Embracing happiness after heartbreak

Brookfield Vale customer Pam Bryan

Following a short illness in May 2020, Pam Bryan (57) was left heartbroken when her husband of 35 years passed away.

Pam, who has lived in Manchester, for most of her life, is now preparing to relocate to her new home at Countryside’s Brookfield Vale, in Blackburn, Lancashire after meeting her new partner and unexpectedly finding happiness again.

Pam, a registered care manager said: “In 2020, as the first wave of covid hit, my husband Steven started complaining of stomach pains so I took him to hospital. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and just seven weeks later he passed away.”

Several months after losing Steven and encouraged by a close friend, Pam reluctantly joined an online dating site, where she began chatting to Pete. A friendship blossomed, and the pair started meeting for walks during lockdown restrictions. It was Pete who introduced Pam to his hometown of Blackburn, and she started to picture a new life for herself, living in the Lancashire countryside.

A lifelong dream

Pam and Steven had raised their three sons in the family home they had lived in for 23 years, and had dreamed of moving somewhere rural together once their children had left home. 

Pam continued: “I’d always wanted to move to the countryside after living in a town all my life, but the most important thing for me was that our three sons would be OK and that they’d support my decision.”

Finding joy

With her sons’ blessing, Pam started house hunting and it wasn’t long before she found her dream home, a three bedroom semi-detached Lea house at Brookfield Vale. After spending more time with Pete enjoying walks and meals out around the Blackburn area, Pam didn’t hesitate to snap up one of Countryside’s new homes when she came across them.

After growing closer, Pam has invited Pete to move into her new home as they take the next step in their relationship.

Pam said: “Moving house does feel bittersweet but I’m looking forward to the next chapter with Pete, and I’d always wanted to move to the countryside after living in a town all my life. Pete was born and bred in Blackburn, and after he introduced me to the area I fell in love with it.  It’s commutable to the motorway for work, and it has beautiful views of the Pennines on our doorstep. With two dogs between us, having a reservoir only a stone's throw away is going to be ideal for our daily walks. Although I am downsizing, the new house has plenty of space so it doesn’t feel like it.”