What is it all about?

This website is a celebration. It’s a celebration of the life I spent with my partner, Maria, who passed away from cancer in 2010 – and it’s a celebration of the life I am living now after the journey through loss, so far, that has bought me to this place.

And they are different lives, separated by the transformation that can come from the passage through darkness and back into the light.

So the website is in two different parts. The first is an evolving expression of my present and future. Last year I completed a novel that I started 8 years ago, loosely based on some of the experiences of our life together – I only managed to return to writing it after letting go of the past and embarking on this new chapter. It’s a comedy and hopefully in it I’ve captured her wicked humour, sense of fun and playful curiosity. It’s called Gin & It and I aim to make the adventure to bring it to life as unique, joyful and full of spirit ( 😉 ) as I can.

Maria and I had a huge amount of fun together and enjoyed some amazing experiences. As well as being life partners, we worked together, running a small marketing consultancy – and had the good fortune to work on projects full of adventure and interest. We had many small business and personal clients we were proud to help grow – and we were also involved in projects that involved the likes of HRH The Princess Royal, Jeffrey Archer – and even Madam Sin!! And we spent more time laughing than we had a right to ;-). I am very lucky to have Elaine Sturgess and Maria Hirstspent 17 years with such a wonderful person.

So the second part of the site is about the last 5 years and my experience of the process of dealing with grieving my loss of her. From the most desperate dark days after Maria passed to the current place of acceptance and peace, I have been fortunate to have had the support and love of my amazing family and friends – and the wisest guidance I could have hoped for, from so many incredible people – some of whom I have known and some I never met but found through reading and study. If you are currently experiencing loss and are in search of support, understanding and learning, I hope that part of this site can be of use to you in pointing you towards some resources that might help.

Ultimately grief is an intensely personal experience and we all have to find our own way through. There were times when I thought I would never get out of the overwhelming despair and darkness – but eventually glimmers of hope emerged – and now I am standing fully in the light – and Maria is too, on her own path. She is – and always will be – a daily presence in my life. We are forever connected and for the understanding of that, I am truly grateful.

I hope there is something here that will be a source of either information or inspiration to help in your own journey. Maria would just love that.

Love always…

Two hearts