said...

Words fail me. I will hold you in my prayers!

lettuce said...

I have no adequate words Gretel, and cannot imagine. My heart aches for you.


xx

Angy is my name. said...

This too shall pass ... ♥♥♥
With great love comes all that must be be taken when two hearts destined to be together part a ways for just a while. Just wee short while.

Light & Love ... Light and Love ♥♥♥

Celia Hart said...

Oh Gretel, I feel at a loss as to what to say... but you have told Andy's story so touchingly.

Thinking of you and sending my heartfelt condolences.

xx

Jamile Shirley said...

Dear Gretel,

As a long-time silent reader and great admirer, I am compelled and humbled to write for the first time as a response to your unimaginable grief. You have so graciously shared your life with us, and you feel like a close friend. I imagine there are hundreds more of us, silent readers, whose lives you have touched and inspired. I will refrain from writing a book here, but I want you to know you are loved VERY much.

I am reminded of a small quote: "Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark."

(((HUGS))) to you from Virginia.

Sarah said...

I don't know you Gretel but I have participated in your friend's raffle today. I am so sorry for your loss and your writing has moved me to tears. I hope things get better for you xx

Jenny Woolf said...

I am so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you.

~april said...

Oh my God. Word cannot express. I do not know you but please know i am praying for you right now. I am so sorry.

Very Berry Handmade said...

I'm so terribly sorry for your loss - you'll be in my prayers.

Little Dotty Bird said...

I am so so sorry to hear the pain that you are in, you are in my thoughts and I am sending you my love. xxx Lisa xxx

Cathy Simpson said...

Gretel - this post is so brave, and so profoundly moving that I sat here in tears while I read it. Nothing can ever, ever prepare us for the loss of a loved one by suicide, but you are showing such courage in the face of an experience that most people never - thank heaven - get anywhere near. Jill, a school friend of mine who has never met you, also asked me to send her best wishes.

You are one of life's survivors - you've shown this again and again. If you like, I'll try and get to see you when I'm up in Shrewsbury at the end of April. No pressure.

You're in my thoughts, and the thoughts of everyone else whose life you've touched.

With lots of love,

Cathy xxxxxx

tut-tut said...

No one can know what you are feeling. But please know that we all care very much about you, dear Gretel.

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My family too have been devastated by the impact of suicide. The ripples on the pond are there for a long, long time. You did all you could to protect him but it was too much for him to bare. Take care, there's a huge amount of support out here for you, practically and emotionally :) x

Greenorchid said...

I too have come through your friend's raffle to hear your story... I am touched by your bravery to share and for the great love show by your friends... I send my heart felt best wishes to you and truly hope that you are able to stay in the home you both love. Hugs Cass x

Country Rabbit said...

...i'm so, so, sorry gretal, my heart is with you~ it must be so hard to come to terms with such things...im so glad you had your moment with him telling him you loved him before he decided to go...your words touched my soul so much like i wanted to reach out and give you the biggest hug ever, my words wont be much comfort im sure, but please remember you're an amazingly lovely person, you must of helped him through some real difficulties and gave him love and that is a treasured thought.
i do not often comment, but often visit your blog because your creations leave me spell bound~ you are such a talent, let the love for him live on through your amazing creations xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Noelle the dreamer said...

Strangers we are but thanks to Rachel, ex-RAF hubby and I would like to add our sincerest condoleances! No one can imagine for a moment the sorrow you are experiencing but we thank you for sharing the very special moments the two of you lived!
In thoughts and prayers with you,

Zreekee said...

I don't know you, having followed information about Red Nose Day from Attic24, But I feel a small part of your overwhelming grief. A friend also made this choice on January 20th, leaving his young daughter, friends, and family to mourn. Mental illness is terrible and it seems to take the best and brightest. Much hugs from a stranger. I hope that you can find the strength to go on.

Lee said...

No words.Sending you the most sincere comforting cyber hugs.You are in my thoughts.xx

woolies said...

