Grieving Leeds dad's bid to help others on anniversary of daughter's death

The dad of a Leeds pub manager who fulfilled her bucket list wishes before ovarian cancer claimed her life is trying to help other bereaved people on the second anniversary of his daughter's death.

By Mark Lavery
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2021, 7:42 am

Vicki Aldwin, the assistant manager of the Mustard Pot pub in Chapel Allerton, was aged 32 when she died at St Gemma's Hospice on January 21 2019.

Vicki's dad Steve Aldwin, 66, of Whinmoor, was asked to write an article about his and his wife Enid's experience coping with bereavement for the parish magazine of St Philip's Church in Scholes.

Steve said: "There has been an awful lot of people who have experienced bereavement due to Covid and other circumstances.

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Steve and Enid Aldwin Photo: Tony Johnson

"The idea was to help them get through it and also to help others in how to help them, things to say and things not to say."

After Vicki, of Oakwood, was told her ovarian cancer was terminal, her friends launched a crowdfunding bucket list appeal.

It raised more than £11,600, enabling Vicki to fulfil a string of last wishes, including visiting Berlin and walking on the red carpet at Venice Film Festival.

Steve wrote: "She was determined to make the most of every minute of life she had left and crammed more in few months than many do in a lifetime.

Vicki Aldwin

"She learned to roller skate, completed a taxidermy course, went clay pigeon shooting, had a private guided tour of the Houses of Parliament and many experiences too numerous to list.

"Vicki took the family for a stay in Whitby as well as taking her sister and nieces to Disneyland Paris, even though she was clearly very unwell.

"She was determined she would not be a burden to anyone and even paid for her own funeral and left enough cash in her bank account for the family to go on a week long holiday to Devon.

"As she lay dying we took her purse for safe keeping and there was the exact amount of change to purchase some memory stones from St Gemma's.

Vicki Aldwin (right) with family on a trip to Disneyland Paris, one of her bucket list wishes.

"The strength shown by Vicki helped to prepare us for the time she would not be with us.

" She showed us how to behave after she had gone by the way she lived."

Steve added in the article: "Our advice to anyone wanting to console a bereaved person is never to try to explain why the death happened as there are no answers.

"I recall when a close friend of mine died a few years ago, I was told 'It was her time.' Instead of consoling me, it had the opposite effect. I was furious.

"Never tell a person that time heals. It doesn’t.

"Just be there for the friend offering genuine love and friendship.

"Never be frightened to talk about the dead for in talking about them, they are alive and with you again."

Steve said: "Vicki will always be a part of our family. She is no longer with us, but in a way she is still here.

"We never stop thinking about her and never stop talking about her."