A mum-of-two has opened up about the double heartache she endured after first finding her husband had taken his own life then seeing her fiancé killed in a road accident four years later.
Devastated Elizabeth Sim – who is a nurse at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff – says she has at times been near overwhelmed by the darkness of her double loss.
Tragedy first struck in 2012 when her husband, Paul, took his own life, and then in 2016 she watched in horror as fiancé and childhood sweetheart Matthew King was killed when his motorbike collided with an Army truck.
But the 44-year-old hopes speaking about her pain will help others cope with loss – while she has also raised funds and awareness of the Welsh Air Ambulance service through charity runs she has completed in memory of Matt.
Speaking to WalesLive, Elizabeth revealed she once successfully rescued her husband from trying to take his own life.
She had been driving back from a dance competition with children Fern and Jake when she pulled over to check a text message that had come through on her phone.
She said: “It was Paul and it said: 'Leave me to the police because when you get home you will be a widow'. When I got home he was hanging in the garage."
She managed to shield her children from the scene and cut Paul in time to save his life – but tragically he killed himself two weeks later.
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The pair had been married for two years after Paul had proposed at the top of Mount Snowden – with the pair forming a love for charity runs and hikes together.
Tragedy struck again in 2016, when Elizabeth’s fiancé, Paul, died in an accident while they were both driving motorbikes.
She recalled: ”Matt always made me ride out front so it was my pace.
"Coming back from Llandovery the roads were quite windy but I wasn't really feeling it and I didn't know why. I told Matt through the headset to go on in front after we got through the twisty bends and I would just follow him.
"The road straightened out and we had this beautiful open road ahead. I could see an Army lorry coming at a junction and it just didn't stop. It cut across our road and just took Matt out."
Explaining how she manages to face the days without her former lovers, Elizabeth said: "It's not easy, it's a struggle, and the dark days still have the ability to consume you.
“But in that darkness I have found a fight and more passion than I thought possible. I want to leave my children and family a bucket full of happy memories.
"Life is both tough and cruel but it's equally amazing."
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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