THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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'Mrs Paine' - 1956-2011

My beloved 'Mrs P.' has passed away. She died peacefully in the early hours of this morning. I was at her bedside, holding her hand and telling her for the last time in this life how much she is loved.

I cannot thank enough the staff at the Cromwell Hospital in London. They have taken great care of her since she was first diagnosed with cancer in December 2008. They were marvelous in the last few weeks. On Friday, they stood around her bed singing 'Happy Birthday' to Miss P the Elder. Mrs P's eyes lit up as they came in bearing an enormous cake made in the hospital kitchens. She ate a few crumbs, smiled at them and mumbled through heavy sedation 'I am very pleased'.

She was my wife of 31 years, my best friend of 37 and my chief counsellor in life. Her love of foreign languages and her curiosity about other cultures made my international career possible. She was a wonderful, instinctive mother to our two splendid daughters. She made every family occasion special. We will miss her more than I can possibly express.

We have been together since I was a boy of 17. She was the author of most of the good in my life. The road ahead seems very dark without her by my side.



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Blognor Regis

Very sad. My condolences.


Deepest condolences. I cannot imagine life without my bride and best friend. May you be comforted in your loss by friends far and near.


Tom Paine,

Your sad news has arrived in the colonies.

I have walked the road you mention, and setting on to it in the early morning hours as you have, makes it seem very bleak and devoid of most of the comforts you are accustomed to. The road is best travelled with close family in the early days until your mind reaches an equilibrium of good thoughts to counter the despair. Eventually the burden becomes tolerable, and with time and reflection almost enjoyable. The good companion is missing, but her guidance will always remain, keep on that road and never falter.

Travel well friend, and know you are thought of.

Any expression of condolence I could make would be unequal to the task, I merely wish you well.

Account Deleted

Please accept my sincere condolences, also.

I know too well how little solace words bring, but I hope you find some comfort among these many comments.

I wish you and your family the best.

Pub Philosopher

That's dreadful news! Very sorry to hear it.

Look after yourselves and be kind to each other in the months ahead.

My condolences to all of you.

Phil A

Words seem useless and pointless when it comes to something like this. But how else can one offer condolences? It is to be hoped all these messages and the fact that people clearly took time and applied some thought to at least make some difference.

The Remittance Man

My deepest condolences.


I am so sad to read about your tragic loss, Tom.


I know neither you nor your wife but if the kindness of strangers is any comfort, you have my condolences for your loss. The wheel turns and the circle of life continues but we achieve immortality through our children. Your wife lives on in them, so she will be with you always.


So very sorry. Such a tragedy for all your family.

Single Acts of Tyranny

I am so very sorry.

Colin Campbell

I felt like I knew a bit about your life, despite you blogging under a pseudonym. I hope that you can move on and my deepest sympathies. Take care and all the best.


So sorry to hear about your loss. Lovely tribute to your best friend and wife. And I echo what everyone else has said. Hold those happy memories, they will see you through the dark hours.

Take care,


I suppose at times like this you feel a big part of you had passed away too. But when the tears and sadness subside a little and the clock has ticked on just enough, you will be able to close your eyes and look inside yourself and find that the love you had thought you had lost is living inside you. Love never dies.



Very sorry Tom.


Words are inadequate but they are all I have to express my sorrow on hearing this news. Your dear wife has passed to another place filled with love until the day you join her in the embrace of that Love that has no end. Please forgive me, but I offer a prayer for you, your family and the soul of your beloved wife.


Deepest sympathy to you and your family, Tom.

Devil's Kitchen


I am so incredibly sorry to hear this: my heart-felt condolences.

What can I say, other than if you ever want to share a few pints and talk, you know where to find me. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line…



Very sorry to hear this. My condolences


To love is to hazard your heart,
there is always a price comes due.
A price you pay when you part,
cheaply bought, for such value.

Peter Whale

Tom my heart and love go to you and your family.

Robert Edwards

My profound and heartfelt condolences. No little words of mine will make any difference, of course...

