It is with the greatest sadness that we learnt of the passing of our much-loved former East Sheen neighbour Marco Martinez. His widow Michelle asked us to share the sad news with our local community as they are now living in France. There will be a celebration of his life in early Spring in East Sheen/Richmond where everyone who has known Marco is welcome to come along and share their memories. The following tribute was written by Michelle.
On Friday evening, my darling husband Marco died suddenly.
Since then I have received a tidal wave of love from far and wide, messages and kindnesses that confirm to me what I already knew – everyone loved Marco. Even when he drove them mad. Thank you for sending me, Bertie, Hannah and Jack so much warmth when we need it most.
I have tried to let as many of you know as I can by calling you individually and sending texts and messages, but I can’t seem to get the news out fast enough. And as the news spreads everyone wants to speak to me, because to do so is to reconnect with Marco. I’m not ignoring any of you, I just can’t respond to everyone right now, but I promise that I shall.
And so, inappropriate as it may be to some, I am giving some of you this very sad news via Social Media so that everyone who connects with him can know as soon as possible. This would not of course be inappropriate to Marco who loved Social Media and whose voice has been nagging in my head since Saturday morning.
‘Michelle. Have you put me on Facebook yet?’
‘Darling, if you don’t get it up soon, it’ll be old news and nobody will be interested.’
‘Michelle. Someone will beat you to it.’
‘Darling. Have you done it yet?’
So, as ever, I am indulging him and doing what he wants.
‘Yes Marco. I heard. Facebook.’
We’ve been together for over 31 years and I am speeding through reels and reels of memories in my mind’s eye to grasp special ones to share, but it’s proving as impossible as trying to catch leaves falling from a tree on a windy Autumn day. There are so many. How can I choose one as the special one above all to share with you now? These memories will nourish me through the darkest of times.
Charismatic, funny and empathetic Marco could make anyone feel special and fill them with self-belief and confidence – no-one more than me. Every day he would at some time or other catch me completely unaware and tell me that I looked gorgeous. And even though what he said varied little, every time it sounded fresh and new, as if he’d just made a marvelous new discovery. And I would go out into the World knowing that whatever shit came flying in my direction, it would be OK because MY husband thought I was gorgeous.
And that was all I needed. To be loved by Marco. I could do anything. Because Marco said I could. I was beautiful. Because Marco said so. I was brilliant. Because Marco told everyone I was. He had the best wife. The best daughter. The best son. And of course above all – the best dog.
But as is so often the way he gave the gifts to others that he so desperately craved himself. No matter how happy we were as a family, he still struggled so much with self-doubt and his demons. We loved him and we tried to help him but we couldn’t make him better. At last the demons have now flown and he is at peace. And if our sadness is the price we have to pay for his relief then I for one will willingly pay it.
We are having a small funeral for him on Tuesday – just Hannah, Jack and me, a few dear friends and loved ones and the wonderful people from our new village of Flamarens, which we intended to be our forever home. There will be a celebration of his life on a Saturday in early Spring at a venue in East Sheen/Richmond where absolutely everyone who has ever known Marco is welcome to come along and share their memories. More details will follow in the coming weeks.
Marco will be cremated and laid to rest in the graveyard in the village, near the chateau and ancient church. It’s on our morning walk route, so Bertie and me can go and see him every day. And should I ever leave, I shall take Marco with me. We will be together always.
PS So many of you have asked if you can help me. So I’m asking. If anyone can get this message to his Twitter followers, his business contacts, old school friends, work colleagues or anyone else you can think would want to know, I’d be grateful. Thanks x