Widowed AF

#81 - Scott Stringer

November 25, 2023 Rosie Gill-Moss Season 1 Episode 81
Widowed AF
#81 - Scott Stringer
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode of Widowed AF Rosie Gill-Moss invites us into conversation with Scott Stringer, as he described how he navigated his personal  journey of love, loss, and rediscovery. 
Scott shares his 14-year love story with Dan, his late partner. 

As Scott opens up he touches on the complexities of navigating a relationship that wasn't fully accepted by Dan's family due to their strong Christian beliefs. 
Scott recounts the harrowing experience of losing Dan unexpectedly, detailing the profound impact of this loss on his 

Scott delves into the intricacies of his grieving process, from the raw emotions to the practicalities of organising Dan's funeral. He doesn't shy away from discussing the societal pressures and internal conflicts he faced while moving forward.

A glimmer of hope and renewal shines through as Scott talks about meeting Michael, his current husband, and how they honour Dan's memory in their life together. Rosie and Scott explore the delicate balance of honouring past love while embracing new beginnings, touching on themes of resilience, the societal taboos around grief, and the journey to find love again after a profound loss.

Today's episode is another testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. 

Every episode  is a unique, believe me, every widow has a story.....



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Rosie GIll-Moss:

Hello everybody and welcome back to Widowed AF. You're here with me, your host, Rosie Gilmoss. And joining me today, I have got Scott Stringer from Staines. Hello

Scott Stringer:

Hello, you okay?

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I'm alright, thank you. Scott and I were meant to record last Friday and he was the unfortunate recipient of my cancellation but I happen to have a cancellation today, so there you go. Now, Scott is a great voice for us to have on because we are talking about a same sex relationship and I don't have as many of you guys on as I do heterosexuals, so welcome. And there is Quite a lot to your story. I, I am going to let you tell it in your own words, but your partner, Dan, um, 14 years, wasn't he? Yeah. And, and he died suddenly, and I know the horror of sudden death, but I do not know the horror of what you found. So, I said to you just before we came on mic, that this is a love story essentially, with a tragedy in the middle. So, Scott, you and Dan have been together for 14 years. That's a long time to spend with somebody. And it means that you then experience this monumental and very sudden loss. But I also want to hear about your love story. I want to hear how you met. I want to hear about the man he was. So, in your own words, would you tell us a little bit about Dan and ultimately how you ended up to be in this shitty club?

Scott Stringer:

um, sure. Um, I met, uh, Dan back in, uh, 2002. Um, we met online, which I think even for, for 2002 was quite, quite rare at the time. It was, uh, it was on a site called Gaydar, which is,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

trying to remember. I had a gay friend at uni that used to go on gaydar.

Scott Stringer:

uh, it's still going. Yeah, so, um, I think the gays, we were pioneers back then,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

were.

Scott Stringer:

But yeah, we met, and I was only, uh, 19 at the time. Um, Dan was six years older than me, so he was, like, 24, 25, something like that. And, um, yeah, I think... I think I was drawn, drawn to Dan, obviously there's a physical attraction, but also I think I was drawn to him as well because he was very funny, unintentionally funny, to be honest. I've always said about Dan, he always managed to make me laugh, but he didn't realize he was doing it, so that was always quite fun. Um, and he's also, he was a very intelligent person as well. Um, He was a big reader. Our house was always full of books and only a very small selection of them were mine. He was literally walls and walls of books. But um, he was also, he was a children's nurse as well, so he was a paediatric nurse. Worked in um,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

so.

Scott Stringer:

yeah, intensive care as well was his main, main area. Uh, so he was very, very caring, very loving, um, person. And... I think I'd actually say about, say about Dan, he was, um, quite an intense person as well. Um, he did have a lot of, he did have a lot of issues, as in the, he came from a very religious family, like very Christian. And so he often struggled with that, with the two, well he always called the two sides of him. His religious side, and he did have a very strong belief in God, and then had to deal with this thing, his family did not accept his sexuality, etc. Yeah, there was always that about him, but he was still a very loving, caring person, you could tell by the profession that he, that he had.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Of course.

Scott Stringer:

And, um, I'd say often, actually, with, um, Dan, sometimes he was a bit too caring. If that sounds a bit weird, but...

Rosie GIll-Moss:

No, it doesn't. Some people are, they just care, they just feel everything so strongly.

Scott Stringer:

Definitely, that's, it's a good way of putting it, he felt things. Very strongly, and sometimes at the detriment of his own. Um, health and happiness as well. But in general, I mean, like I said, we had, um, for, we said we actually, we used to live back up in Birmingham. Like I say, I, I live down south now near London, but, um, yeah, so, um, but back up there. So he worked at Birmingham Children's Hospital and he loved his job and yeah, just absolutely, uh, adored it. But, um, was going with it, but yeah, we have for 14 years. Together and it was, it was lovely. Um, we had a little cat together. A little Ruby.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I was gonna ask what's a cat called, I do like, I like cats.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah, he came home one time from um, work and basically said, um, Oh, by the way, we're taking in a cat tomorrow. It was that sort of situation. So, but um,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Sounds a bit like living with me, that does actually.

Scott Stringer:

But um, she was wonderful though, I mean. Get onto that in a bit later, but obviously when, when it all did happen, she was, she was, weirdly, that little, that little girl, that little cat was there for me. It was

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I know, my dog, my dog, Lucy dog.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah, so pets are just, just amazing, aren't they?

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Do you know what they really bloody are? And I used to say to sort of, not understand why people got so upset when their pet died. Because I'm like, it's just a pet, you know? It's, they, you know they're gonna die, but even the thought of my dog, like I can't even, like, won't even tolerate the thought of it.

Scott Stringer:

Definitely. They are, they are literally family, aren't they? So, yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

So can I just ask you, um, because you touched a little bit on his, um, family being devout Christians and the sort of internal, uh, battle he will have had with his beliefs and, and his sexuality, but also, um, His parents acceptance, because being accepted and loved by your parents is something that many of us take for granted. Um, now did they, did he feel rejected by them, or, I mean I'm totally going off topic, but I'm nosy.

