Tribute by Richard Haines

My wife was the most beautiful, caring, loving, thoughtful and vivacious women I have ever met. Big twinkling brown eyes, beautiful tanned skin, great big smile and a wicked laugh – she had me at first glance. It is difficult to deduce a rhyme or reason to life when events like this occur and I feel lost and adrift without my best friend and soul mate, some one I shared every intimate detail and thought with, whom I dreamed and planned with and with whom I started and ended the day with. The prospect of not hearing her voice, feeling her touch or sharing her warmth feels unbearable.

But to focus on what I will miss is a disservice to Katie and our relationship. To me it is more important to cherish the precious time we had together albeit too short. Katie and I had five-and-a-half wonderful years filled with adventure, laughter and love. The one constant throughout that time was that she always knew how to keep me busy. We were always coming up with new ideas whether it was our recent decision to go to fifty different world capitals or to cook a new meal from scratch every week. We enjoyed going to the gym together, travelling and going out for nice meals and she was always planning the next event whether it was a dinner party, night out or weekend catch-up with our many friends.

Katie had a large group of friends, Wokingham Netball club gave her immense joy and occasional pain, but most importantly a tight circle of like-minded friends. Along with the Sutton High girls, University friends, the Wokingham gang, a myriad of work friends from over the years, she had a huge support network and always kept track of every birthday and anniversary and knew what was going on in people’s lives.

It is only going through all our photos in the last few weeks that I realised how much we did together. So many meals out together, family events, holidays, parties, excursions and fun packed days and nights with friends. Not to mention the epic struggle we have enjoyed with her beloved Charlie, our cat, from semi feral rescue cat to broken leg, has through hard work and a lot of TLC blossomed into a wonderful little character. He misses his mummy very much.

I was privileged to have shared the time I had with Katie and honoured she agreed to be my wife. She was a constant source of encouragement and inspiration and I valued her advice, counsel and trust. I can honestly say I have never felt so loved as I did with Katie. When I met her she was a rock in choppy waters that I could cling to and someone who lifted my heart and spirits on a daily basis with just a text, email or word (apart from maybe the 30 emails a day in the run-up to the wedding). Although the chasm that now fills my heart is enormous I would not swap the last five-and-a-half years of memories for anything. We must celebrate the energy and passion Katie put into her 31 years of life. She lived life to the full and never wasted a minute in any day. I am so proud to have been her partner and the impact she had on life which is a testament to how many people came to hounour Katie at her funeral.

I have written a poem for you Katie as you were always surprised by my random acts of creativity. I have tried to capture the essence of my emotions and thoughts:-

As the sun sets on our earthly union,
A new star rises in my night sky,
A loving guide watching over me,
We are together, forever, in my minds eye.

A union in life cut short prematurely,
But one filled with plenty of laughter and love,
Tis those dear memories I’ll keep locked within me,
Tighter than the most clenched glove.

Although we’ve lost our most precious jewel,
It’s only her physical imprint that has gone,
The life and soul that was our beloved Katie,
Will in our hearts and minds live on.

Her dreams and hopes are still with us,
And the way she lived stands out strong,
For that is her greatest lesson to us,
It’s the quality of life that matters, no matter how long.

I dedicate this poem to my beautiful, darling wife Katie. I will never forget you, you are a part of my heart and soul. I miss you and will love you forever. Rich xxxx