Grief-stricken dad’s £20k charity run
A MAN whose wife and children were killed in a horrific car crash has spoken of the shock and grief which still overwhelms him. Andrew Gitsham s wife Stacey, 26, and children, two-year-old Josh and Georgia, 11 weeks, died when a lorry collided with their
A MAN whose wife and children were killed in a horrific car crash has spoken of the shock and grief which still overwhelms him.
Andrew Gitsham's wife Stacey, 26, and children, two-year-old Josh and Georgia, 11 weeks, died when a lorry collided with their BMW on the A1 near Eaton Ford in December.
Andrew is now hoping to raise £20,000 for the charity which is helping him come to terms with the crash. He is in training to run the 26-mile Robin Hood race which takes place in Nottingham on September 10. His run will raise money for the bereavement charity Cruse Bereavement Care which he said was helping him through his darkest hours.
"Stacey was a wonderful wife and mother. She was gentle, strong and absolutely beautiful. The 10 years we had together, almost five of which were as man and wife, were the happiest of my life. She gave me two wonderful children and for that, for those years, which now seem so fleeting, I will always be grateful."
He added: "Josh was a lovely little boy and Georgia, my baby girl, completed our family. We were blissfully happy. On the morning they died Josh ran outside to give me a kiss as I left for work. As I took him back inside the house I kissed Stacey and Georgia again before I went. I'm glad I did."
Andrew has already raised £12,000 towards his £20,000 target.
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He added: "The first few weeks after the crash passed by in a blur of shock and grief, feelings which, at times, still completely overwhelm me and which I struggle to put into words.
"I have, of course, had the unwavering support of family and friends, who have done more for me than I could begin to thank them for. But they have also had their own pain to deal with, which is one of the reasons I turned to Cruse for help.
"Their counsellors have continued to be a source of strength, and I decided I wanted to give something back to the charity that had given me so much.
"The other reason I'm doing the marathon is that it gives me a focus, something to strive towards when, at times, there seems very little left to strive for."
Joining Andrew in the marathon are 21 of his friends and neighbours including Dorian Turner and Richard Davies.
"Having something positive to concentrate on has helped me get through the past six months, particularly when significant dates come and go," Andrew said. "In June it was my fifth wedding anniversary, Father's Day and my son's third birthday.
"All the days you look forward to so much suddenly become something to dread. Sometimes it feels as if my life is running in reverse.
"Running has given me a purpose and helps quiet demons at night which say my life has become irrelevant because I've lost everything that mattered to me.
"Sometimes grief for all that I've lost and longing for my family to be with me again, and for things to be back as they were, makes it feel as if I'm running with a ton weight on my shoulders. Sometimes I feel like giving up and walking home, but then a song will come on my iPod that reminds me of Stacey, or that meant something to the both of us and I keep going.
"This has been, and continues to be, an incredibly emotional journey for all of us, one which won't end at the finish line in September. Nothing will bring my family back but by raising money and running this marathon we will be keeping their memory alive and secure funds for Cruse.
"For every minute I will have Stacey, Josh and Georgia in my heart and mind. I know they will help me finish the race and I hope I can find a way to go on afterwards without them."
# Lorry driver James Wingfield admitted responsibility for the crash which claimed the lives of Stacey, Joshua and Georgia Gitsham. He apologised and pleaded guilty to causing the deaths by dangerous driving at Peterborough Crown Court last month where Judge Neil McKittrick warned him a prison sentence was likely.
INFORMATION: Fifty per cent of the money raised by Andrew will go directly to the Huntingdon branch of Cruse with the remainder going to national branches of Cruse. Anyone wishing to sponsor Andrew can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/gitsham. Or donations can be sent marked Team Gitsham to Cruse Bereavement Care, Central Office, Cruse House, 126 Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1UR.