Mum reveals she suffered a double heartbreak when her husband and new fiancé died

A mum suffered a double heartbreak when her husband and new fiancé both died within just four years of each other.

Liz Sims, 43, from Bridgend, South Wales, first suffered tragedy when her husband Paul killed himself in the garage of their family home.

NHS nurse Liz overcame her grief to find new love and became engaged to fiancé Matt King.

But she could only watch as Matt died in a motorcycle crash with an army tank as the couple were riding on a country road.

Liz Sims (pictured), 43, from Bridgend, South Wales, suffered a double heartbreak when her husband and new fiance both died within just four years of each other

Liz Sims (pictured), 43, from Bridgend, South Wales, suffered a double heartbreak when her husband and new fiance both died within just four years of each other.

NHS nurse Liz overcame her grief to find new love and became engaged to fiance Matt King (pictured, together)

NHS nurse Liz overcame her grief to find new love and became engaged to fiance Matt King (pictured, together)

Despite her double tragedy brave Liz wants to help people to overcome ‘the darkness’ and use herself as an example for others.

‘It’s not easy, it’s a struggle, and the dark days still have the ability to consume you,’ she explained.

‘But in that darkness I have found a fight and more passion than I thought possible. I want to leave my children and family a bucket full of happy memories.’

Liz told how she watched as Matt was struck by the tank when they were riding together on a Sunday afternoon.

Despite her double tragedy brave Liz wants to help people to overcome 'the darkness' and use herself as an example for others. Pictured, celebrating at the finish line with running partner Steve James

Despite her double tragedy brave Liz wants to help people to overcome ‘the darkness’ and use herself as an example for others. Pictured, celebrating at the finish line with running partner Steve James

Liz could only watch as Matt (pictured) died in a motorcycle crash with an army tank as the couple were riding on a country road

Liz could only watch as Matt (pictured) died in a motorcycle crash with an army tank as the couple were riding on a country road

She said: ‘The roads were quite windy but I wasn’t really feeling it and I didn’t know why. I told Matt through the headset to go on in front after we got through the twisty bends and I would just follow him.

‘The road straightened out and we had this beautiful open road ahead. I could see an Army tank coming at a junction and it just didn’t stop. It cut across our road and just took Matt out.’

She said the tank driver, a Dutch solider on a training exercise, was already out of the vehicle and tending to Matt.

‘I could see the terrified look in his face,’ she explained. ‘I went to pieces on the side of the road. It was awful.’

Liz threw herself into running and entered a half marathon to give her a goal. Pictured, during a competition

Liz threw herself into running and entered a half marathon to give her a goal. Pictured, during a competition

Liz said Matt (pictured) helped her to move on following Paul's death but when Matt died she initially found herself in a dark place

Liz said Matt (pictured) helped her to move on following Paul’s death but when Matt died she initially found herself in a dark place

The couple had been engaged for 10 weeks when Matt died in hospital in March 2016 leaving her two children Fern, 19, and Jake, 18, also devastated.

She said Matt had supported her following the death of husband Paul in 2012 after he hanged himself at home.

She said: ‘At the time it felt like suicide in Bridgend was the norm. It kind of felt like it was all we were hearing. It seemed to be one after the other.’

‘I’m quite a positive person. I knew if I dwelt on it I would go down a deep hole and I didn’t want to do that.’

Liz said Matt helped her to move on following Paul’s death but when Matt died she initially found herself in a dark place.

She said: ‘In the days after Matt I didn’t cope. I didn’t leave home and my daughter basically did all the cooking and cleaning. Life had become really dark.

Liz (pictured) said that running was her 'saving grace' and said it was like her 'therapy'

Liz (pictured) said that running was her ‘saving grace’ and said it was like her ‘therapy’

Since Matt's death Liz (pictured, with running partner Steve James) has gone on to complete her nursing qualifications and competed in ultra marathons including a 100-mile race last month where she raised more the £1,000 for charity

Since Matt’s death Liz (pictured, with running partner Steve James) has gone on to complete her nursing qualifications and competed in ultra marathons including a 100-mile race last month where she raised more the £1,000 for charity

‘Matt had gone. He was more than a friend. I had known him all my life and our dreams had just come true. We were going to be a complete family, I guess, with my two and James, Matt’s son. I didn’t know how I was going to pull myself out of it.

‘Jake had sunk too and, hearing his sobs, I suddenly thought I couldn’t carry on like I was otherwise I was going to take them both with me and I didn’t want them to live like that.

Eventually Liz threw herself into running and entered a half marathon to give her a goal.

‘I had a focus, I was doing something that was moving forward,’ she explained. ‘It was my saving grace, my therapy if you like.’

Since Matt’s death Liz has gone on to complete her nursing qualifications and competed in ultra marathons including a 100-mile race last month where she raised more the £1,000 for charity.

She added: ‘My family and friends think I am absolutely crazy but they understand that my past is what drives me forward.

‘I’ve been to darker places in my life. I often wonder if I had lost Matt first would I have thought about ending my life? You do think: ‘Would I, could I?’ It was an awful time and it did make me think. But having lost Paul I knew I could never do that.

‘I would just advocate that others who are in the darkness to find their sunflower, find something that makes them search for the sunshine and not sit in the darkness.’

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