- Publish Date
- Monday, 4 March 2019, 4:14PM
Three years ago this week Lorraine Downes lost her soulmate with the tragic death of former cricketing star Martin Crowe.
To mark the occasion, she said she would "drink red wine, listen to Michael Buble and dance - all things Marty loved."
Downes said this anniversary the pain of losing her best friend had "been replaced with a loving peacefulness and a knowing his spirit is always around me".
She has also shared for the first time a list penned by Crowe before his death - advice he believed important in life.
The list includes Crowe's belief in spirituality, the power of listening and the downfalls of ego.
Crowe was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, but after intensive chemotherapy was cancer-free a year later.
Sadly, cancer returned in 2014, and he died in early March 2016.
"The first year of Marty passing was the hardest, every first milestone, his birthday, wedding anniversary, Christmas, was very painful," she told the Herald on Sunday.
She described the time since as "a path of learning how to live on my own without Marty" and said advice Crowe gave to her before he died had helped with her grief.
"Marty is always with me spiritually, so that also has given me great strength," she said.
"Marty told me before he passed away, that I must just 'keep moving' and those two words have resonated with me every day."
Since Crowe's death, Downes, a former Miss Universe, has heeded his advice and "kept moving".
She has written a book, studied the Argentinian tango in Buenos Aires and become a passionate ambassador for Mercy Hospice - the organisation that gave her so much support when Crowe was ill.
"I help create awareness for Mercy Hospice in the community because they need $4 million a year to keep their doors open," Downes said.
"There is no time limit to having involvement and support with Mercy Hospice - their door and services are open at any time to families that have had a loved one in their care."
Downes said working through her grief had been a real process.
"It is a path that is filled with heartfelt pain at the beginning, but with time, if you allow yourself to heal that pain, your broken heart will mend, and hope and joy will enter your life again," she said.
"I have done a lot of work on processing my grief through surrounding myself with positive people who have helped me to 'keep moving' forward towards finding happiness again," she said.
Downes is comforted by letters and emails that her book "Life, Loss, Love" has helped others who have experienced loss.
"The feedback has been such a positive reinforcement of why I wanted to share my life story to date, to help and inspire others to never give up," Downes said.
"People have said that reading my book ... has given them hope in their lives with their life challenges."
She believed choosing "to have joy" in one's life was an important step in the grief process.
"Every day, find one thing that makes you smile and feel grateful for. Look at nature - a sunset, a beautiful beach, flowers ... look at the face of a smiling baby."
Crowe had his own beliefs and Downes also now shares for the first time a list of 10 things Crowe wrote before his death.
She described Crowe as the one person she could truly be herself around.
"Marty made me laugh as he was a very funny man- he was great at speaking in different accents. I miss his cheekiness and his sparkling eyes.
Ten things Martin Crowe wrote before he died:
1. LOVE: Transcends all - energy of source is the sun.
2. LISTEN: Life offers you many opportunities to listen, say nothing. Seize them all.
3. BREATHING AWARENESS: Leads you to …
4. PRAYER: Connecting to God, and higher self-maturing, growing up, not growing old.
5. ALL MOVEMENTS: Mind still, body fluent, spirit eternally spinning up to the sun.
6. RELATIONSHIPS: Balance of solitude and union - the practice of love …
7. POWER OF NOW: The moment that you are in is all that matters - again and again, eternally, infinitely.
8. EGO: The trick is to hear your authentic voice and heartbeat, not let the false ego and its judgemental way fool you …
9. WINK: See through the windows of your soul, love what you see, share back that love through that special wink, then … smile, which leads to laughter and on to love again …
10. TEN THINGS: Is of course just one thing, each needing each other, working within the divine order of love.
Source: Herald on Sunday