In the aftermath of a tragedy such as the death of a loved one many of us would crumble and struggle to carry on with every day life.
In Maureen Greaves’ case Alan, her beloved husband of 40 years was not just taken from her by illness, he was murdered in the most brutal, senseless and horrific attack imaginable on the streets of Sheffield.
As the gentle organist, who had dedicated his life to helping others made his way to St Saviour’s church on Christmas Eve 2012, he was set upon by two vicious thugs who beat him to death.
It was a tragedy which rocked the community of High Green, where the popular couple lived.
They had just set up a food bank – before they were to become common place – and a charity shop to help needy residents of High Green.
Following Alan’s death Maureen Greaves, didn’t just shut up shop.
Despite the intense glare of the media spot light and with the gruelling demands of a police investigation to cope with, she went back to her work as a Church Army evangelist and continued to help others, selflessly putting their needs ahead of her own and her grief.
It is fitting then that today the community of High Green and the church of St Saviour’s is celebrating some good news.
Maureen Greaves has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and The Star could not think of a more worthy recipient.
Mrs Greaves says when she received her letter she couldn’t understand why she was worthy of an honour from the Queen.
She even rang the Cabinet Office to check it was for her – because she says she didn’t ‘do anything out of the ordinary’.
She says helping others in pain during her heartache and grief helped her to get through the darkest days following Alan’s murder.
The world can be a harsh and difficult place in which to live.
But people like Maureen Greaves and her husband Alan restore our faith in humankind.
It is a happy outcome following a truly terrible tragedy.
This honour is well and truly deserved, it’s a fitting tribute to Alan and The Star offers Maureen, her family, friends and the community of High Green its heartfelt congratulations.
What you did was special, Maureen – even the Queen thinks so.