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Never forgotten – Ralph names rose in celebration of his late husband

Saturday 6 April 2019

“Brian was a sweet, gorgeous, generous person who is sorely missed.”

Ralph Lucas, 53, has made a lasting floral tribute to his husband Brian Blythe who sadly passed away from cancer of the gall bladder on 22 May 2018 – just two months after the couple married.

Caption: Brian (left) and husband Ralph (right) at Brian's 75th birthday celebrations

Brian (left) and husband Ralph (right) at Brian’s 75th birthday celebrations

Brian, 76, was cared for by St Barnabas House and a percentage of all sales of the rose will be donated to the Worthing-based hospice.

Ralph said: “Brian loved many things – one of which was nature – especially flowers. I became aware of the option to name a new rose breed before it became commercially available, through internationally renowned rose breeder, Keith Jones.

“We decided to call the rose ‘Our Brian’. Of all the roses available for naming – this rose was the one that had the strongest scent and Brian always appreciated flowers that had a nice perfume.”

After a stay in hospital, Brian was referred to the In-patient Unit at St Barnabas House on 14 May 2018, having previously received support from the hospice’s Community Palliative Care Team at the couple’s home in Worthing.

Ralph said: “The night Brian arrived at St Barnabas he was very weak, but so happy and relieved to be away from the hospital. The nurses were cheery and positive and I remember he jokingly said to me “what did I think of our new home?” – he loved his room and view to the garden.”

For Ralph it was a very painful period, made a little more bearable by the warmth and support of the expert hospice care team who he said “accepted me as Brian’s partner and never made me feel unwelcome.”

'Our Brian' rose

Ralph adds: “It meant a lot that I could stay overnight with Brian – sleeping on the spare bed so I could feel closer to him during this time.

“It’s the small acts of kindness you always remember – being offered coffee and biscuits and us sharing jokes with the nurses

“These are the reasons why part of the proceeds from the sale of the rose will go towards supporting St Barnabas House – as a thank you for their personalised care, kindness and continued support. The counselling I was offered from the hospice after Brian passed away has been exceptionally helpful and much appreciated.”

Visit jonestherose.co.uk/516-our-brian-wek-x965-1.html to view the rose ‘Our Brian’ which is available for £12.50.