#fundraiserfriday: A daisy trail for Emma

dave goodey

Today is #FundraiserFriday and we have a guest blog from Dave Goodey, who is cycling 1500 miles on a tandem with his dog Lotte raising money for four charities and planting a trail of daisies as an everlasting tribute to his late wife.

For the past 18 months I have been dealing with the loss of my beautiful and inspirational wife Emma.   I wanted to do something positive out of losing her, but also something that represented the feelings of loss, loneliness and struggles after bereavement.

Daisies were Emma’s favourite flowers and a personal symbol of our love, childhood memories and the coincidences that bound us together. Daisies would also have been the theme of our wedding in Hampshire where we had planned to ride to the reception on a ‘bicycle made for two’ as in the song ‘Daisy Daisy’. Sadly, due to Emma’s failing health, our original church wedding couldn’t take place but by embarking on this journey, I feel like I am completing her wish.

My journey from Hvar Island in Croatia, where Emma and I spent many happy holidays, takes me through Slovenia, Italy, over the Alps and through France back to Emma’s shop – Unique Chique in Alton, Hampshire. It links two of Emma’s favourite places in the world and every 50 miles we have stopped and asked local children and families to scatter daisy seeds, creating a living tribute to Emma and a symbol of hope and unity for the children that our chosen charities will go on to help.

I am joined by our best friend, the amazing Cocker Spaniel Lotte who has a bespoke handmade bed to attach to the tandem and a special harness to keep her safe.  Our journey home together will be very symbolic and similar in ways to my journey over the last year or so dealing with the loss of Emma. I lost my wife, best friend and partner in the most unfair circumstances, but my friends, family and a very special counsellor from the charity CRUSE have carried me during the uphill struggles and helped guide me through the almost unbearable drudgery that follows bereavement. Likewise, the family and friends who join me for a few days at various points along the route have given me a helping boost during my cycle ride.

We’ve received fantastic support on social media and via our website with messages from so many people who understand the pain of bereavement.   A special moment for me while cycling into the Alps in Italy was when we passed a fellow cyclist who turned and sped after us to ask what I was doing. I showed him an Italian translation explaining my trip and he simply hugged me warmly. I guess grief is a universal language.

I have chosen to raise funds for children’s charities that Emma supported in the past and one that I personally have received support from following her death. They are Starlight, Naomi House & Jack’s Place, CRUSE Bereavement Care and the NSPCC.”

Dave and Lotte crossed the finish line on Sunday just after 1pm to a crowd of over 100 family and friends cheering him home, 3-4 friends cycling alongside and a surprise escort from the local cycling club. His fundraising page has already tipped over £10,000 but you can still support the four amazing charities he supports via his Virgin Money Giving page.

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