Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email When Sally Langdown married for a second time she didn't have to change her name - or even her mother-in-law. Her new husband Mark was her first husband Nigel's younger brother and had been best man at their wedding a decade earlier. Here, housewife Sally, 45, and estate agent Mark, 46, from Andover, Hampshire, tell us how they fell in love only months after Nigel's tragic death from cystic fibrosis.
Staff aren't supposed to date the patients - but Nigel was a regular and everybody knew him. We married three years later and then had the children Tom and Ben, now 21 and Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. To fight it, Nigel kept fit and did a lot of body building and power lifting to help his breathing. But in the last couple of years he went downhill pretty fast.
Sufferers of cystic fibrosis get chest infections all the time and, in the end, it just got worse. In January Nigel was very ill with a virus on top of his normal chest infection and spent six weeks in hospital. By the end of it he was exhausted and weighed just seven stone. His mum had a place in Spain and suggested she take him on holiday to recuperate while I stayed at home with the children.
Nigel went away for a month and slowly got better. But then suddenly he died on the day he was due back.
We hadn't seen him for a month - it was horrible. He was 32 when he died. I was absolutely torn apart. Nigel had been incredibly close to his brother Mark. We both took his death hard. And then after Mark's wife left him later that year he also had some understanding of what it's like to lose a partner. We began to spend more time together because Mark had his boys at the weekend and they got on with my two, their cousins.
He'd come over and have a glass of wine or I'd cook. We were companions, but more friends than anything. One night I managed to get a babysitter and Mark asked me to come over to his house. We had a drink and a good laugh. Then he kissed me. There were so many things to consider - mainly the children.
We both knew there was more to it than just a snog. I kept wondering what Nigel would think. It was confusing and worrying but my overall feeling was he would have been happy about it. When he was ill, Nigel always fretted that a stranger would play Daddy to his kids after he died.
Who better to take that role than his own brother? Within six months of our first kiss, Mark and I confessed we were in love with each other. I'd never looked at him that way when I was with Nigel so it was a shock to the system. As brothers they're alike, of course, with similar skin and hair colouring.
They also both love their children - and me. Everybody asks if there was something going on before Nigel died - and all I can say is no. We were terrified of what his parents would think but thankfully they were totally supportive. It took the kids a while to get their heads round it but with the understanding of our friends and family, we were able to make it work. Mark and I now have two children, Hannah who was born in and Billy who arrived in Then overnight, when she was born, they called him Daddy.
After we had Hannah, Mark and I decided to get married. At the second wedding I heard this peculiar noise. Then I realised it was me blubbering. I glanced around and everybody was crying tears of joy. It was like something out of a fairytale.
I sobbed and cried through the whole thing. Even now, it always raises eyebrows whenever I explain that at one time Mark was also my brother-in-law. We both miss Nigel terribly but life has to go on. I'm sure he's smiling down on us and Mark and I are very much in love. I know Nigel would be pleased to see both of us happy now. Sally was my sister-in-law, the mother of my nephews and daughter-in-law to my parents. We had just gone through a bereavement and my marriage had broken up.
Is she just looking for a friendly shoulder? And what sort of effect is this going to have on our kids? I know Sally went through all the same questions in her head. I'd invited her around for supper one night only months after Mark's death - I think I cooked pepper steak. We were just laughing and joking and I suddenly thought: I realised I felt a warmth towards her which wasn't there before. Whether it was body language or our interaction, I don't know - but I just knew she felt the same.
I kissed her and then we both knew. We tried to keep it under wraps for a good six months but eventually people started to notice. At a family wedding anniversary party, people were thinking there was definitely something going on between us. Sally has always got on with my parents really well and we told them about us after six months.
My mother liked Sally because she had cared for her sick son. Mum had looked after Nigel for odd years and was very appreciative that someone was prepared to step into her shoes. I first met Sally at Nigel's bedside when she was nursing him. He was 18 months older than me and spent regular periods in hospital because of his health. She was a trainee nurse. I remember my brother telling me about this very attractive nurse on the ward The next thing I knew they were courting, living together and then getting married - and I was best man.
I thought Sally was very pretty. A lot of people used to say that she looked like Princess Diana but she was my sister-in-law and that was it. Nigel and Sally went on to have two children and I got married a year or so after them and had two kids, too.
My brother and I were very close and I helped him a lot because of his health. We'd talked about the possibility of his death - there was a good chance he would die before me - and he always asked me to look after Sally and the boys. Then my wife left me in November so I had a double whammy in a six-month period. It left me feeling pretty isolated. I worked in Andover and Sally lived in Andover with the boys. After Nigel died I'd check they were OK on the way home from work.
When my wife left me I found myself sat at home on my own. Then friends began to ring and ask me to go out with them. But when I got there I'd find a single stray female who someone had decided would be compatible with me.
So I caught them out one day and brought along Sally, who was delighted to get out of the house. It was as squeaky clean as you like. I had no intentions of anything.
Even after my wife went I never thought I'd get together with Sally. She was still my brother's wife as far as I was concerned. But we went out and really enjoyed each other's company. So I took her out again and again When we tell people how we got together, the reactions are mixed.
Some start to well up and say "how lovely" with tears in their eyes, others ask if it's legal! The thing I find insulting is when people question if something took place before Nigel's death. But we were single when we got together.
Now Sally and I have an incredibly strong bond and our story can give people hope that some good can come out of tragedy. Like us on Facebook.