Scott Stringer:

no, that's fine. Um, I think he, I don't think he did feel rejected by them. He still had a very... If you take the whole sexuality thing out of it, he still had a very good relationship with his parents. He actually was especially close to, to his mum. Um, so they, they, they were very close in that sense and they

Rosie GIll-Moss:

So it didn't affect their relationships too

Scott Stringer:

sense. I think the only thing where he might have felt a bit, um, a little bit hurt in a sense was, you know, we were together for that long, but his family never recognized us as a couple.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Right. Is

Scott Stringer:

and such, and obviously welcomed into the family, but I never was in that sense. I did actually know them and I did, I spent, I spent time with them, but I was always just Dan's friend, so yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

And is that why you never got married?

Scott Stringer:

Possibly, um. Yeah, I, I don't, it sort of never presented itself, although I did find out, only a couple of weeks after Dan actually did pass away, somebody messaged me, a friend of his, Dan passed away two weeks before his birthday, and apparently on his birthday we were going to come down to London, maybe see a show, something like that. Someone told me that apparently he was planning to propose to me. On that weekend, we were going to have a big birthday. So I think it would have been cards at some point, but yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

oh, that's, I mean, that is, that's just, it's lovely to think that that's what he was planning, but also it's like just another kick when you're down,

Scott Stringer:

definitely. No, that's okay. Um, but yeah, so I say. together for, for 14 years, which was wonderful, but um, I'd say the, the year leading up to, a year or so, leading up to Dan passing away, he had a lot of trouble at work, um, various different things, essentially. Um, I see it's quite hard to put into words because it was quite complicated, but he had a lot of troubles at work, and he was sort of being, um, bullied, actually, by, kind of, by management, for one reason or another, and he was accused of something that he didn't do, um, and I know he didn't do it, he wasn't that type of person, and because he was a very,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah, they're

Scott Stringer:

I say he was very,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

time.

Scott Stringer:

very caring, very loving person, I say sometimes, yeah, very empathetic, and, um, he, It was also a very anxious person, particularly in that last year of his life. And so, he actually did have, um,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

it's something

Scott Stringer:

sort of trouble with his, not with his heart necessarily, not that we knew of at the time. Um, but he was treated in hospital for, um, high blood pressure. His blood pressure was ridiculously high. Those numbers were scary. But even so, with all that... Yeah, so essentially stress, anxiety, and it was, it just sent it up through the roof. But even though, even though he was being treated as well, he was put on medication, and he was, he'd been to hospitals, seen the doctors, etc. It still didn't have any indication of what was going to come. We just thought, okay, he's being treated now, he'll be fine, the stuff with the hospital is getting sorted, and hopefully we'll be, we'll be

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Well, you would, you think 39 years old, high blood pressure, like it happens, we'll take the medication, we'll change lifestyle, everything's fine.

Scott Stringer:

So I think we'll, we'll be good. But, um, so...

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Oh, how naive we were, right?

Scott Stringer:

I think going through something like this does make you see things differently in that sense, because you never know what's coming. Um, and so, leading up to, so that was kind of leading up to, um, the day that it happened. And it was in, so when it, the day it actually happened, when Dan passed away, uh, was back in November. 2016, so it's nearly, nearly seven years now. Seven years next month. And, um, yes, so, the actual day it happened, I'd gone to work in the morning. I worked in retail back up in Birmingham at the time. And I was working quite long days that week, I remember rightly. So I went out about seven o'clock in the morning. But, um, I remember... I, I got up, got ready, and I always came and said goodbye to Dan before I went to work. And, he said goodbye to me in the morning, he seemed fine. And I remember, as I was trying to think about this last night, thinking through all the events, so I could try and get it in my

Rosie GIll-Moss:

It's quite hard, isn't it, to stack it into order?

Scott Stringer:

It's one of those things you never forget, but then to actually get it all in the right order. But, um, I remember, funnily enough, he's, after I got up and got myself ready, he'd obviously looked at his phone at some point, and left it on my side of the bed, where I'd been. And, so I, it was still there when I said goodbye to him, and, and he said goodbye, love you, I went off to work. Um, I fed the cat half of her food, just before I left. We used to giving two half, she'd always eat too much so

Rosie GIll-Moss:

That's not why I have to be fed as well.

Scott Stringer:

same. Um, so then he would've done when he, when he got, so I went to work and that day, um, that he passed away, he was meant to have a, a meeting at the hospital. I can't quite remember what it was. It was four. But it was quite a, a big important meeting to try and sort everything out he was going through with them. And, um, so I went to work, but I didn't hear the thing. It was. I messaged him, I said, let me know how it's going. Um, the hospital was actually, was just down the road from where I worked. I said, stop by the shop afterwards, let me know what's gone, what's happened. I just didn't hear back off him. And, I tried calling him several times. And I worked probably nearly 12 hours that day. So it was, it was a long day I was at work. And, yeah, I just, I kept texting him, calling, I heard nothing. And so you just, you know when you kind of know that something... It's not

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah, and what are you thinking at this time? I know now my, if somebody doesn't answer the phone to me, I go immediately to the worst case scenario. But before this happened to us, you know, back when life was full of fairies and sunshine, um, you, did you think maybe he's left his phone at home? Maybe he's upset. He doesn't want to talk. Yeah. So you're sort of trying to rationalize it all,

Scott Stringer:

You don't ever want to think the worst. Like I said, I know it had a little ill health, but

Rosie GIll-Moss:

but you don't imagine it automatically. I always died.

Scott Stringer:

no, exactly.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I mean, you would now, right?

Scott Stringer:

Now, I'm like, but um, yeah, so, but just to not hear off him all day was weird. He would always text, always send loads of messages, blah, blah, blah. Um, a long message as well, if he needed to tell me something, he's very quick at texting, so I knew he was going to send me a long message about what happened. Um, and so I finished my day, I, like I said, I did about a 12 hour day. So I finished, I left work about seven o'clock in the evening there, so I was out for a good 12 hours at least. And I say, going, going home on the bus. Again, I still just hadn't heard anything. I was like, what is wrong? This is just weird. And when I got back, I got off the bus, walked to the house, and the house was all still in darkness. Because obviously it's November at this point, it's dark early, isn't it? So, house was all still dark. And I was like, this, this just is so weird. Um, and so I walked in the house, pitch black, the cat comes running to me, meowing like mad. And.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

she's only had half her food.

Scott Stringer:

She only had half her food. Well, essentially, then, that was literally another little clue, because I walked by the kitchen and saw that the rest of her food was still on the side. She hadn't got her food, the rest of her food, that morning. Um, and so I had, I don't know, I just thought, well, this is, this is really strange. So I put down her food for her, still trying not to think the worst, because, well, at this point, you don't know what to think, do you?

