Grief over loss of ‘soulmate’

Maureen Greaves, widow of murdered Alan Greaves at her home in High Green, Sheffield, a week before the trial is due to start
Maureen Greaves, widow of murdered Alan Greaves at her home in High Green, Sheffield, a week before the trial is due to start
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Today, Maureen’s immaculate garden is in full bloom. Sunlight streams through the living room window and photos of the family are displayed on a bookshelf in the corner.

The bungalow was once a happy home full of people, laughter and music, but now the quiet is palpable.

Maureen finds solace in tending the garden, but every day is full of tears.

“The pain I have felt has been immense,” she said.

“I have been overwhelmingly lonely at the loss of Alan.

“My days have been filled getting on with my work for the Church Army and living as best I can.

“Work has helped me tremendously. It has helped me focus so I’ve not been at home crying.

“But my day is still full of tears and the piano has fallen quiet.

“Our lives were wrapped up in each other’s. 
“He really was my soulmate.”

The couple were married in April 1972 when Maureen was 21 and Alan 26, after meeting while on a Sheffield Council Childcare course.

They have four children – Alison, Emma, Peter and Martin – and two grandchildren, Inaccio and Marta, both five.

In an emotional eulogy at his funeral, Maureen described Alan as a ‘truly beautiful man’.

“Alan bought me my last bunch of flowers on Christmas Eve morning,” she said.

“When I went to thank Alan and give him a kiss, he said ‘I love you so much Maureen, so much, and I’m so glad that I married you’.

But it was not just their love for each other which cemented their relationship - they were bound by their shared Christian faith.

Maureen said: “Our faith was a big part of our married life and we believed in it.

“For us, Alan died on Christmas Eve.

“He was attacked on the very night he was going to church to celebrate the arrival of Jesus Christ the Saviour of the World.

“When Alan died, I knew he was in heaven with Jesus whom he had loved and served all of his life.”