Prima (UK)

‘I took to the skies in his memory’

AMANDA RUTHERFORD, 50, who works for a homeless charity and lives in Dalkeith, Midlothian, found an inspiring way to channel her grief.


Up in the clouds, I can forget the pain and loneliness. My wonderful husband, Davie, travel buddy was and my best sounding friend – board, and he died aged 59 of pancreatic cancer.

We’d met at work at a homeless charity. He was easygoing, with a brilliant sense of humour. We loved travelling and I always joked that I’d learn to fly a plane and, one day, on a flight he’d hear me say: ‘This is your captain speaking.’ We had so many plans for our future, so many places we wanted to see, and it was all taken away. My grief was a complex, shifting range of emotions. I’d find myself counting the days and weeks since I’d last seen Davie. He died in January 2022 on a Saturday at 3pm, and every Saturday at the same time I’d go and sit by his grave. I felt I couldn’t leave, which I knew wasn’t healthy. I needed to channel my grief into something positive

– but what?

Then, a few months later, I was going through some paperwork and I found a voucher for a flying lesson. It had been Davie’s last gift to me and I’d forgotten about it in the heartbreak over his death. In that moment, I’d found my answer. I booked a lesson on what would have been Davie’s birthday in July. In the morning, I took flowers to his grave, and that afternoon I nervously climbed into the tiny twoseater plane with my instructor, George.

Instead of crying in a cemetery at 3pm, I was up in the clouds for an hour, feeling liberated. As soon as we landed, I wanted to get back up there and I soon signed up for more lessons. I now spend nearly every weekend flying and I’m working towards getting my pilot’s licence.

I miss Davie every moment of every day. Flying doesn’t ease the pain, but it’s an outlet, which is so important for anyone navigating grief. And I’ll carry Davie in my heart on every adventure.

• Visit widowedand­

 ?? ?? The couple shared a sense of adventure
The couple shared a sense of adventure
 ?? ?? Amanda hopes to get her pilot’s licence soon
Amanda hopes to get her pilot’s licence soon

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