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Your brain's still giving you all sorts of solutions and ideas that mean that the thing that you suspect may have happened hasn't happened, basically.

Scott Stringer:

and also I thought, well, like I said, maybe he's just got so wound up about this meeting. He's just gone out. He's just left the house that day and he's just trying to switch off. But, and so I walked, uh, upstairs, um, again, all still pitch black. I opened the bedroom door and there. There was Dan still lying on the bed where I'd left him that morning. And I think I just remember opening the door and just going, Oh no. I mean that was, I still vividly remember those were the only words out of my mouth. It was just, Oh no.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Which feels like such an under reaction, doesn't it? But it's such a genuine, oh no. Like. Oh no, this is, this is happening, and, I mean, sorry, it's

Scott Stringer:

it's okay.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I'm just, I am also quite an empath, so I'm, I feel, the shock, just the shock of finding out the person that you love is dead is so awful, and so, but to be the person to find them.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

What did you do? Like, did you call, did you have people you could call immediately? I just, I just want to know that you were looked after.

Scott Stringer:

no, definitely. Uh, I was, so that's, that, that was good. Um, but I think when, so I switched on the light, and even in that moment, I, even though it was very obvious to, to look at him, that he was, he, he was gone, he wasn't alive, and I don't know, I, his body was just so cold and frozen and to touch, and I was like, even then I was still trying to, I was, I, I don't know, fall into a coma or something, just shaking, trying to wake him up, and I remember calling his name, and Um, if you do, you just go into, it's so bizarre, a feeling, um, that I hope no one ever has to go through. It's one of those things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy, it's absolutely,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

It's like being in, we say this quite often actually to guests, but it is like being in a film or a really gritty BBC drama and you're just thinking, this doesn't happen to me. Like this. This doesn't happen in real life.

Scott Stringer:

Just average people like me, just, I went to work yesterday, you know what I mean?

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah, it's just not, it's not in your life plan, is it?

Scott Stringer:

No,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

So presumably paramedics came, um, and confirmed.

Scott Stringer:

yeah, the first thing I did actually, I was like, I think it was probably only literally minutes before I actually called somebody. But it felt like longer in all fairness. And the first people I called was my mum and dad. They actually only lived about 15 minutes away at the time. I thought, I don't know who else to call, I don't know what to do, I was... You're in kind of shock, panic mode, aren't you? So,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Absolutely.

Scott Stringer:

I called my mum and dad. My dad answered the phone. And, it must have took me ages to get out what I was trying to say, but I told him what happened, essentially I've come home, I think I actually just said the words, Dan's dead.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah.

Scott Stringer:

now, thinking back to my parents hearing that. Dan's dead, we know you're on the boat. But,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

But at least you were clear, because I rang and said, Ben's gone. And my dad was like, Bear in mind I'd had to track my parents down in Cuba. And my dad was like, What do you mean he's gone? And I think, because it was so impossible to comprehend any other, What do you mean he's gone? And telling anybody that sort of news is just horrific. There is no nice way to tell anybody.

Scott Stringer:

exactly. Yeah, there's never a good way.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

No.

Scott Stringer:

And so, my mum and dad came on the phone, my mum was like, we've got to go over to him. And I said, Dan, you've got only 15 minutes away, so bye. They came over, um, my dad was, my dad's very, in that sort of situation, my dad is very clear headed, he's very sensible, which I think kind of what I needed at

Rosie GIll-Moss:

That's my mum.

Scott Stringer:

yeah, it's good to have somebody like that in a sense, and so he was just like, right, have you called an ambulance yet? I was like, no, I don't know, you're the first person I've

Rosie GIll-Moss:

all new to me, I don't know what to

Scott Stringer:

never done this before, but no, he was like, right, But hang up the phone, we're coming over. Um, just call an ambulance. So I did. Uh, the ambulance arrived, um, probably only a couple of minutes before my mum and dad did. And obviously they confirmed, well, I already knew, but yes, that

Rosie GIll-Moss:

But still having those words said must have felt like...

Scott Stringer:

Yeah,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah, it's, for me, it was when they said, we're no longer, it's no longer a rescue mission. It's a recovery. And, um, those words, which I'd actually almost forgotten or blocked out, but when I interviewed another, another drowning widow, she said the same thing. And even though, you know, that they've gone, hearing the confirmation from somebody is, well, I mean, it's going on goose bumpy anyway, but it, it's final, isn't it? It's the finality of it.

Scott Stringer:

definitely. And I think I actually do remember, I mean, I was Crying anyway, but I think when one of the parents, I mean, both paramedics were absolutely one. They were so lovely. Um, but she said to me, when she actually said those words to me, yes, this person is dead. I really burst into tears at that point. And then I

Rosie GIll-Moss:

did you make the noise?

Scott Stringer:

say,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Did you make the noise?

Scott Stringer:

I don't, I don't remember what noise I did make, but it probably was not pretty. I am not, I am very much an ugly crier. So, I can't imagine what it was like. What that face must have looked like. But um, and then I heard my mum and dad arrive, um, and they just, oh they just took care of me. I will actually say, I just want to give a shout out to my mum and dad, because what they did for me, not only that night, but in the following months, I don't know, this is why I'm actually getting a little bit choked up, because I don't think I can ever repay, Sorry.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

you getting me? Because I feel the same way about mine.

Scott Stringer:

Honestly, I don't think I can ever repay my mum and dad for what they did for me. And I actually still do, for me, in all fairness.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Do you know what? I'm the same. I feel exactly the same. They, they left, they, they flew back from Cuba. Dad, dad took the car to their house to lock it up and get their stuff. My mom got a cab straight to my house. And I just remember her coming out of the taxi and I was barefoot. I was probably drunk. I was. And, uh, she, uh, just ran into the road and just ran into her arms as she came out of the taxi and for that first brief moment I felt safe, just for a second. And I hear lots of stories about parents who haven't been as supportive and it breaks my heart. So, big thank you from me to your mum and dad as well because never underestimate the power of feeling safe just for a moment.

Scott Stringer:

Pat and Vic are amazing.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Pat and Vic. I like the sound of them.

