Graham writes.............


As many friends of Recognition PR will know, I lost my dear wife recently. She died after a short illness associated with a long battle with cancer. Over the long term we were expecting her passing but it still came as a shock and it is taking me some time to adjust to the new realities of life without the woman I love.

In business we engage in day-to-day battles to get to the top. We refine our products, coach and mentor our staff and deal with the everyday frustrations of taxation, finance, contracts together with the plethora of regulations that make up business life. However, one of the good, often unstated, things about being in business is that there is a fellowship among business owners. I have had so many good wishes from people in business that it has made me consider that being in business is not an end in itself but is part of the journey that can enrich somebody, not just in terms of money but in terms of understanding of people and the wider world.

My wife took suddenly ill and died after two weeks. I write this blog only three weeks after her death. In that time I have had simply hundreds of cards, goodwill messages, flowers, texts and telephone calls. Clients, suppliers, staff, former staff and former clients have rallied round in a way which is both meaningful and kind.

The whole experience has shown me that love is not just between two people but that it can be experienced as part of a community offering support to one another. I'll never forget the people who supported me during this difficult time and they can rely on my support in the future.

I have decided to come back to work as soon as practical but not in a rush. I’ll be part-time in August and ideally I'll be returning full-time on 2 September, the day after what would've been my 30th wedding anniversary. By this time I hope to have established a new domestic routine and found a way of running my business that is both enjoyable and conducive to the aspirations of all the people involved in the enterprise.

I'm looking forward to returning to my role as chairman of the Institute of Directors in the north-east and hopefully we'll have the time to resume some of the other non-executive roles and community work that add so much to one's life.

I'd like to use this blog to say sincere and heartfelt thank you to everybody who has been so supportive at this difficult time.

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