“I thought being jilted at the altar was bad but it didn't come close to this heartbreak," the woman said as a wave of grief struck her.
It takes all your strength and might to get over having your heart shattered into pieces by someone you loved and trusted enough to want to spend the rest of your life with them. But right when you think you're getting back on your feet, fate can be cruel and make you experience something even more tragic.
Katy Colins had spent about eight years in a relationship with a man she truly loved, Thom Soutter and for so long, she pictured her entire future and family with him. They had planned a beautiful wedding together, putting so much effort and more than $25,300 (£20,000) into it. Blissfully happy and unaware that Thom was cheating on her behind her back.
“When she came home, Thom had decided he couldn’t go through with the wedding and needed to come clean because marriage just wasn’t going to work for both of them," a source told The Sun. “She got home and Thom had all his things packed and was ready to leave."
“I was in shock and disbelief,” Katy told Cosmopolitan UK. “The wedding planning was in full force so it just felt like some strange dream. When I realised that he was serious and that everything we'd planned was not going to happen - not just the wedding day itself but our lives together, our future children - I was completely heartbroken.”
Thom not only walked out on their relationship, but he had also abandoned the future Katy pictured for them. “It felt like a strange sort of grief, as if I was grieving for the past 9 years of happy memories, the loss of our future selves and the hopes and dreams I thought we had together,” Katy said.
Struck with grief, Katy was left she decided to change her life completely and she went on to travel the world, authored the series called The Lonely Hearts Travel Club, and develop her blog, www.notwedordead.com. She even fell in love once again and got married to John Siddle, the first journalist to cover her story. Soon, they welcomed their first child, Everleigh Grace.
But as her life started becoming normal again after being abandoned as a bride-to-be, she suffered something much worse when her father, Colin Gough had collapsed while he was out with Everleigh.
"It was just a normal day. Dad was going to mind Everleigh because I had a deadline coming up," Katy said, according to Mirror. “He said that he felt a bit jittery that morning."
When she spoke to him that day, she had no idea that it would be the last conversation she would ever have with her father. "He insisted that he was fine to mind Everleigh. 'She's my tonic' he told me before he left. He really adored her." The father was so close to his daughter and granddaughter and Katy couldn't imagine life without him.
“I gave him a hug in the kitchen and held him a bit longer than usual and said 'have a good day. See you later.' I didn't know then that I'd never see him alive again," she went on to say.
In just a short while from that moment, she had frantic calls and even a visit from the police informing her that her father had fallen in the park while pushing Everleigh in her pushchair. “Dad must have cut himself in the fall as we later found blood on the pushchair cover," Katy said.
They found Everleigh a few hours later in the blood-stained pram. But her father passed away before making it to the hospital. Katy said, “I thought being jilted at the altar was bad but it didn't come close to this heartbreak... When I heard that he had died I collapsed and heard this animal noise and realised that it was me; sobbing on the hall floor, desperate for this to be a sick joke."
“I thought being jilted at the altar was bad but it didn't come close to this heartbreak," she said. The unexpected death of her father wasn't something she was able to cope with. “I’d only seen him five hours earlier, laughing at the baby burping, showering her with kisses and hugging me in his kitchen. My brain kept telling me that there must be a mistake. He can't be gone," she said. "My brother and I clung to each other in the minefield of grown-up decisions... How do you even begin to plan a funeral for someone who you can’t believe is never coming back?"
Having a baby to look after was one of the things that kept her from going overboard. “I kept her alive and she kept me alive during that time."
She realized that expecting to get over someone's death and move on with their life after the funeral is "toxic" and it made her wish that people would talk about grief more. “Grief is the last taboo subject... you're expected to just get on with life again after the funeral which is toxic," Katy said. "Grief is a blanket that will one day cover us all and we need to be able to talk about loss and our own mortality. There's both beauty and darkness in it. And it's empowering. It reminds you that you can't change your past but you can change your future."
The painful experience showed her how unexpected death can be. “Dad was 62. He had recently retired, he was learning Italian and had all these grand plans about building a new life. He was the happiest and healthiest I've seen him in years," she added. “His death taught me that you don't know when your time's up so don't wait around for the things you want to happen."
From seeing him three or four times a week, she now has to cope with never being able to see him ever again. Everleigh, too, will have to grow up with her grandfather doting on her anymore. Katy said, “She’s too little to remember anything from that day but I desperately never want to forget how both their faces lit up when they were together and how he was her best friend and was with her at the end.”