Scott Stringer:

Fabulous. But, um, yeah, and you're right, actually, because, um, when they did arrive, we just sort of stood in the, uh, in the dining room back downstairs, and they just both hugged me. The two of them. It was just, like I say, that little moment. No matter what's going on upstairs, that

Rosie GIll-Moss:

It's just, they've got you, yeah.

Scott Stringer:

So, um, So, yeah, then the paramedics, uh, obviously did their bit. Um, and because... He had actually died very suddenly, um, without any real, without any known cause at the time. Um, they obviously, they, they let the police know. So forensics had to

Rosie GIll-Moss:

course. So

Scott Stringer:

horrific. you. Him lying there, his phone was still on the side of the bed, like Sagan's mentioned earlier. So he,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

it must have happened really quickly after you

Scott Stringer:

yes, I need to come back to that earlier, sorry, yeah,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah, sorry.

Scott Stringer:

still exactly where he left it when I, when I left for work that morning. So, Sagan, goodbye, and yeah, that's, that's where we, I left him that

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Well, um, the fact that he hadn't moved his phone, I mean, oh God. I dunno if I'm, I sometimes wonder whether I, I speak before I think. But as an outsider, do you feel like that's some comfort that he didn't even have time to try and reach for help, like that? It was just quick.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah, I, I guess so, yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

know. I dunno if, I dunno if I'm sort of projecting this,

Scott Stringer:

a bit more fairness, I've, I've never really, uh, thought about that, that actually. But yeah, um. Like I say, he, there couldn't have really been much time at all between me saying goodbye and him passing away because he was exactly where I left him. His, his phone was exactly where he left it and nothing, nothing changed. So

Rosie GIll-Moss:

so weird that in that split instant, like, a human went from existing to not existing? It doesn't make any sense.

Scott Stringer:

definitely. So yeah, in a way, I guess in a way I do take a little, in a weird way, I do kind of take a little comfort from that. That hopefully it was quick and that he didn't, didn't suffer.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

That's all I hope for, for anybody in a sudden death, is that it was quick and painless, because that's, the thought of them being in fear is scary for us, isn't it? So you kind of almost, I mean I remember the police searching the house for Ben, I mean it was a very perfunctionary search because they believed me. Um, but I felt almost like a criminal and you, it adds to the surreal feeling of this weird world that you've just landed in. Um, I mean I'm guessing that there was a post mortem was there? Awww.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah. So, um, well, again, yeah, like I say, I was chatting to the, um, the paramedics and, um, yes, they were asking me all sorts of questions because Dan was on a little bit of medication. And so they were questioning me all about that. You know, does he take drugs? And, and then they were sort of questioning, um. Again, just like I say, it's just what they've got to do. Um, you know, anything suspicious, maybe, because he's suddenly gone the way he did. And then mum, my mum actually, she piped off. And she went, no, no, nothing would have happened between them. They absolutely adored each other. So my mum jumped in. So, bless her. But that's what mums do, isn't it? But, I mean, yeah, so obviously they did what they did, the police, um, they, the police actually weren't there for very long, I think they could just sort of see what had happened, and then they just suggested a, um, funeral directors, which was just down the road actually, and they suggested them, and then they came and did what they needed to do. I remember actually, and I say my dad is very calm and sensible in those sorts of situations, when the funeral directors were taking Dan's body away. Me and my mom had to go just stand in the kitchen, shut the door, we could not, I personally just could not see Dan being taken away. What I can only assume, my dad's never actually really told me, um, and what I can only assume was a body bag or something like that. And, um, yeah, but my dad stayed with the funeral director to make sure Dan was taken care of and I'm so glad that he did because I could not have done that. And I would,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

day, I've mentioned that to him, you know, I've also run into lots of problems.

Scott Stringer:

definitely, and like I said, that's what my parents did and forever grateful. I say, yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

You were just saying about, that your dad, um, sort of assisted and supervised the funeral directors. So, I like the idea of him sort of keeping an eye, making sure it was all done properly. I like that.

Scott Stringer:

But also speaking of parents, um, like I say, I, I knew Dan's parents, um, but obviously I was never Dan's boyfriend to them.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Mm hmm.

Scott Stringer:

But obviously the, the night it happened, I remember the paramedic actually said, has anyone informed as Dan got family? I said, yes, they're down in, they live down in Bristol. And he goes, has anyone called his, his, his, his parents? And I just could not make that phone call. I couldn't do that at the time, the state I was in, to try and call his mum, and be like, and try and...

Rosie GIll-Moss:

her child has died, basically, yeah.

Scott Stringer:

But bless him, one of the paramedics, he offered to do it for me, which was so lovely, and I can't ever imagine making that phone call to somebody.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

What a kindness.

Scott Stringer:

to tell them that their child has died.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

But he, but to take that responsibility from you in that moment and offer you that gesture of kindness, again, it is, it's something that even in the moment you might not appreciate how important it is, but to look back and think it's a horrible phone call to make. Nobody wants to make that call, but he took that from you so that you could have a little bit of respite. Wow. For

Scott Stringer:

was, that was just... And, funnily enough, I probably, a little while, I was still at the house at the time, that night, but um, a little while after, uh, Dan's, uh, dad... Actually called me and he basically said his first words to me, I'm very sorry and he goes, I'm sorry if I've never treated you as kindly as I, as I should have done, which never had anything like that ever before, but obviously it took, it took what happened for him to,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

to happen.

Scott Stringer:

for him to say that. And it was, um, it was amazing, really, but yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Oh gosh, yeah, that's, that's maybe giving me the feels as well. Cause I, when you said he rang, I was sort of bracing myself, but actually, I mean, yes, a little too little too late, but, um, appreciated nonetheless.

Scott Stringer:

definitely, because, and it is a very sad fact, I think, particularly, um, when there's, of same sex people, and I have known plenty of, um, of gay couples who have never been, um, accepted, or there's one One, uh, aspect of the, one part of the family hasn't accepted and, and they get completely cut out if something like this happens. You hear these stories, don't you? Um, thankfully that didn't happen. Funnily enough, after Dan did pass away, I actually saw, um, for the first year or so, I did actually see quite a bit of, uh, Dan's family, his parents. They came up a few days later, about four or five days after they came up to the house from Bristol with a couple of his, um, sisters. He came from quite a big family as well. He was the second eldest of nine children. So.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Jesus. Yeah.

