Ali's Story


I first met Alison Mary Naomi Bertenshaw in May 1993 at Liverpool University, UK. I'd gone to stay for the weekend with my best mate Ann who lived with Ali. Ali was the first person I spoke to at the halls of residence - we recognised each other from photographs and immediately clicked!!

We got on so well, Ali told her family back in London all about me and we wrote to each other when I went back to Birmingham.

Ali had this amazing love for animals and people yet she didn't have faith in herself. She often became sad, I didn't understand why - she was beautiful, intelligent, fun to be with....she was everything a friend should be.

At 9am on OCTOBER 29TH 1993 - a date I dread every year - Ann and Ali were cycling to university. They stopped at a red traffic light. A lorry was on their right. He had a blind spot in his mirror - he only saw one cyclist. When the lights changed Ann cycled past him, Ali was behind. He wanted to turn left, they went straight on, so when He hit Ali's bike she somersaulted into the road, he then drove over her and when the cars behind went mad blowing their horns, he reversed back over her. He said he knew 'it wasn't a pot hole'!!!!

Ann didn't realise, whether she blocked it out, I don't know but she carried on going - she only realised that she had lost Ali when she reached the university. Ann identified Ali's body at the hospital.

This changed both our lives.

The grief and pain are like nothing I HAVE ever felt before or since. I am no stranger to death, but this was different. I miss Ali every single day, I long to talk to her, see her laughing and being silly. It was hard because Ann wanted to die too, she felt it was her fault that Ali had died and she hadn't - all I could say was don't you dare leave me too.

It's been five years now, but I still think of Ali. I still miss her. She was my friend and I thank God that I knew her for the short time I did, I only wish it were longer.

Ali's mum once said to me that the world was still a beautiful place - I found that so hard to believe - I see that now, but I see things differently. The person I am now is not the person I was then - how could it possibly be? Ali's mum also said that the light of her life had gone out, I feel that a part of my heart is detached, it's simply not there anymore, it went with Ali to wherever she has gone.

I will meet Ali again - I have no doubt in my mind that I will see her again.

But for now I must hold onto the memories and the grief and the longing and the anger - they are all still there but not as fresh.

People say time is a healer - time doesn't heal it just makes things easier to bear.


You can send email to Lizzie at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 10-29-93
date of post 12-17-98

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW