People are stunned when Louise Blyth describes her husband George’s death as a miracle. But, she tells Eimear O’Hagan, in their darkest hour, she’s adamant that something spiritual helped them both let go 

Louise and George on their wedding day, 2011

Louise & George at their wedding, 2011. 

 Louise Blyth was just 33 when, in 2015, her world was turned upside down by the news that her 34-year-old husband George – who she had met at work and married four years previously – had stage 4 bowel cancer which had spread to his liver. ‘His was described as “the worst of worst-case scenarios”. He was given just a seven per cent chance of living five years,’ remembers Louise.

‘George was a very positive, dynamic person and he was determined he’d get better. He was not willing to accept such a horrible statistic. Do you agree with his belief that he can survive? I believed in George, I really did – if anyone could overcome adversity it was him. But I was certain that he would overcome this.

I was just absolutely devastated.’ George embarked on a gruelling programme of treatment, with 12 rounds of chemotherapy, four weeks of radiotherapy and finally surgery to remove a section of his liver. The devastating news came October 2016, that his cancer had advanced.

‘The word “terminal” was never used but now doctors were talking about him “living with” cancer. We knew George would die, even though it was not spoken. ‘I felt numb at first and then, as it sank in, I felt angry, jealous of people not living this nightmare, scared. It was a point in my life of complete darkness.’

George became calm and peaceful. He was transformed when I touched him. 

After hearing the devastating news, George was taken to hospital. His pain and symptoms continued to worsen. Louise said that George and Louise embarked on an incredible journey. ‘I felt utterly backed into a corner, realising there was no way out of this. It was then I thought, I don’t even know if God is real but that is the only route left now. I need to ask for his help.’

Louise had never been a believer before that. ‘Religion wasn’t a part of my life, beyond traditions like Christmas and harvest festival. My family didn’t pray; some are actually atheists. George and me had been married in church. But that was only because we did what we do. We weren’t sure that God exists.

‘But in desperation, knowing George was slipping away from me, I began to reach out to God. It was a prayer for relief. I was too traumatized by my sadness and pain to adequately express what I needed. I felt it was more of a primal cry from the deepest parts of me.

‘By now George was in incredible pain. He couldn’t sleep, eat or drink, he was being sick and he was terrified. He couldn’t be alone andI, or a family member, was with him day and night. He was in a place of total horror and fear.’

Louise was offered by a close friend the opportunity to meet Brianna, an American woman, who had been a part of a healing program. ‘She came to the hospital and prayed with us both, as well as anointing George with oil. Before all this, if someone had described that scene to me, I’d have thought, “How crazy.” I remember thinking, “I can’t believe I’m here, praying with a stranger over my dying husband. This isn’t me.” It was so surreal.

‘I prayed myself, too, after Brianna left, writing down my words to God – letters I still have today. He took George from Charlie and Jamie, and I asked why. [aged three and 18 months at the time]. He promised to make George smile and ease his suffering. He was to love and protect me, I said. I poured my heart out in a way I had never done before.’

Louise will describe the next step in her story, which is bound to provoke some suspicion. She is not the only one to admit that she would be the most skeptical person of her generation. ‘In that hospital room, I witnessed a miracle. It sounds crazy, but it was truly miraculous. ‘George wasn’t healed. He didn’t get out of his bed. Instead, I saw the miracle of my husband’s life coming to an end in perfect peace.

‘Overnight, he was transformed from someone in agony, gripped by fear, to being pain-free and serene, and when you touched him, you could feel a force within him. It felt supernatural; we had summoned something into his room and it was overwhelming but it wasn’t frightening. ‘He had come to a belief in an afterlife and so had I, which neither of us had been sure about before, because we’d both been shown there are forces greater and wider than can ever be described.’

On 18 November 2016, George passed away aged just 34 – and, at his request, he was alone when he died. ‘He knew he was going to die and he told me, “I’m going to do it by myself.” He wasn’t afraid any more. I kissed him goodbye and left the hospital, knowing I wouldn’t see him alive again,’ says Louise, tears falling down her face as she speaks quietly.

