Ross’s wife Jacqui died last year, eight years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The couple had been married for 33 years.
“Jacqui was my soulmate and just a wonderful, kind person. She was someone you instantly felt comfortable with.
“Her diagnosis was that she was going to not come through this. We were told it could be months or years. It was a long, drawn-out time and very hard on us both.
I wasn’t dealing well with life
“Not long after Jacqui’s death, I completed a 400 mile walk along the southwest coast around Cornwall and Devon. But when I returned home to Melbourne, everything really hit home.
“I wasn’t dealing well with life and struggling in a very bad way. Although I’d come around to knowing I was going to lose Jacqui at some point, it still doesn’t equip you for when that happens.
“I had great family and friends around me, but I needed somebody to help me with the right expertise. Someone I could talk to completely openly. The counselling at Treetops helped me through some of my lowest points.
Counselling helped me and my family
“The counselling helped me enormously, but it also helped my family as well. I’ve got two children, aged 26 and 23. They’re adults, but they’re still dealing with something dreadful, the loss of their mother. And almost the loss of their dad because they’ve seen me completely struggling at times and that’s extremely difficult to deal with.
“Treetops is a lovely place. The staff and the environment made me feel calm. When all this is happening to you, you need to be somewhere that makes you feel calm inside, instead of all the turmoil of your emotions. You know you’ve got people around you that care. It’s like getting a hug, without getting a hug. I’m indebted to Treetops for their support.”
I know I will have another life beyond my time with Jacqui and find my way, but she will never leave me, ever, and I’ll never forget her. And Treetops has helped me with that.