I am so very sorry for your tragic loss. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Sending warm wishes to you.

Kim said...

I'm a new reader and stumbled across your blog via Crafty Blogs. My heart breaks for you honey. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Take comfort from your memories. XXX

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Such a sad loss. Such a brave post. Gretel you have been and will be in my thoughts x

Rachael Rabbit said...

Gretel - know that I and many others are thinking of you - sending you love, strength and anything else you might need at this terribly sad time for you. My words seem inadequate. But I had to let you know you are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Coneflower said...

{{{Gretel}}} I'm so sorry.

Favourite Vintage Finds said...

Dear Gretel,

I came here from Vintage Jane. My heartfelt condolances.

Love and hugs, Carla.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I am so very sorry to hear of his suffering and of your terrible loss .
My thoughts are with you ...

Magic Bean said...

xxxxx
Ax

nenuphar said...

We do not know each other but you will be in my thoughts and in my prayers at this sad time. May your love for each other live on in your heart and through your creative work.

Things Hand Made said...

sending you all thoughts and love I can

Laura Tieri said...

I am sitting at my computer in tears after reading this post even though I have never met you. I may be far away in Chicago but I'm sending you a big hug right now. I have a weird way of sensing how people are by looking at pictures of them. Andy has a sweet face (and very handsome). He seems like he was a very nice person with a gentle soul. I like how most of the photos show him out in nature. I really like the one of him out in the garden with the umbrella for some reason. At least his tortured mind & soul are at peace now.
As for you...Your work is amazing! I got here in a round-about way & I just love all your creations.
I'm hoping you will be filling your Etsy shop with goodies! Art is great therapy for the soul!
From the number of comments, I'd say you have quite a support group out here!
I'll be praying for you.

ukcitycrafter said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your beloved partner.

Rebecca said...

Xxx

Chrysalis said...

Dear Gretel, I've only just found your blog, via Lisa at Attic 24, and am just so sad for you. It's good that you have loving friends around you at this difficult time, and I'm praying that you will find the 'peace that passes all understanding' and that you can resolve practical problems like the cottage. Take heart, dear one, and be encouraged by the love that comes your way from so many new and old friends. Chris xx

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Dear Gretel, the world will be a lesser place without the sweetness of your Andy the gentleness that is so needed. I am hoping that time will lessen the pain in your heart. Your moving and loving tribute to Andy has me wishing I had known him. How lucky he was to have you.
God bless and keep
xx
julie

theodora said...

Gretel, so so sorry for your sad loss.
Barb xx

Catherine Constance said...

Dear Gretel,
I'm so sorry for your sad loss. I wish I had words that would help ease your pain. I'm thinking of you and sending you a friendly smile. :)

Rosa Lily said...

Your paths crossed 21 years ago and they will surely cross again. xxxxxx

karen lesley said...

I came over from 'dotty bird' to follow you and to say how very sorry I am for your loss...and for you to know that you have another friend to support you. Karen xxx

Simone said...

Dear Gretel, my heart aches for you. Take care. x

Cat said...

Still thinking of you and sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers. hugs!

GAM said...

Oh Gretel, I am so so sorry for your loss. It's clear that he loved you very much, and I hope there is some comfort in this. My thoughts and prayers are with you . . .

-Gordon

Sue said...

So sorry to hear of your loss.

You tell of his last moments and your hurt and fears with such clarity, I feel your pain, well a sliver of your pain, for what you are going through at this moment, no one but you will know.

Sending hugs and prayers and lots of love from me to you.

Sue xx

laurenfinley said...

Gretel, this is a beautiful tribute to Andy. I am so sorry you have to suffer now. May God give you peace and comfort.

Winkel's Crazy Ideas said...

Dear Gretel, you don't know me, but l found you via ted and bunny. Your story touched me so very much and l just wanted to send my love and say that you will be in my thoughts. Pam in Norway xx

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

Our hearts ache and the tears flow for a man we never knew.
What we do know that both you and Andy were blessed to have each other, to have been able to share your lives and your love.
May you find peace and comfort in knowing Gretel that your beloved partner was taken much too soon but that one day you will be reunited in a special place where there is no pain, no suffering only love...
Susan

Wendy said...

