The high-profile clergyman's account of losing his partner of 12 years and coping with 'the madness of grief' after his death
Whether it is pastoral care for the bereaved, discussions about the afterlife, or being called out to perform the last rites, death is part of the Reverend Richard Coles's life and work. But when his partner the Reverend David Coles died, shortly before Christmas in 2019, much about death took Coles by surprise. For one thing, David's death at the early age of forty-three was unexpected.
The man that so often assists others to examine life's moral questions now found himself in need of help. He began to look to others for guidance to steer him through his grief. The flock was leading the shepherd. Much about grief surprised him: the volume of 'sadmin' you have to do when someone dies, how much harder it is travelling for work alone, even the pain of typing a text message to your partner - then realising you are alone.
The Reverend Richard Coles's deeply personal account of life after grief will resonate, unforgettably, with anyone who has lost a loved one.
The Reverend Richard Coles is the presenter of SATURDAY LIVE on BBC Radio 4. He is also the only vicar in Britain to have had a number-one hit single and appeared on STRICTLY COME DANCING. He read Theology at King's College London, and after ordination worked as a curate in Lincolnshire and subsequently at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge, London. He is the author of LIVES OF THE IMPROBABLE SAINTS and two memoirs, the bestselling FATHOMLESS RICHES and BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES (both W&N). He presents 'Saturday Morning Live' on BBC Radio 4 and lives in his parish of Finedon, Northamptonshire.