George, Louise and their sons Charlie and Jamie, 2016

2016, George, Louise, and their sons Charlie, and Jamie.

‘Lying in bed that night I wept uncontrollably. I was suddenly surrounded by a feeling of presence, like someone touched my hair and soothed me. It sounds crazy, but it felt amazing. I could feel like George was gone. ‘I fell asleep for a few hours, and as dawn broke, the hospital called with the news I already knew. George was gone. But after the horrors he had suffered, I knew he had died a good and beautiful death.’

Louise is pragmatic enough to acknowledge there will be those who’ll say she has romanticised George’s death to comfort herself. ‘I understand that, it’s not the norm to talk about “dying well”. There were also parts of those last weeks and days that were absolutely terrible. It was an awful time, but it was also beautiful and it was horrible, it was both perfect, it was sad, it was wonderful, it was painful, it was amazing, it was terrible, it was all of the above. Isn’t that just like life – a mash-up of emotions, of light and dark?

Louise with second husband Colin at their wedding last year

Louise, with her second husband Colin, at their wedding last January

So why should death be any different?’ Louise has reflected on what life might have been like for her in the aftermath of George’s death, had she not found her faith. ‘I know the children would have kept me going, and of course faith isn’t a prerequisite of forging a life as a widow – everyone finds their own way to peace and acceptance. My way was through faith. 

‘Prayer, becoming a member of a church, knowing God was with me… it all propelled me forward because I knew something bigger was guiding me. And my newfound belief in heaven was such a comfort, knowing that one day I will see George again.’ Louise’s conviction that she will be reunited with George is matched by her certainty he would approve of her remarrying. ‘I know, because we spoke about it before his death, when I confided in him that I was scared of being alone. He told me, “You’ll meet someone else. And they need to be a father to the boys, because I’m not going to be here to be their dad,”’ Louise says, her voice breaking with emotion.

On a beautiful late summer’s day last September, Louise married her second husband Colin, 47, a BBC journalist. As the couple exchanged vows, so began a new chapter in both Louise’s story and that of her boys, now eight and six.

This is an exceptional experience: Loving again after a divorce can be a wonderful thing. 

‘Loving again after being widowed is such an individual experience. Since George died, I’ve made many friends in the widowed community through social media, many of whom have found their way to new love through different means and on different paths,’ says Louise. ‘For me personally, though, my faith helped me to continue to see the beauty of life, and treasure it, which led me, in time, to wanting to love again. And, ultimately, that brought me to Colin.’

After the couple ‘matched’ on a dating app specifically for Christians in early 2019, they met in person that July, and Louise says the rest ‘is history’. ‘He moved in at the beginning of the first lockdown last year, because he lived in Manchester and I was in Nottinghamshire with the boys, and proposed last August. 

“We were forced to marry a month later due to new regulations restricting wedding guests. We wanted all 30 of our invited friends there. I’m so grateful I’ve never had to wonder if George would be OK with this,’ continues Louise. ‘I know I have his blessing. And I’ve come to understand I can love two men fully. My love for Colin doesn’t diminish what George and I had. I wear the rings Colin gave me, and am planning to have my rings from George turned into another piece of jewellery so I can always have them with me.’

Louise believes it is a rare man to marry a widower and start a family after such loss. ‘Colin is that man. He is mature and open-minded, not intimidated at all by our past relationship or any photos or conversations about George. He’s not here to fill George’s shoes, he wears his own. He is his own person and that’s one of the reasons I love him.’

With December marking the anniversary of both George’s original diagnosis and his funeral, it is a month of painful memories for Louise, yet she is buoyed by her faith and love for Colin and her children.

‘I’ve been to a place of absolute darkness in my life, and now I am in a place of light and love,’ she says. ‘My heart was crushed, but I found my way to the beauty of living again, and for that I am so grateful.’

 Louise’s book Hope is Coming is published by Yellow Kite, price £14.99. To order a copy for £12.74 until 19 December, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £20.