A mother of two who died at the age of 39 spent her final months attempting to find a new companion for her husband who would adore him and her sons.
In 2006, Clare Mauremootoo was diagnosed with motor neuronopathy, a condition that causes muscle weakness.
The degenerative disease, which affects a person’s ability to walk, speak, swallow, and breathe, currently has no cure. Clare was heartbroken at the prospect of not being able to support her 11-year-old husband, John, and their two sons, Jack, 10, and Ben, seven.
She spent a lot of time and effort trying to find John a new love, even arranging dates for him with nurses at Weston Hospice in Somerset, where she spent her final two months.
John, 52, from Bristol, expressed his desire for Clare to be healthy enough to return home, but she asked that he prepare for life without her. She wished for him to find a new partner with whom he could share his life and who would assist him in caring for their two sons.
He told The Mirror, “She stated she would help me find love.” “She even began conversing with hospice officials in the hopes of setting up a date for me.”
“However, I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t know whether I’d ever be, but that was Clare’s wish.”
John and Clare met through mutual acquaintances in 1993 and married two years later. Clare’s request for John to resume dating caught him off guard because he had never imagined sharing his life with anyone else.
“She’d say things like, ‘I don’t care how you meet someone,’” he explained. “She even recommended several of our acquaintances!” “It seemed like everything was moving too quickly.”
Clare’s condition gradually deteriorated, and on February 11 she was so frail that she and John determined that was the final time their sons would see her.
Clare died four days after spending her last Valentine’s Day with John on February 19, 2007.
“Clare died in my arms,” John explained. “I would take good care of the boys if I told her how much I loved her and told her not to worry about the boys.”
“I attempted to go about my business as usual, getting the boys ready for school and cooking dinner for them, all the time feeling that Clare was keeping an eye on us.”
“I never forgot her wish for me to meet someone new, but I didn’t want the boys to think I was taking their mother’s place.”
“However, when the lads had gone to bed, I was lonely.” I missed Clare and yearned for her company. So in May, I created an account on a dating website.”
That’s how he met Julie Macfarlane, a nurse who’d divorced her husband and had two children with him: John, then 10, and Isobel, then six (pictured with John and his sons below).
“I informed Jack and Ben I was dating Julie when the time was right,” John stated. “They were outraged at first, but they warmed up to her and her children over the next six months.”
In March 2008, the two families moved in together, and in April 2012, John and Julie married, with their three kids serving as ushers and Isobel serving as a bridesmaid.
“I spoke about Clare’s diagnosis and the time we spent together, as well as her wish for me to find someone special,” John said.
“I told everyone I imagined Clare was looking down on us with a smile.” She wanted us to be happy, and I believe she would be now that things have turned out the way they have.”