Walking behind the two coffins of my dead daughter and husband was the most heartbreaking experience of my life.
A MOTHER whose daughter and husband died within days of each other said it was heartbreaking to follow their coffins.
John Palmer, Alice’s 61-year-old husband, was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2019, completely turning their lives upside down.
Beth, her daughter, is 20 years old and has cerebral palsy, scoliosis, blindness, and epilepsy, for which her 68-year-old mother has been a full-time caregiver throughout her life.
In 2019, John was diagnosed with terminal cancer and by August he had been transferred to a local hospice to spend his final days.
In parallel with John’s diagnosis, Beth’s health started to deteriorate.
And for weeks, Alice shuttled back and forth between the ICU where Beth was staying and the hospice where John was spending his final days.
When the courageous mother learned that Beth had passed away on August 26, she was devastated.
Sadly, John passed away only six days later.
The mother, devastated, had to plan a funeral for both Beth and John, who were buried side by side.
Alice claimed that she dressed Beth like Audrey Hepburn for the funeral by having her wear a beautiful dress.
She reflected, “Having to plan the double funeral was the worst, it was so sad.
Then, walking behind the two caskets in the church during the funeral was a devastating experience, he said.
For months, Alice stayed with her sisters because she was too traumatized to sleep in her empty house.
Alice said, “I was expecting the news, but when it came I still didn’t quite believe it,” after receiving the devastating phone call about her daughter.
I was only ten minutes away, having just dropped by John’s hospice to see how he was doing; I wished I could have been there with her instead.
It pained me to break the news to John while he was so sick, but we had to.
Though nearly three years have passed, Alice has remarried. She met her new husband, Lee Palmer, 58, on a website designed to bring together people who have experienced loss through marriage.
Their friendship flourished after both Alice and Lee experienced the loss of a child and a spouse.
“When Beth and John died, I was devastated,” Alice from Anfield, Liverpool, said.
I felt such profound sadness and loneliness, like there was no one I could feel close to, that I gave up hope of ever falling in love again.
After what I had been through, I was very cautious about getting back into dating for fear of losing them and getting hurt again.
“I felt a deep sadness and loneliness, like there was nobody I could feel close to, and I thought I would never find love again.”
However, she continued, “But we have both been through it — we both have doubts sometimes, but it is a relief and a comfort to love and be loved again.
Accepting your loss isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if you want to prevent it from destroying you.
“It saddens me when people can’t seem to find new love; you only get one shot at this thing called life.”
Lee, who recently married, reflected on the death of his wife and two of their friends, saying, “After I lost Joe and Michelle, I realized none of my close friends or family had lost anyone in that way, and it was hard.
Even though I didn’t join the group specifically to find love, there was something undeniably alluring about her.
“There was instant chemistry between us when we first met. It’s great to feel like we have newfound vitality now that we’re married.
“I was lonely for about a year and a half, but now I have someone to look forward to when I get home from work.”
‘MAKE THE MOST OF LIFE’
During a weekend in June of 2020, Alice and Lee met for the first time and immediately hit it off.
She explained that they were drawn together by shared experiences, but that they needed to meet in person to determine whether or not chemistry existed.
Lee relocated to Liverpool in January 2021 to be with Alice, and the two wed on March 22, 2022.
While Lee sported a Joe sash on his lapel, Alice claimed she wore a Beth pin.
Alice said it was a “happy day” for them both, and in fact, next month will mark one year since their wedding, even though Beth and Joe couldn’t be there to share in the festivities.
‘You have to rebuild,’ she urged. We were both saddened to see so many people on that widows’ forum who had given up hope of finding love again.
It seems that some people do nothing but wait to die. It’s a shame that so much time and effort was wasted.
“You have to accept your loss and make peace with it, in my opinion, or it will consume you. Ultimately, you will need to move on.
In other words, “You only get one life, so live it to the fullest.”