My heart goes out to you Gretel. I'm so terribly sorry. I know words are inadequate, and I know I'm a perfect stranger to you but I couldn't help but be touched and wanted to send you my love. I so hope you are finding comfort and warmth in your memories, if not now then in time xx

Rebecca said...

There are very few words that can express the pain and sadness that you and your close friends and family are feeling, but reading this really does explain so beautifully the loss of such a wonderful soul to another place. There must be solace in knowing that he left this place in the way he had wanted too, in a reflective and tranquil state.

You will remain in my thoughts and I hope all our thoughts and blessings bring you some comfort and peace.

May you find and ask us for help should you need anything, as blogger community rallies around to help friends old and new xx

Poppy Q said...

I have just found your blog and am so sorry for your loss. We lost one of our workmates in a similar way two weeks ago, and his loss has touched us all.

One of our friends said that everyone carries a sadness in them and often we can't find a way to reach in and help.

Hugs
Julie Q

pembrokeshire lass said...

Everything that can be said has been said and I expect it helps.......nothing will take away the pain where your heart feels as if its been ripped out. I hope that knowing so many many people are thinking of and praying for you will take just a smidgen of the pain away. Look after yourself and take care. Gentle hugs. Joan

Rattling On said...

I'm ashamed to say I've been reading your blog for a long time and this is the first comment I've left, never saying before how much I admired your work.
Being left behind is the hard part, but just because you can't see someone doesn't mean they're not there, somewhere.
Dawn

Bev Newman said...

I really don't know what to say as sorry seems so inadequate. It is obvious that you loved Andy so much and he also loved you very much from your post. The empathy and honesty in your post is amazing and by sharing I'm sure you will help other's in your situation too. I will keep you in my prayers xx

Jenny said...

Dear Gretel ~ my deepest sympathies to you. I am so sorry that Andy saw this as his only option and I am saddened to think of you dealing with the loss and uncertainty of your new life. Thinking of you.

Carol said...

I am another stranger visiting from Pomona's blog. I am so, so sorry your love was in so much pain that he could only walk down one path. Depression is an awful hidden disease and I am sorry Andy suffered so much. I hope that, in time, memories of happier times will be of comfort to you.
Carol xx

Jill said...

Dear Gretel thank you for being brave enough to share your story. Words cannot express the loss you must be feeling. But you will find the strength to forge your new life, my very best wishes.
Jill

Homeandfood said...

Gretal this is too painful for words.
I am so, unbelievable sorry and grieved to hear of this.

You are inspirational, to be ale to write this. You should know, that however things may have ended for andy, he knew you loved him and you will have his love in your heart forever.

I hope you can find strength from within, to forge a beautiful new life for yourself.

I wish you every success and happiness in your future.

We at home and food are always here for you.

X

the woolly dog said...

Dear Gretel,anything we all say is so inadequate to express how much we are feeling for you after reading your letter, and how very sad it is for you both that he wasn't able to come out the other side of the terrible thing he was going through. I wish you so much love, we all do...

Louise said...

I am new to your blog, I've just followed a link here and it's so hard to know what to say but I have to say something.

I think I just totally echo the comment above mine.

I think it's amazing you've been able to write this post and you've put it all into words so well. It really is unbelievably painful to read so I can't even begin to comprehend how things are for you.

I hope you can at least find some comfort in seeing the amazing response from the blogging community.

Kezzie said...

Hello dear Gretel,
I've never come across your blog before, but I heard from another blogger about your loss and I am so sorry. I cannot even begin to imagine how you are feeling. I pray that you will find comfort in some way during this time. God bless you x

Puddock said...

