Happy 12th Wedding Anniversary my beautiful Angel up in heaven. I hope you are celebrating with family and friends that I am sure you have made acquaintances with over the last 12 months – how can anyone resist your beautiful and welcoming smile.
Its been a year now since I held your hand for the last time, since I kissed your beautiful face, since we spoke for the last time, since I saw your gorgeous smile and since I had my soul mate with me in body. You are now my soul mate in heaven and I know one day we will meet again and and I can hold you close once more.
The last year has panned out pretty much as we often spoke about. I’ve moved house and I think you would really love my new pad – you are very much present in it darling but its not a shrine to you as I know you didn’t want as we laughed about many times. I’ve done plenty of travelling across the world and taken you to the places you wanted to be scattered – although Shetland was a bit breezy like when we visited!! I scattered you on my 40th birthday (thank you for the lovely card beautiful) at tombolo beach in Shetland.
Some days it feels like you passed away yesterday and others it feels like many years ago gorgeous. I (along with others) are certainly keeping your name alive through various awards named after you (I’m sure you have been watching me presenting them) and also the continued success and growth of #hellomynameis – your amazing legacy that inspires thousands globally each day. Every time I present an award or give a keynote I sense your presence with me. Our wedding rings are now combined as one that I proudly wear.
You will be pleased to hear that I am doing the global and uk tour that we talked about on many occasions with me jetting off to Australasia in a few weeks to start it. I remember us fondly planning our holiday to Oz for when you became a consultant and pre kids but then cancer came and changed our life plan.
The nephews and niece are all doing great and are growing quickly. I often think how amazing an Aunty you were and that you would have made such an amazing Mum to our children – although you often said living with me was like having a child!!
I often get asked about what life would have been like if you hadn’t died but my response (as we often talked about) is always that I am truly thankful for the 16 years we had physically together and that you shouldn’t live thinking about what could have been, more so be thankful for what was – we certainly lived life to the full gorgeous! Not many people in the world will ever ever have what we had and I truly know that my life is a trillion times better because I shared your life with you and you made me such a better person that I will now take forward in my life.
You probably want to know how I am darling? As you probably have guessed I am keeping busy and surrounding myself with friends and family – probably more now than I have ever had but I am probably the loneliest I have ever been and I often find myself just sitting and talking to a photo of you with tears streaming down my cheeks then I have visions of you saying ‘jump up’ and I sort myself out.
I recently re-read some of your blogs and one part you wrote said I would be ok for the first 6 months as I would be busy then it would hit me – you (as always) were correct gorgeous. I just want to hold you, to snuggle with you, to talk to you, to have our ‘nights in’ etc
You will love to know that your story is going to be made into a play to help others and raise money for St Gemmas, I am writing my book to help others, the global tour commences soon, more awards to present, travelling across the globe ensuring your legacy remains (which it will).
You will always be part of me (especially the butterfly tattoo I had done on my leg like yours) my beautiful and inspiring wife.
Forever I am yours my beautiful Angel Kate
Such a beautiful and moving post Chris – I never met Kate in person but loved reading her posts, she made you feel like you knew her by reading her words and was such an inspirational lady.
I am a paediatric nurse and every time I meet a family I start with … hello my name is Zoe and I tell all of my students and new staff members about Kate’s campaign.
Sending love and strength
Oh Chris, what a beautiful letter..you capture the essence of you and Kate and all she meant to so many people. Although we never met in person, I think of her often and wonder how you are getting on. I know that there must be so many days where the pain seems almost overwhelming, and yet I know in my heart she would be so proud of you and all that you have achieved for her since she left. What is most remarkable is that right throughout the turmoil and devastation caused to both of your lives by the DRSCT diagnosis, both of your main concerns were about how the other one would cope. Very few people will ever know that level of selflessness and intuitive understanding of how the other one works. I am sure Kate is brimming with pride reading this and is so relieved you have kept both yourself and her legacy going. With very kind thoughts to you and the wider family, I know this year will not have been an easy road to walk for any of you, xxx
My name is Maria – I was privileged to teach Science to Kate at Salendine Nook High School. I often hold Kate in my thoughts. What wonderful memories I have of her sitting in a science lesson so enjoying a whole new world that was opening up to her.
thank you so much and i often look through her old school books with those amazing diagrams!!
Thank you for posting this although it was obviously another very difficult step you had to tread along the path without Kate beside you.
I hope perhaps you will continue to blog the odd piece here from time to time letting us all know how things progress etc?
Best wishes for now & the future.