Scott Stringer:

I say maybe a little too little too late, but it was appreciated, like you say, nonetheless. And that was lovely. So,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

in respects of, you know, how you were treated, um, by funeral directors, etc, because as an unmarried same sex couple, did you have the same rights? Did you have, um, next of, or matrimonial next of kin? Um, I'm just wondering, because I know that it does impact your ability, um, to claim any sort of, or it would have back then affected your ability to claim any sort of benefits or support. I imagine.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah, and the, the, probably the main reason I actually mentioned, uh, Dan's dad was, um, I say, because he suddenly, it suddenly completely changed and they were so lovely towards me. They obviously, whoever one of them, Dan's siblings had sat them down and said, look, Scott is his life partner. And this is

Rosie GIll-Moss:

And he's hurting.

Scott Stringer:

it is, um, because actually, Dan's siblings kind of actually knew about us, but again, around the parents, it was never discussed, blah, blah, blah, but, um, so, yeah, actually, when, when they came up a few days later, we went and visited the funeral directors, just a few, a couple of streets away, actually, from where we lived, and we went and sat down, and it was kind of, they kind of wanted to involve me, which was

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Mm.

Scott Stringer:

And Dan's dad, kind of like my dad actually, is a very practical man and he was going to do everything he could to like, um, you know, sort out Dan's pensions that he had through work and all that sort of stuff and, and basically sort out his finances, etc. And yeah, they, they actually, they did look after me, which was really nice. I never expected it, to be honest with you. Um, but yeah, that was actually really nice. Whilst I didn't have any rights, they were including me.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

That's, that's good. That's good because it, it. It's lonely enough without being excluded, and, um, I have heard of stories where people have just been completely removed from funerals, you know, not allowed to have ashes, um, people behave abhorrently when there's money involved, literally, I think death that causes so much pain already causes additional pain because people get very angry and it comes out It's painful. misdirected, and um, I am really pleased to hear that they treated you with the kindness you deserved, um, and that they took on arranging the funeral, because

Scott Stringer:

can only imagine. They did take on a lot of it. They kept me involved as well the whole time, um, about what, what was going to happen. Um, I have my bit to do, because obviously they lived down in Bristol, like I said, I was up in Birmingham, and so the, um, the autopsy, everything through the coroner's court, I had to deal with because I was up in Birmingham, and so it was all done through Birmingham, whatever it's called, I don't know, departments.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

would it be?

Scott Stringer:

That's the word I was trying to think of. It wouldn't come to me

Rosie GIll-Moss:

That's alright. It would have cut you three at 3am, that would have landed. Um, so what did they determine as the cause of death?

Scott Stringer:

Um, it was a hypertensive heart disease, is what they called it. So, essentially, he had a heart attack. Um, so like I say, we know he had very high blood pressure, but Again, never thought it would ever come to that,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

so he was kind of living with this degenerative disease that he didn't know he had,

Scott Stringer:

possibly, there, it was only, like I say, it was under medical supervision, but it was, it was an ongoing process, so maybe there was something it may have got to at some point. Um, as far as we knew, it was just incredibly high blood pressure and anxiety, etc.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

And just too much, and I lost a friend, my best friend at university, happened to be called John actually. Um, who my, my eldest son has his name as his middle name. Um, and he just. Died in his sleep just completely outta the blue. And um, I remember at the time, you know, there was lots of questions about had he taken anything, you know, we were university students, right. Um, and it was sudden adult death syndrome, so like, kind of like the grownup cop death, which I, at the time had never even heard of. And apparently so many of us are walking around with these car conditions that we could, that you can be tested for. But unless there's a hereditary reason, we don't tend to. And I. I don't know, I suppose I found that really shocking that, I mean, he was only 20, 23 I think, that you can just switch off like that. That, it's um,

Scott Stringer:

It's scary, isn't it, really, to think that that could just happen, out of the blue. So yeah,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

and what about your grieving process? How did you, how did you get through this? What did you, did you have therapy? You obviously don't live in Birmingham anymore, so you have moved, but it's been many years. Um, so Just really, what support did you lean on? What tools did you use? Um, did you stick in the chicken and wine phase? Or, you know, are you more of a therapy and yoga type of guy?

Scott Stringer:

no, I never did therapy, um,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Did you not?

Scott Stringer:

yeah, and funny enough, I don't, I don't know why, because it just never actually occurred to me. It sounds a bit bizarre, it's just like, um, I didn't personally, I was only, what, 33 when it happened, I didn't personally know anybody at the time. It's ridiculous, isn't it? But, um, I didn't know anyone personally who had gone through this sort of thing, apart from, you know, losing grandparents. Of

Rosie GIll-Moss:

people will compare it to losing a pet or going through a divorce because that's the only comparison they have. And in the moment you can feel quite bitter and angry with them for that because it's not the same. But it is their only point of reference in comparison because they've not been through it. Um, but I'm just thinking of this 33 year old kid really that's just suddenly

Scott Stringer:

Yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

flung into this world. Um,

Scott Stringer:

always think if you've got a partner, a life partner, you just imagine that you will grow old together. This is the person,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

that's what you expect, right?

Scott Stringer:

this is the person I intended to spend the rest of my life with. That's just how I thought it. And, but so yeah, I didn't do counseling. It's not something that... occurred to me. Um, but luckily I did have, like I said, I had my parents and the rest of my family, my, my brothers and, um, aunts and, and so forth. They were all just so lovely. Again, Dan's, uh, family were always reaching out. Dan had a big network of friends who I knew anyway. People were always reaching out to me, um, offering support. But also where I worked at the time, I had a little group of friends there. There was literally four of them. So the five of us were, we were all really good friends. And they, and I, the Dan, the house that Dan and I shared, I stayed in for about three months after he died before I realized I couldn't afford to live there anymore by myself.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Well this is the other thing, this is all the secondary losses isn't it? People have to lose their homes because you've no longer got two incomes coming in.

Scott Stringer:

exactly, I couldn't afford it all by myself, so. Um, but yeah, they, they came round all the time, we had, just silly things, we had little games nights, we'd play Monopoly, we'd watch Disney films, you know, just silly little things really.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I love when people do this.