Gretel, I've only just found your latest post. I'm so sorry to hear of your terrible news. Everyone has already said all the wise things that can be said, so I'll just say two things: Andy is at peace now - I hope that helps you at least some of the time. The other thing comes from me as a widow - take care of yourself. It does get better, I promise. Sometimes you will despair that you will ever feel whole again but it does happen. It might take longer than you expect but, for minutes at first, then hours, then days, you will have good spells. Be gentle with yourself and let it take as long as it takes.

annie patch said...

Gretel, I haven't read your blog before, but I want to say how much I admire your courage in writing this beautiful tribute to Andy. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I wholeheartedly agree with Puddock - take care and be gentle with yourself.

Celeste Goulding said...

Heartbreaking

11jayj said...

Hi Gretel, we don't know each other have come across your site via Little Cotton Rabbit. I admire you for putting thoughts and feeling in writting and understand your loss. I lost my soul mate / husband last May off 35 years and was devistaged. Take it easy for like you I have had to continue to work to make things meet but on second thought probable went back to work to soon. But on the other had need to occupy mind and tried to get some normality back in my life and those around me, our children. Honestly now I would love time out (6 months later). There are days I wake up and want to stay home and sort somethings out which we are tempted to put aside at the time. All I can say is take your time and be kind to yourself.

Jackie

Claire Brennan said...

I just found you through Mollie Makes and I am visiting for the first time, I really hope you don't mind if I leave you a big cyber hug. I cannot imagine what you are going through, but I wish you the strength to get through it. God bless.

Debbie said...

Much love to you xx

Sweet Auburn Life said...

Oh Gretel, I just found you and my heart breaks for you! Rest in peace Andy.

SAL xx

Mrs Gibson said...

Gretel,
My thoughts and love are with you. xx

Over the Garden Wall said...

Dear Gretel,
I send you my heartfelt sympathy and love as you cope with the loss of your dear Andy.
I am awed by your courage and grace.
God bless
Avril

Yarrow said...

Dearest Gretel,
This is the first time I've been able to read this post all the way through. It tears my heart to read what you've been through. I know I can only send words on a computer screen, but believe that my love and prayers for you are very real.xxx

Lynne said...

Dear Gretel,
I found your blog just today, only to read of your sad loss, and my heart just breaks for you. Your loving and lovely tribute post to Andy is sweet and ...well, I cannot imagine the pain of your loss, and I have no truly fitting words. So, I am saying a prayer for you & wishing you strength, grace and peace to carry on and do what you must do for yourself.

I took a bit of a browse around your blog, and it's lovely. Your work is lovely. And I hope you will share your journey... if nothing else, we here in blog-reader=land also have a lot of love & support to give!

And as a cat lover myself, I hope their warm purring fuzzy love is a comfort to you during these times.

Wishing you whatever you most need, Lynne (central NY state)

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

May his memory be for a blessing.
Be well Gretel...
Kari

tea and cake said...

Gretel, I am adding my sorrowfully small thoughts, to this long line of people, who are pouring their love to you.
It is heartbreaking to have lost your beloved Andy, and I wish you peace.
love,
Karen xx

Rags and Paper said...

My heart aches for you and Andy. I want to add my words of sorrow and sympathy.

And also a word of thanks -- I should have said this ages ago -- you have been a real help to me. I also had a far-less-than-ideal family life and upbringing. I live with its effects, as one must. I've watched you share your memories and go along with your art, circle back and go some painful ground and then on with some other creative endeavor -- printing, felt-craft, book-publishing, and I wonder what next?

Connecting here has given me determination to deal with my own memories and to try things I wouldn't have attempted without your example. I expect I'm not the only one who's been lurking here (in my case for years!)who has benefited as I described.

So thank you, so much.

Jeannette

Otherwise known as Jen said...

Gretel, I feel so deeply for your loss. I too am a long time lurker and always when I visit here, I feel nourished with peace and beauty. Today is no different. Your words of loss are so beautiful still. Thank you for sharing your life with me and in so doing, enriching mine. Blessings to you.

The Custards said...

So very sorry - such sadness and courage
Thinking of you
Jenny