March 13 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, December 28, 2013
It was a love forged in the unlikeliest of places.
Linda Manson and Barry Murrell met in a bereavement group run by the Big C cancer charity at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital a few years ago.
They had both just lost their partners of more than 30 years, Clive and Pam, respectively, to cancer.
During the sessions they opened up their hearts to each other and to the other people grieving for lost loved ones, and they kept in touch when they left the group.
A few months ago they met up again and realised they had fallen in love.
The couple now plan to get married and Mrs Manson will be moving from her home in Reepham to live with Mr Murrell at his home in Wicklewood, near Wymondham.
They are also getting another dog to keep her beloved pet, Muffin company.
Mrs Manson, 55, said: “Neither of us thought we would ever love again. He had been married for 37 years and me 32 years. But this love is just as beautiful second time around.
“When my husband was dying he would say something good will come out of this. I couldn’t see how that was possible, but if this is what he meant, then, thank you Clive from the bottom of my heart.”
Mr Murrell, 64, said: “I never expected to fall in love again. It took me two years to get myself motivated to do anything at all, after Pam died. I did not think I would ever want anybody else, but when we met up again in October this year, there was a bit of a spark. And having been in the group, I knew what a beautiful person Linda was inside.”
Mrs Manson said that while the bereavement group may have been an unusual place to meet a future partner, it had helped them get to know each other faster.
She said: “It was a wonderful way to meet on the group. We can talk to each other about Clive and Pam, and there are photos of them in the house, and there will be more when we move in together.
“I felt that at 55 I did not want to be on my own for the rest of my life. But where do you start finding someone?
“When we met up again, for a meal at the Red Lion in Eaton, we both knew something more was developing, and it went very quickly from there.
“We knew each other so well because we had opened our hearts in the group.”
The couple spent Christmas together and she said it was wonderful to be with someone again.
She added: “And to have someone to spend time with. The little things that people take for granted, someone to sit with, to walk arm in arm.” Mr Murrell chipped in: “To give them a hug.”
She added: “I have missed having someone to look after, and to care for. I’m not a modern woman. I like to iron, cook, and care for someone – that’s all I want to do.”
She has one son, Reid, while he has two sons, Adam and David, and four grandchildren.
She is a retired gardener, while he used to work in maintenance at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.
To watch a video of the couple’s story, visit www.edp24.co.uk