Scott Stringer:

just have a little drink and, and also we mentioned we, I had the time I had my, my cat Ruby. It sounds really daft when I say it, but weirdly she was something to get up for in the morning while I wasn't at work because I work were really good as well. Thankfully, you know, they said, take as much time as you need. Um, because I only worked in a small store. So it was quite. It was nice in that sense. Um, but yeah, my cat, she was something to get up for in the morning. So,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

totally, I totally get this because, and I know widows who've actually had, bought or inherited pets since being widowed because it has given them that reason to get up and, you know, I take my dog, Most days, sometimes she misses it, but on a walk and in any, any weather. And I just think I've moved my body. I've been outside, the dog needs feeding, watering. And I had, I had cats at the time as well. And obviously I've got kids, which were kind of, you know, my main reason we're getting up in the morning.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I just realized. Um, but, but having somebody dependent on you or something dependent on you is actually quite valuable. It can feel like a huge drain when it's. Three kids, a dog and two cats. But, um, it, it, but it, it, and made me keep pushing forward. It made me keep getting, I I, in this letter I wrote to Ben, I said, I just promised to put my feet on the floor every morning and keep going. And most days I've managed, not every day because we are human, but most days, and the only way I have done it is through support of my friends and my family and my loving alive husband, which. Which does bring me to the next sort of section I wanted to talk to you about because you've remarried as well, haven't you? So firstly, huge congratulations because finding love first time around, once, is, is, it feels like you've won the lottery. Um, and if, then you have it snatched away from you and you think that you've lost all your happiness and joy. And if you are fortunate enough to meet somebody... That brings you back joy and love then I'm really really happy that you found it, but you did know in your application Um that you got together fairly soon after after Dan died which that obviously we have no judgment here because it happens when it happens, but I Understand that you may have felt some sort of kick pushback from other people at the time and I just wondered a bit about that

Scott Stringer:

it's kind of because I think, try and, again, try and remember the sort of timeline. Because like I say, I moved back into, uh, my parents. Actually, that's, I went back to live with my parents after the three months when I, again, I realized I couldn't carry on living wherever we were. Um, so. I think, I, I listened to one of your podcasts the other day, it was the taboo one, about,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Oh, yes. Yes, Nikki wake.

Scott Stringer:

yeah, about finding, um, not only relationships, but also, uh, sexual, yeah, sexual relationships, um, even one off type things, really, because it is very much a taboo. You're not meant to do that. People give you a timeline and you're like, nah. And

Rosie GIll-Moss:

and people get very judgmental when you're widowed, and this kind of widow's fire, this need for some sort of, this comfort, distraction, something that feels good, like, it's, it is, it's a common theme, and it's something that is important, and judgment from other people doesn't help.

Scott Stringer:

I'd say I didn't necessarily get any out and out judgment from anybody. Because essentially what happened, I was talking to, uh, my best friend, Adam, who would eventually be my, my best man at my, my wedding. It was, um, an absolutely lovely lad. Funny enough, he's like 12 years younger than me, but we just always got on instantly when we started working together. And so I was talking to him about it and I said, One of the sentence I actually said to him was, because it was like six months down the line since Dan passed away to this point. And I was like, I said, you know, this is the longest I've gone without sex since I was 19. stupidly one day. And, um, and then so he goes, well, he goes, just get yourself back, back on online or something. Again, he was just download one of the apps and then you've got, you probably heard of like, um, gay dating apps like Grindr and stuff like that. So I downloaded a, a couple, and again, I was a bit hesitant at first. I'm like, what? Again, thinking, well people might judge me in that sense, I'm still in the mourning process. Because there does seem to be some people give you sort of like a timeline that you should operate within. So, and,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

that varies as well. Some, you know, people have very different varying ideas of, of, and so really I think can, until you've walked in the shoes, you, you butt out, don't you?

Scott Stringer:

so, I, I did download a couple of apps and it was originally only ever intended just for literally a little bit of fun.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Bit of distraction.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah, distraction, you know, to, you know, just sort of feels like say some comfort in a

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Mm hmm.

Scott Stringer:

And so, yeah, um, I downloaded those. And funnily enough, the only person I actually ever met on these apps, because those apps are not, not brilliant in all fairness.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I have to say, I downloaded, um, just because out of curiosity, because when Ben and I got together, these things didn't exist. And I just found the whole thing really excruciating, and the worst one is if you see somebody that you know, and you're like, Oh my god, no, no, no, no, they're gonna know! Hehehehe Hehehehe Hehehehe Hehehehe

Scott Stringer:

but, um, so yeah, the only person I actually ever met on one of these apps in the end was my now husband, Michael, and again, we originally meant met just, um, just for a bit of fun. And that is how I always just intended it from the beginning. Um, but there was, there was something about Michael that I don't know, I just absolutely adored, I think it's just so, he's such an incredibly funny person, loving and kind, and I told him from the get go, I said, look, I've just been through this. It's just, just a bit of fun and we were fine from that for the, from the beginning, um, but then we just sort of like messaging and, and things just sort of, it sort of grew, um, quite naturally, really, um, I wouldn't say any sort of relationship kind of happened for a good few months yet. But, yeah, within a year of, of, um, losing Dan, I was in a relationship with, um, Michael. And again, that's not something I ever intended, it just sort of happened naturally, just because a friend suggested to me, get back online, have a bit of fun, and just sort of grew, uh, from it, um, in a sense.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Hehehehe It's full of love and affection and happiness, and so I believe, um, I have no backup evidence, it's just from talking to people that when you are in a happy, loving relationship and they die. You are actually more open to a loving, healthy relationship because there's not so much anger and bitterness that you might necessarily have in divorce. And also you know what you're missing. You know the joy that being loved and cared for and treasured can bring you. Um, and John and I met, I'll be honest, in a fairly similar way. We were chatting on a widowed group and I took him out for dinner. There was a bit of a spark, um, and we sort of said, look, it's a bit early for us both or anything. So let's just be friends with benefits kind of thing. Sorry, mom, if you're listening. And, um, the same thing. We just fell completely, utterly in love. And I never expected to feel that again. I always said, you know, how lucky that I had been. I've found a man like Ben. And then to find two wonderful men in a lifetime is like winning the lottery twice, right? It's just a shame that we had to walk through the fires of hell to get there.

Scott Stringer:

Hundred percent. And,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

So,

Scott Stringer:

sorry, carry on

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Well, I was just going to ask, um, how Michael, um, and you sort of kept Dan's memory alive. I mean, is it, because you met quite soon after. So it's obviously been part of your relationship for the last six years. So, you guys, I mean, you're now married as well, so you, presumably Dan is still kind of part of your relationship or your life?

