Woman receives beautiful gift from her partner two months after his death
Danielle Cumberworth and Ashley Grant-Smith first met while on holiday in Crete in 2015, and the couple immediately hit it off. When they returned back to England, they decided to start up a relationship, even though they weren't living in the same city. Before long, they had got engaged to marry, but things took a tragic turn.
Ashley found a lump on his neck, and after a blood test soon found he had a rare form of blood cancer. The couple moved in together, while Ashley underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the next few months: treatments that were unfortunately unsuccessful. They were planning to get married at his parents' home in Leicester, but Ashley never made it to their wedding day.
In fact, Danielle was at the Leicester Registry Office sorting documents for their wedding, when her husband-to-be passed away.
Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, Danielle said:
"I went into Leicester to get the paperwork sorted. I knew Ashley had had a rough night, but I had to go to get into town to get the go-ahead for the wedding the next day.
"As soon as I stepped inside the register office, I got a call from Ashley’s dad. He told me to come back as soon as I could.
"I knew then that Ashley had died.
"When I got back to his parents’ house he was just lying there. It was awful."
However, this tragic ending had a bittersweet epilogue. Ashley, who died at the age of 27 after a two-year battle with his illness, had one last gift to give his loved one. The couple already had their wedding rings sorted but, unbeknownst to Danielle, he had also ordered an engagement ring as a surprise gift. However, it only arrived two months after his death.
"Two months after Ashley died, I got home from work and had missed a parcel being delivered. I went to the sorting office and picked it up.
"I opened it up in the car and it was an engagement ring from Ashley.
"It was total surprise. I didn’t cry, I laughed. He had not told me about it at all. It is a beautiful diamond ring in white gold."
"The ring had taken two months to get to me because he had had it specially made to his own design. I will treasure it forever, and our wedding rings that were never used."
Before Ashley passed away, the couple had been fundraising for him to go through immunotherapy later this year, raising £25,000 ($33,000) in just a few weeks. Recently, Danielle ran the London Marathon, raising money for the charity Bloodwise, in the name of the husband she lost.
"I am sad we didn’t get to say our wedding vows to each other," she said, "but I have the rings to keep."