Q: We asked Jacqui why she decided to take the plunge?
“WAY was a Godsend for me after Paul died. It gave me something to focus on and look forward to. When he was alive, Paul was all I ever needed. He was my husband, my best friend and my soul mate. I thought I didn’t need anyone else (hindsight is a wonderful thing). When Paul died, I couldn’t really see a way forward. I was totally lost. After all, I’d been with him since I was 15 years old. Joining WAY and meeting others in a similar situation to myself made me realise I wasn’t alone There were people who understood how hard it is to make a new life after the loss of a loved one, and they gave me the support I so desperately needed. I’ve made some great friends now and enjoy going out and meeting up for a meal or just a chat. My goal was to raise £1,000 as a way to say thank you to the charity that helped give me the strength to find a different way to live my life without Paul, and helped me to find out who I am. They are truly wonderful people.”
Q: Was this your first skydive?
“Yes, it was a first for me. It’s been a lifelong ambition of mine. For years I’ve spoken about it, and Paul tried to arrange a skydive for my 40th birthday. But it never quite worked out, and then he died 14 days later...”
Q: What was it actually like when you jumped out of the aeroplane?
“Dangling out of that plane with nothing but my instructor to rely on was great – the freedom and speed you go in the free fall was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. We travelled at 180 miles an hour and then slowed to a leisurely 120 miles an hour before the parachute opened.
I was shocked at how peaceful and quiet it was once the parachute had opened, and the views were breathtaking. It was amazing...”
Q: What do you think Paul would have said?
“He would tell me how proud of me he was, how happy he was for me that my wishes had become a reality, how mad I was, give me a huge hug and kiss and then he would say: ‘I hope you enjoyed that because you’re not doing it again’!”
What advice do you have for other WAY members who are considering taking the plunge?
I would say if it’s something you’ve thought about then GOOO for it. You only live once, life’s too short and it’s such a fantastic experience.
If you’ve been inspired by Jacqui’s story and would like to raise funds for WAY through sponsored events – however big or small – all you need to do is set up an online fundraising page through Justgiving or VirginMoneyGiving
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