Scott Stringer:

Definitely. I mean, the wonderful thing about Michael, he's, if I ever wanted to talk about Dan, anything that Dan and I did, et cetera, he's, he's always been fine with that. He's, he's

Rosie GIll-Moss:

jealousy?

Scott Stringer:

yeah. He, he is not jealous in any way. He's, he's a strong person. Um, so it, that's never been a problem for me to talk about Dan if I wanted to. And so, yeah, in that sense. No issue there.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Hmm.

Scott Stringer:

Also, I remember keeping, I've got it, it's in this room somewhere actually. Um, I made, I took all our photos of me and Dan. And literally made a nice little album of them. It's a lovely little album. It's, I've still got it, um, now. And, and yes, it was like, sometimes he actually helped me arrange the pictures. That one looked better there, type thing. So that was nice as well. So he's seen all the pictures and he's like, again, ask questions

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Well, it's 14 years of your life. And if somebody wants to be in your life now, in order to get to know you, they have to understand the person that you were before. Because the person, the Scott that he married, is not the Scott that was in a relationship with Dan. Like, you're not the same person anymore. And I'm, again, I'm really comforted to hear how accepting he's been. Because, again, widows often end up with other widows because of this element of jealousy or, um, I mean, I guess if you were with someone and they were talking about their ex all the time, it would be really frustrating, but we know it's different. However, if you're coming from a different outlook, it might not feel it. So I, I love the fact that he's just, he lets you just, or lets you, encourages you to talk about him and the photo of that. That makes me really happy because that is how we keep their memories alive. We are the keepers of the memories and they're

Scott Stringer:

Because when, essentially I always said to Michael, I said, at the start of the relationship, I said, basically, I'm coming into this. So what we have, what we are now, I'm coming to this new relationship with a lot of baggage. I've gone through this horrific thing, I've had 14 years with somebody. Essentially, up until the age of 33, I spent pretty much all my, I was with Dan from like 19 to 33. I spent all my adult life with that one person. And that was all I'd ever known. And so to be back out there again, I am coming to this with a lot of baggage. So I think it's actually someone like Michael. I think it speaks to what a good person he is to also want to take on me.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

It takes a brave man or woman to take on a widow. And, because, like you say, we come with a lot of baggage, but that baggage isn't dealt with in the first year or so. You know, I imagine you still cry regularly about Dan, I still cry regularly about Ben. It feels quite weird sometimes to be comforted by Don as I sob my heart out because I'm never going to see Ben again. But in order for the relationship to work, it has to be allowed to happen because otherwise you're bottling up feelings and it will breed resentment. So I, yeah, I'm a big admirer or fan of anybody who is not widowed and takes on one of us because it's a bumpy ride.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah, definitely. And I think, um, I think it was actually, I think you posted it on your, uh, Instagram. Actually, it was about the, um, the widow of Tom Parker. I think I was in the

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Parker, yeah.

Scott Stringer:

That was it. And there was, uh, again, there was sort of a little bit of judgment from whichever newspaper or article online had posted something about her going on a date or to be seen out with another man just a year after,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

And it's always that little just niggly just a year or just they have to get in a little dig.

Scott Stringer:

definitely. Even though, like I said, there's not maybe an out and out judgment as in like, Oh, I don't think she should be doing this. It's those little buzz words now. Just a year after he died. And so, I, I don't think I got so much of that, but you can just sort of always tell like, oh, you're, you're seeing somebody else, or, oh, you're on a dating app. Um, it's the, sort of, some people like have that little tone of surprise in their voice.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think I... Well, I know that people maybe thought that John and I were sort of clinging to each other like a lifeboat in a storm, you know, that it was just, okay, we'll support each other through this. But I also believe that once people realize that this relationship was for real, that we loved each other, um, that they, they feel happy for us because Nobody really, unless you're a particularly mean spirited person, wants us to be on our own forever. But there is this whole, it's, there's a self projection of being forgotten. Um, and that can come out in anger. And I found telling Ben's mum really scary. And I, I haven't mentioned this before, I text her. Because I was so scared. But she's so supportive and, and loving. Because... Um, I guess we do the work as well, you know, they live on the island or she lives on the island and we go over a couple of times a year and we can work really hard to keep the communication together because I still, Ben was one of six, not quite nine, um, but I feel like I'm his representative within that family now. So if somebody is sick or something, I'm part of the crowd, you know, the, the, the support group. And so in that way, I feel that we're keeping that connection to him going. Um, But yeah, it is, it is difficult. And I know when John met me, he wasn't quite a year out and it. But his wife died of cancer, and I think when somebody dies from cancer as well, you, you grieve them long before they've gone. But I don't know, I just think love lands when it lands, you know? It might take ten years, it might take ten months. If you, if you were to stop and say, oh no, I've only been widowed a year, I don't think that we should do this. Can we come back to this in a year?

Scott Stringer:

Yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Why would you do that to yourself? Why not just go with it and see what happens?

Scott Stringer:

But again, it's like we've touched on it, it's like when you have been through something like what we've been through, you sort of, you change your perspective on things, don't you, in a sense, like when you will, especially when you do lose somebody suddenly. You know, because you know it can all just change in a moment, so why not just grab that moment while you can. And I think, uh, again telling other people, I think the people I was actually the most, um, nervous about finding out that I was now seeing somebody else was actually Dan's friends. I knew them, he had these friends for years, he was very close to them. A few of them came to the funeral, because he had friends down in Bristol where he worked there for a little bit, and all over the place, he knew people all over, all over. And. Yeah, those are the people I was most afraid of actually finding out, it wasn't my nearest and dearest, funnily enough. But I did put it on, and I had them all as Facebook friends. So, sometime after me and Michael, um, had been together, I remember putting it on, I just put it on Facebook once, I was in a relationship with Michael Knight. And... Fantastically enough. I have been very lucky with how people have treated me. I get that not everyone has been, is not as lucky as I am to have been treated the way I have and I know that. And they were all just so lovely and they were just like, this is what Dan would want. He would want you to move on with your life and find happiness again. So, it was

Rosie GIll-Moss:

actually, I, I personally believe it's a huge disservice and I don't necessarily mean you have to meet somebody else to live your life to the fullest because that, that's very limiting. But I think the greatest honor that we can give our dead people is to live our lives to the absolute fullest. And it's something that I've always said from quite early on is that my children will not be defined by the fact that their father died. They will, it'll be something terrible that happened to them, but they will still go on to live. I hope. Wonderful. Enriching. Loving. And, and, and so will I. You know, I have a very, very happy life now and I fully anticipated to be a cat lady on my own, you know, for forever. And there's so much life left in us and so much love left in us. Such a waste. And so how did you end up in Staines? Just tell me that. Oh,

Scott Stringer:

we actually moved down to, um, down London way, um, actually in 2020, literally as everyone was coming out. Um, because... Um, Michael, his cabin crew actually, he works for British Airways. Yeah, so he used to work for Thomas Cook, but then they went under. And then we decided we wanted, we wanted to leave Birmingham anyway. It's, yeah, many memories, so

Rosie GIll-Moss:

of scene.

