‘Only you can decide when IT’S Time TO move On’
‘Only keith seemed TO understand’
Denise Patrick, 49, lives in Hertfordshire. She has two daughters, millie, 26, and Jessie, 23.
Iwas 45 when my husband, Desmond, died of a heart attack in January 2014. We’d been together for 25 years, and he and our two daughters, Millie, then 22, and Jessie, 18, were everything to me. At first, I tried to stay strong for my girls. But as soon as the funeral was over, and they returned to university, I became lost in grief. When I tried opening up to friends and family, it just made things awkward – people didn’t know what to say.
Only my friend Keith, whose children attended the nursery I ran, seemed to understand. A few years before, he’d been through a divorce, and was now raising his two children alone. He knew how hard it was to lose the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with. Over the next months, we spent hours talking. By May 2014, we were meeting up three, sometimes four, times a week. Then one day, while we were hugging goodbye, our bodies lingered. At first I was scared. It had only been four months since Desmond passed, and yet I couldn’t deny my attraction to Keith. A few days later, we kissed. Although it was wonderful, I was worried about how the girls would react. When they came home from university a week later, I told them how I felt about Keith.
Being older, Millie understood. But tears sprung to Jessie’s eyes. I wrapped my arms around her. ‘Keith makes me happy,’ I explained. ‘But if it upsets you, we won’t see each other anymore.’ I could see she was torn, but eventually she gave her blessing. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of Des. But after losing him, I’ve had to move on.
Keith has been there for Denise