THE funeral of Andy Combs, who died after fulfilling his promise to see his youngest child make it to her first day at school, will feature a poignant poem written for him by his mother-in-law.
Anna Cartwright sat down and wrote Poem to Andy, following his death after 11 years battling a brain tumour.
The retired nurse has been staying with her daughter Emma – Andy’s widow – at her home in Exmouth Road, Gosport, for the past three weeks to help out and comfort his grieving children.
The 65-year-old, from Durham, said: ‘I sat here one evening with a bottle of wine and wrote it. It came out quite quickly.’
It includes a reference to the garden his children Kristy, 10, Martin, seven, and Helena, five, have decorated with flowers and ornaments in his memory.
She added: ‘Andy had great courage. After they met and Andy was diagnosed with the brain tumour, Emma told me she didn’t want to get married because she didn’t want to end up a young widow.
‘That obviously changed, and they were so very, very happy together.’
Mrs Cartwright began writing as a hobby after her retirement four years ago and has had several poems and short stories published since.
‘It has helped me though some difficult times,’ she added.
As reported in The News, Andy clung on to life to see his daughter Helena go to school for the first time.
He died the next day at the Rowans Hospice in Purbrook on September 13, aged 36.
The poem will be read at the funeral, which takes place at St Mary’s Church in Rowner on September 27 at midday.
The family has requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to The Rowans Hospice, care of EJ Crossland in Forton Road, Gosport, on (023) 9258 0074.