On January 28th, 2012, Helen, my wonderful wife of 24 years, died unexpectedly of a heart attack. She was on her way home from a two week trip to the Philippines with the charity Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor when she collapsed at Manila airport.
Helen’s death left a huge hole in all of our lives, and left me and my children wondering how we could go on, pick up the pieces and begin again a new and different journey. While we all continue to feel the immense pain of her loss, we can also look back with gratitude on so many happy memories – of the fun, the struggles and the love we have all shared over the years; and we are encouraged by the love of so many, here in the UK and around the world, who have themselves been touched by Helen’s life, her tireless work for Servants, and the love she showed to all she met.
Since Helen’s death I have been immensely blessed – through my two wonderful children, Esther and Joseph; through many wonderful friends, old and new, who have helped and sustained me; through my parents and family; and, not least, through the new life I have found with Lois. I have been inspired to go on seeking the Holy One, and have encountered God’s love in totally unexpected ways.
This website and my blogs are an attempt to share some of my journey with others, in the hope that you, too, might be blessed as I have been blessed. In a way, this is an ongoing tribute to Helen – a wonderful, but very ordinary saint, with whom I was privileged to travel for half of my life.
The months leading up to her death had been hard ones for Helen. Not least, the strain of organising and seeing this trip through to completion, and the stress of my own illness. During her two weeks in Manila however, she had discovered, in an incredibly powerful way, a real sense of peace.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
(Matthew 11: 28-30, The Message)