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18 January 2021

Allan and Linda's story: 'We found love after bereavement'

Allan and Linda’s story: ‘We found love after bereavement’

He didn’t know it at the time, but Allan Jones very nearly didn’t meet the woman who would become his wife.

The pair were first introduced during a bereavement lunch at St Michael’s Hospice, just a few months after Allan had lost wife Maureen, and Linda’s husband, Tony, had died.

‘It was my first time there and I walked into this room and couldn’t see anywhere to sit,’ said Allan.

‘I was about to leave when a lady called Anne said there was a seat next to her and her friend.’

That friend was Linda and the pair immediately hit it off.

‘We’d lost our partners at about the same time,’ said Linda. 

‘Anne came along to support me as my best friend. I think it’s fair to say though I didn’t expect to meet my future husband.’

Allan later invited Linda out and they enjoyed walks and pub lunches together before ‘just suddenly becoming a couple’.

They rented a place together in Much Marcle – moving in two days into lockdown.

‘That’s quite a good test of whether your relationship is going to work…’ added Linda.

Not only did it work, they were soon planning a wedding, although Allan’s proposal didn’t quite go to plan.

‘We were enjoying coffee one morning when I asked Linda whether she would marry me. She didn’t have time to reply because, with impeccable timing, my son rang. I couldn’t stop laughing, so he knew something was up. I told him I’d ring him back, ended the call, and Linda said ‘Yes’. It was a wonderful moment.’

Following four rearranged wedding dates due to lockdown restrictions, they finally exchanged vows during an intimate ceremony at Ledbury’s Feathers Hotel on 19th December 2020.

Their future plans rest on selling their respective properties and moving to the Pembrokeshire coast.

‘We love the coastal walks, the sea and the scenery. It’s fantastic,’ said Allan. 

Their story could barely have been believable just a couple of years earlier.

At the time, Allan’s wife, Maureen, regularly attended Day Services groups at St Michael’s.

‘She wasn’t very well but loved going there,’ he said. ‘The staff were just brilliant. It was her GP who recommended going to the Hospice each week, and she really looked forward to it.’

In May 2018, Maureen died at Hereford County Hospital, aged 76. Following her death, St Michael’s Hospice continued to help Allan.

‘A Listening Support Volunteer from the Hospice called round. She really helped me cope with the bereavement.

‘I also joined the Striders and Strollers walking group at Queenswood, organised by St Michael’s, and was able to chat with others going through a similar experience.’

For Linda, husband Tony had developed stomach cancer.

‘He was doing well with his chemotherapy but in March 2018 he began to deteriorate and the following month was admitted to the Hospice’s Inpatient Wing in Bartestree for symptom management,’ she said.

‘He died in the May – around the same time Allan lost Maureen.’

Both remain full of praise for the help and support St Michael’s gave to their partners – and themselves.

‘I don’t think I would have managed before or after Tony died,’ said Linda.

‘But thanks to the Hospice, I have. They care so much, not just for the person who is ill but also for the person who is looking after them.

‘I know neither Allan nor myself will ever forget everything they did for us.’

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