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Retired Rainham firefighter publishes book about his life experiences

Russell Webb with a copy of his book ‘Love Beyond Love.’

A retired Rainham firefighter has written a book reflecting on his experiences.

Russell Webb, who now lives in Suffolk, suffered an accident at work – then later lost his wife, Sharon and both his parents within two years.

The 54-year-old met Sharon in 2014. She was diagnosed with breast cancer two years later and sadly passed away, aged 50, in 2018.

‘Love Beyond Love’ is his personal, love story which includes the very first date with his wife, through to her last breath.

The author, who spent nearly 30 years as a firefighter in the London Fire Brigade, decided to put pen to paper when he was suffering a real low point.

Russell said: “Just over four years ago, I was sitting on a beach in Turkey. It was two months after I’d lost my wife, Sharon to breast cancer. She died on 3 September 2018.

“I needed time to get away so I went to Turkey, it was on her birthday which was 17 November.

“I was sitting on the beach and I was all over the place to be perfectly honest, didn’t know whether I was coming or going and totally lost in my thoughts. I was scared and frightened. Frightened that I’d forget things, forget the good times we had together and all the special memories so I decided to put pen to paper and scribble a few notes down here and there.

“And basically over the next two years, my words became paragraphs and sentences and it slowly evolved into a book.

“I talk about my childhood from when I was born, right the way through to meeting Sharon, up to when I finished writing the book which was in September last year.”

Russell Webb with his late wife, Sharon

“Writing about the diagnosis, writing about her death was quite hard and to relive those memories.

“But it was also quite nice to relive some of the nice memories – like the wedding proposal.

“I proposed to Sharon in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York in 2015 and that was really nice to relive those special times.

“I had to write about the sad times aswell. Loosing Sharon, her funeral, I wrote about that too because at the end of the day that’s the reality of cancer.”

Any profits that Russell makes from the book he wants to give to cancer and firefighter charities.

“The Firefighters charity really helped myself, Sharon and the family. They offered us recuperation breaks and they’re still there today to support me, right up until the day I die.

“I’m forever grateful to them for what they’ve done and to cancer charities aswell – so that’s my intention, any money I get from the sale of it will go to charity.”

The book was published on Wednesday, 30 November.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

 

 

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