Scott Stringer:

yeah, change of scene. Um, so we wanted to get out. So we moved down south, and we both now are based at, we're living in Staines. Because we're both based at Heathrow Airport and it's literally right by us. I work at Heathrow Airport now, he flies from there. So it's really good, it's a good convenient place for us to be. So um, that's why we're down here.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

And it's, it's nice to sort of hear a happy ending, as it were. Um, and I don't know if you're like me. Um, and John sort of said, said to me, you know, you, if you think of this like a children's storybook, you know, there is always a happy ending. Maybe this is your happy ending. Maybe you don't have to be so scared anymore. But I do think there is an element of having to accept that bad things will happen to us still. The sort of PTSD of something happening so suddenly means that every time my mum doesn't answer the phone or every time John doesn't text me back, my immediate thought is they've had a car crash. Um, you know, if my parents are driving home, I'm, I want them to text me. Like, it's like a role reversal. I want them to tell me when they get home.

Scott Stringer:

Definitely. I'll tell you what I do personally. Michael is a very quiet sleeper. Not like me, I'm a snorer. It's bizarre because of the way I found Dan, if Michael is very still in, in bed, I can't even tell that he's actually asleep, where he's actually breathing, quite often I'm going to poke him, just to make sure he's still alive,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

So he's getting woken up multiple times.

Scott Stringer:

unfortunately, and I'm like, Again, like you just used the PTSD, unfortunately, I have that in my mind.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Love me. Love my baggage and my, my slightly mental state of my head because I know that life changes on a, on a, in a flash in a moment. And I don't think you will ever fully lose that knowledge and fear because up until it talks about the naivety of before, before, and you. That kind of innocence has been stripped from you very young. And I had a, quite a deep conversation with my, um, my son, Hector. He's autistic. So we get very factual. And I think some, I think somebody's hamster dies and he was like, that's really sad. I said, yes, darling. That's how normally children experience death because hamsters don't last very long. I said, unfortunately you guys got the full whack, you know, the ultimate, but it. I, I can see in him, like the, even now, or coming up to six years after Ben died, he still asks me who will look after him if I die and John dies, you know, and, and it leaves, it does leave its mark and, and it will leave its mark on us and, and quite rightly, quite rightly, the, the wonderful Donna Ashworth says, you know, grief is love. It's the, the harder you love, the harder you fall, right?

Scott Stringer:

Definitely, 100%.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

But I'm really happy that you have done what we all set out to do, which is to co exist with it, and to allow love back in, and to sit alongside it, and to hear that you're living a happy, loving, healthy relationship life, and whilst continuing to love Dan, that's all I think any of us can aim to do, is just to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down, and keep fucking going. Thank you.

Scott Stringer:

Definitely. And I think the main thing really is that, and it might sound a little bit cliche, but it is true, in that there is never a right or wrong way to go about grief. There's never a right or wrong time to do something. It's, we all, we're all different aren't we? So we're all going to cope with things differently. We're all going to do things differently. So, um, you just always hope that there never is any judgment from other people, because, you know, we're human beings at the end of the day and nobody wants to be judged. But you've just got to do it in your own way, in your own time.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

And we will make mistakes and we will do stupid things because your brain does not function the same. I believe it's even been scientifically proven that your brain doesn't work the same. So we will fuck up and we will make mistakes and we will say things we don't mean and the people that stick around the big, the ugly parts, they're the keepers. They're the ones that you, you, you've got for good and it sounds like you've got plenty of those.

Scott Stringer:

got my family. I've been married to Michael for a year now. We got married last September. So, yeah, so, a year married now, it's lovely.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Don't, what did you do? Pay, it's paper, isn't it? Did you get him an anniversary?

Scott Stringer:

we actually, well, September, we went away a couple of times. I turned 40 in September, just gone as well. So we,

Rosie GIll-Moss:

big year.

Scott Stringer:

yeah, so, um, yeah, we went away for that. And yeah, just sort of celebrated pretty much everything. It was a belated honeymoon, my 40th, and

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Is this the benefit of having a cabin crew

Scott Stringer:

Yeah.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

I was just thinking my friend used to work for Thomas Cook. Funny enough. And she was telling me once she got like a last minute deal to the Maldives for 26 quid or something stupid. Cause it just wasn't filled. Well, Scott, it has been an absolute delight to talk to you. I wish. The reason I was talking to you wasn't because Dan had died, but this is who we are now and I'm really, really grateful to you for sharing your story and for doing it in such a honest and open way and for talking about something that is still quite taboo and it is that moving on. No, not moving on, moving forward with your life. Moving on's not cool.

Scott Stringer:

a good way of putting it.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

Yeah, you're moving forward, but you're keeping a little bit of Dan in your pocket.

Scott Stringer:

Yeah, definitely.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

So I... We'll be back with John to have a chat about Scott's episode. So if anybody has any questions that they would like to ask Scott, um, please do pass them to us and we will put them to him. It's at his discretion if he answers them. Um, you will of course receive an invite to Woodstock next year. I'm keep telling people to keep the 31st of August free. I've booked absolutely nothing, which is pretty much how these things work, but, um, and we will stay in touch because you become part of the WAF family once you've bared your soul like this.

Scott Stringer:

That's

Rosie GIll-Moss:

thank you. Thank you for becoming part of the family and for sharing our stories out into the world because the only way we breed more understanding is by telling people how it really feels.

Scott Stringer:

Definitely.

Rosie GIll-Moss:

So for now, but I'm sure not forever, it's goodbye. And for everybody else, I shall be back with you soon. Take care of yourselves and just keep fucking going, I guess. Bye bye.

Scott Stringer:

Thank you.