It's Three Years since Her Adored Husband Died. Now, in This Heartfelt Testimony Which Will Strike a Chord with Every Woman (and Man) Who Has Lost a Partner, Esther Rantzen Explains Why She's Ready to Fall in Love Again

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

It's Three Years since Her Adored Husband Died. Now, in This Heartfelt Testimony Which Will Strike a Chord with Every Woman (and Man) Who Has Lost a Partner, Esther Rantzen Explains Why She's Ready to Fall in Love Again


BY ESTHER RANTZEN

LONELINESS creeps up on you like an ambush. It is treacherous and cowardly.

It surrounds you when you are least prepared for it and suddenly you feel the pain, like a dagger to the heart. It's not difficult for the newly single, I've found, to survive the everyday difficulties and tribulations that turn life into an assault course - when the car breaks down, or the bathroom floods, or the money runs out.

Those are the times when you can cope because you have no choice, you must get on with it. So you strap on a metaphysical tin helmet, put your head down, dodge the bullets and survive until another day.

But when morning breaks and you realise that the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, that's the moment when you sigh with relief and turn your head on the pillow towards your partner. That's when you remember he's not there any more, and it's the moment when loneliness strikes deepest.

Three years after my darling husband Desmond died, I still find it hard to admit to loneliness. It seems ungrateful to my family and friends who have helped so kindly to support me. But they have busy lives of their own, and with the best will in the world, they can't fill the gap.

I have learned, over the past three years, how painful it is to be happy by yourself, when you've got used to sharing treats and holidays with someone who was literally your other half.

How do you appreciate a wonderful sunset, or a gorgeous piece of music, without him to nod and smile to - someone who enjoyed it alongside you for so many years.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have memories of a long, loving partnership can flick through our mental albums and remember the times when we were happiest, moments when we walked wordlessly, hand in hand, our pleasure redoubled because we were together.

My memory is filled with moments I shared with Desmond; the chilly spring dawn when we watched the sunrise at Delphi; the hot summer afternoon we spent fishing for mackerel in Bantry Bay; the nervous suspense when we watched our daughter acting in a Christmas pantomime.

I have just taken a cruise holiday up the deep, green fjords in the southern tip of New Zealand; Desmond would have adored them.

I could hardly bear their beauty, I so longed for him to be standing next to me at the rail, pointing to the spot where Captain Cook landed, and instructing me in seamanship. But he wasn't there, and he will never be there again.

When Desmond died, I put his own wedding ring on my finger. It was a talisman, and a constant connection. Six months later, I was interviewed by Michael Parkinson and sang some words I had put to the tune of the Irish folk song, She Moved Through The Fair.

'My husband, my lover, he was brave, he was fair, And we journeyed together, and each memory we'd share.

Then he took his hand from me, when we had to part, But I know that he's with me, for he's here in my heart.' It wouldn't win any awards as a lyric, but it seemed to strike a chord with other widows, for I received dozens of requests for the words. At the time I still felt physically connected to him.

For two years after his death, his spirit was so close that I could talk to him silently, and feel that he was still sharing our lives.

When the children went away with me on a week's holiday to one of his favourite places, Corfu, we drank to his memory and felt that he could hear us, and clink his own glass in heaven.

When I went with two of our closest friends to the south of France on the anniversary of Desi's death, as I had promised him I would, we opened a bottle of sparkling pink wine and the wind blew the bubbles back into our faces, and we knew he would be chuckling at us.

BUT time changes things. It's more than three years now, and I've moved out into open water. Not that I have begun to forget him - I think about him every day.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

It's Three Years since Her Adored Husband Died. Now, in This Heartfelt Testimony Which Will Strike a Chord with Every Woman (and Man) Who Has Lost a Partner, Esther Rantzen Explains Why She's Ready to Fall in Love Again
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.