Suboptimal Planet

Very sorry for your loss! I'm glad that she passed peacefully at the end, but I can only imagine what it would be like to lose someone so close.

Stay strong, and know that we're all thinking of you (even those of us who have never met you).

David B. Wildgoose

I am sorry to hear this and can only offer my deepest condolences to you and your daughters.

Phillip Downs

Tom, I am so very sorry for your loss. As an infrequent commenter I also echo what (Not Rev) Spooner says so well. May God bless you and comfort you and your family.


I also concur with what the (Not Rev)Spooner said. I am very sorry. The short tribute to your wife engages the heart with the enormity of your loss. My profound best wishes

Paul Buddery

Tom, I think it is wonderful that you have lived a life thus far so blessed with someone with whom you have been able to share such immense love. Your wonderful tribute means those of us who were not privileged to know her can admire her from afar and think ourselves the poorer that our paths did not meet. Though Mrs Paine is irreplaceable, I hope that life in the future is blessed in different ways.


I'm so sorry. My condolences.

Piers W

My most sincere condolences.

You clearly shared a great life, I am sure your wife would want you to go on enjoying life whilst it lasts and I wish you all the best.

Kind Regards


Tom, what a moving tribute to your dear wife. My sincere sympathy for your loss.


Sorry to hear this, Tom. You'll be in my thoughts. I don't comment here very often but this must be an appalling time for you.


Please accept my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences on your loss.


I can only offer my sincerest condolences, and add that my thoughts are with you.

Ed P

My sincere condolences. Having lost my wife similarly 4 years ago (when my two daughters were 16 & 22 and she was 55), I know how black everything looks at first. But, despite being a truism, it really does get easier with time. It's the little, unexpected things that bring overwhelming rushes of emotion. I hope you will be positive and "count your blessings".

I found most friends were very supportive at first, but slowly distanced themselves, as it was too much for them to deal with. That hurt, but now, 4 years later, I understand better how others are frightened of strong feelings in others and cannot cope with them. If you would like to talk email me.


I don't know you, but I am thinking about you, stay strong


Deepest condolences on your loss


Our thoughts are with you all.

johnny howson

So very sorry. Condolences

Bishop Hill

Deepest condolences, Tom.


What the (Not Rev) Spooner said. In spades.

So sorry to hear this. So, so sorry.

David Davis

Tom, dear old fellow,
There is not really anything another human can say to you, to make it better. But you know we out here all love you. Consider this to be a sort of "pat on the back" from a friend.

I don't know about this sort of thing, not having been there. But you have your children close by, who also love you.

And of course you will have all the memories of how it was. Perhaps she was so good that God has just borrowed her for a little time, and you will get back with her after the End.


I am so sorry to hear this. Your tribute to Mrs Paine is very moving and I send my deepest sympathies for your loss.

Dick Puddlecote

I'm so sorry to read this sad news, Tom. I offer my sincerest condolences.

Having met you on a few occasions, I know that she would have deeply enjoyed the 37 years that you were together, and when I last saw you in July, the fondness with which you spoke of her suggests that you must be hurting immensely right now.

I wish you the very best my friend. The thoughts of me and my family are with you tonight.


My condolences to you and all the family.


I echo Rev's sentiments.
Deepest sympathy to your and your family.
In life our wife or husband is the only family member we choose for ourselves. We do not choose our parents, siblings or children. This makes the loss of a life partner so much harder to bear and you will have hard times ahead.
My sister's funeral was on Friday and she was barely a couple of year's older than Mrs Paine, she was in rude health but suffered a sudden heart attack. She was married 33 years. I do so feel for my brother-in-law who is like you having to bear this terrible loss.


Sorry to hear the bad news, profound sympathy.


Peace be with her. She knew she was loved deeply. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

Roger Thornhill

My most sincerest condolences. Words fail.

Lord T

Our condolences to you and your daughters.

Trooper Thompson

My deepest sympathies to you and your family.


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