What a beautiful letter – thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Just wanted to thank you for the success of the “Hello my name is” campaign. It has really made a difference and I think it particularly helps the NHS staff who don’t have a good bedside manner. They have an opening gambit and it demands that they look the patient in the eye. Would love to hear of your further progress on the blog – I never had the heart to delete Kate from my files, so it was a wonderful surprise to see you blogging there. Take care, Liz
Hello, Kate will never leave you and you are doing exactly what she would have liked you to do!! Live for you – why? Because you can!!
P.s. I was in hospital in December, 2016 – who was in the corridor to welcome me – a Kate, hellomynameis poster – made me feel I wasn’t alone
I’m a catholic, and I pray for her.
I sat here reading your beautiful letter with tears in my eyes. Kate’s story was so very close to my heart as my own beautiful daughter, also a Doctor, was struggling with hew own cancer story at the same time. Reading Kate’s letters helped me so much at the time as they sounded so much like something my Susan would write. Susan died in December before Kate but I kept reading your posts. So glad to read this one.
Thank you …. inspirational!
Kate really helped me going through the nightmare of losing my wonderful sister 3 years ago. They were so alike but she could not do any of the amazing things Kate did as she was planning a secure future for her 3 brave teenagers.
I wish you all the very best keep strong and your belief that we will all meet again has really helped me today Xx
Thank you for writing this, I’ve often wondered how you were coping without your beloved Kate.
Such a Beautiful letter ,
I was privelaged to meet Kate at one of the Valentine Cake stalls at the hospital in Leeds ..
I made cake pops for the stall and stopped for a couple of hours chatting to the ladies and meeting your beautiful wife …
What an inspiration Kate was and still is , she will live on forever in many people’s hearts ..
She would be very proud of you , well done for all your hard work
Thank you for sharing your letter , and may God bless you always ..
Such beautiful words.
I always think of Kate whenever I introduce myself to a patient. Her legacy lives on.
Take care x
I don’t know why I clicked on the ‘hello my name is’ link in the email signature this morning but I did and although I never met your wife I feel proud to carry on her legacy within this trust with something so simple as introducing myself to a patient. Something so simple and quick to do and what a difference it makes. I’d like to send you love and strength,
Angela (Speech and Language Therapist)
Thank you so much – your words mean a lot – thank you, Chris
Chris what a lovely letter. You surely were blessed Kate was a wonderful lady. You are so brave, I know how hard life is for you. I lost my darling husband Terry 9 months tomorrow. We were together for 39 years though only married for 14. I love and miss him every minute of every day. You are right though we were lucky to have known such love and happiness with the love of our lives. Some never get that . I follow your story but for the 1st 3 months of your journey had no idea what you were going through. Sadly I do now and I admire you and know that your Kate would be so very proud. Keep on day by day as those ahead of us in this awful journey tell us things will get easier for us though we will never forget them and they will always be in our hearts.
Love Sue x
Lovely to hear from you, Chris
Keep us posted.
My best friend died of brain cancer after we had lost touch for many years and I did not learn of her death until several months afterwards. I was stricken with terrible anguish and guilt that I was not there for her after her diagnosis, through her illness, and with her at her death. Reading Kate’s blog gave me that chance to hear her voice through Kate, so that I could begin to heal from her passing and come to terms with mortality in a way that I didn’t think that I would ever be able to and i thank Kate very much for that – if we could all be so brave and honest with ourselves and with the world! You were so fortunate to have had her in your life and she has, as in her quoted poem – ” … only slipped away into the next room…”
I never had the pleasure of meeting Kate, she did come and do a talk at CHFT once and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
I currently work as Patient Experience and Quality Support and feel Kate’s legacy as such an important part of my work. To treat all patients with kindness, compassion and making sure I spend the time speaking with them and reassuring them that I care.
Chris, you don’t know me but I’m proudly wearing a “Hello my name is” badge right now at 02:00am at work whilst working as an intensive care nurse. I was randomly going through my bookmarks on my phone and came across Kate’s blog and decided to pay it a visit. What a beautiful and moving post you’ve written, it has certainly made me laugh at times and equally reduced me to tears. I wish you all the best and hope a lot of strength comes your way. Although I’ve never met Kate I’m really proud of her. And I hope you’re also proud at the fact that just tonight at least 70 staff in the ICU are wearing her legacy on their scrubs and working very hard looking after the sick. Heads up Chris! You can do this x
Thank you so much. lovely words. C x
Dear Chris…We haven’t heard from you in a long while. How are you doing? I will never forget Kate’s story and am sending good thoughts to you. Carol Caldwell
Hi. Im good thanks!! Been keeping safe and abiding by the lockdown rules… working from home and staying in touch virtually with family and friends…. keep safe and thanks for your message. Chris
Chris….Wondering how you are and wishing for an update on keeping Kate’s legacy alive and going on with your life. I am still very enthralled with her story…and yours. Sincerely, Carol Caldwell