Alice Palmer, a devoted mother and lifetime carer for her severely disabled daughter Beth, has described her heartbreak at burying her child and husband at their joint funeral, after they died six days apart.
Beth, who was quadriplegic due to cerebral palsy, scoliosis, blindness, and epilepsy, had been cared for by Palmer her entire life. Meanwhile, her husband John was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2019.
Beth’s health began to decline at the same time, with Palmer spending her days visiting them both in separate hospitals. Palmer received the news that Beth died on August 26, and just six days later, John passed away too.
The heartbroken mother had to organise a double funeral for Beth and John, with their coffins lying side by side.
Palmer said that organising the double funeral was the worst and it was so sad. Beth wore a beautiful dress for the funeral so she could look like Audrey Hepburn.
Walking behind the two coffins in the church was devastating for Palmer. She was so traumatised she could not sleep at home for months, staying with sisters because the house felt so empty.
One of the ways she dealt with the grief was by joining a website for widows and widowers to support each other through their losses.
Nearly three years on, Palmer has remarried after meeting her new husband, Lee Palmer, on a support site to connect grieving widows and widowers.
She married Lee, a painter and decorator, in March 2022 after they began speaking as friends because they shared similar experiences. Lee had lost his wife, Michelle, 59, in 2019 of a sudden heart attack after losing his son Joe, 17, in 2013 to sepsis.
They bonded over their mutual losses, after starting to chat in January 2020. They spoke initially as friends, but eventually, they suspected they might have a deeper connection.
They met up for the first time in June 2020, and sparks flew as they spent a weekend together. Lee moved up to Liverpool to live with Palmer in January 2021, and the pair married on March 22, 2022.
Despite Beth and Joe not being there to celebrate, Palmer said it was a ‘happy day’ for them both – and next month they celebrate one year of marriage.
She believes that people have to learn to live with their loss, otherwise, it eats away at them. You have to move on and make the most of your life because you only get one.»Devastated mother describes her heartbreak after burying her child and husband at joint funeral«