The Endurance of Love, Even in the Face of Death

This should have been one of happiest times in the lives of Tony Williamson and Eric Stone.

They were one of the first British couples to exchange vows in a civil partnership in Blackpool. Now Stone is mourning his partner's death.

Just ten days after their civil union Williamson, 50, succumbed to a long battle with brain cancer. Stone was by his side at their home when he died.

"We knew he was very poorly, but he was determined to have our ceremony on the first day of the new civil partnerships," said Stone. "That kept him going and I have wonderful memories of the day."

Williamson had been fighting cancer for several years, but just days before the civil partnership was to be conducted he was told two more tumors had been found.

Stone, 75, also is seriously ill himself with lung cancer.

They are the second couple rocked by death in the few weeks that civil partnerships have been legal in Britain.

A day after Matthew Roche entered into a civil partnership with his longtime lover Christopher Cramp Roche died.

The couple exchanged vows before the official commencement of the partnership law.

Roche who had inoperable lung cancer was given a special dispensation by the government to bypass the normal 15 day waiting period between the time a couple applies for a civil partnership and date the ceremony can be held.

The government decision made Roche and Cramp the first same-sex couple to exchange vows in Britain.

The ceremony was held at St Barnabas Hospice in West Sussex. About 20 family and friends attended.

Peace and love to the grieving spouses and families for they have known full and complete joy and happiness if only for a brief moment.


At 07:45, Blogger jenny said...

I hadn't heard this sad news, thank you sharing it. My heart goes out.

At 11:35, Blogger DeLLBerto said...

Doggone... speechless. My thoughts are with the families.

At 13:21, Blogger RedStateExile said...

Yes, it is sad, but beautiful too.

Unlike the woman dying of cancer in NJ who is fighting to get pension benefits for her partner and being told repeatedly to her fact, "NO", these people can die in peace knowing that their partners will be recognized by their country. They won't have to die wondering if their partner will be kicked out of the house they've shared for 30 or 40 years. The lady's partner in NJ will likely lose their house. Where's she going to go? Does anyone even care?

At 14:18, Blogger DeLLBerto said...

That's downright sad to me. Like I wrote earlier on the KA blog, it's one of the reasons I became a Democrat. Even the Pledge of Allegiance to this nation of ours says, "indivisible, for liberty and justice for ALL." I guess I don't see liberty and justice for all until all are on the recieving end of it. Unfortunately so many Americans aren't.


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