real life

"I'm trying to be both Mum and Dad... I wish you'd left me a manual"

Many couples sit down over a glass of wine at the end of each week to discuss their family's trevails. Simon Hancox writes a letter instead to his beloved wife Annabel.

That's because his childhood sweetheart died of cancer nine months ago, leaving him alone raising their two sons, Sam, 4, and Will, 8.

Simon has started a blog called A Widower's Journey filled with his poignant letters. In the early days - he wrote the first letter the day she died - it was an outlet for his grief, but now But now he looks to the future, and focusses on his plans with the boys.

"It makes us feel like she is still part of our adventures too," he says.

Each entry starts with: "Dear Annie". Simon lets her know how he is, how their children are coping, how her daughter Alina, 24 is doing and his plans for decorating the house.

He tells her how much he misses her, how he is taking care of himself and what they are doing each day.

"I miss Annabel so much and the blog is a way of me continuing to share my life with her," he told the Daily Mail. "I talk to her all the time, and it's nice to put down how I feel."

Annabel was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer just before turning 40 in May last year. She worked as a teaching assistant in Alvaston, Derbyshire at the time. The cancer had spread to her liver and lungs and her fight against the disease was short.

"It's a comfort to be able to talk about the boys and what is going on in our lives here," Simon explains. "I feel like she is always watching over us and it's like I don't want her to miss a thing."

Here's an extract from one of his blogs:
Read more of Simon's beautiful letters here.
The grieving husband has also set up a fundraising group in his wife's memory called Annabel's Angels.
00:00 / ???