I’m so very sad to say that Helen passed away on Sunday 11th June 2017.

Before she passed away we discussed her blog. Helen loved the idea of me contributing to it after she’d gone. So, here I am. I won’t be able to match her exciting stories or journalistic skills but I hope I can let some of the spirit of her List for Living continue.

Here’s one of my favourite photos of the two of us. It’s a selfie we took after Helen’s 44th Birthday party. The party had been a great success. Helen had chosen a gold theme and the house was decorated with helium balloons in the living room and gold pineapples in the fruit bowl. Helen introduced me to many of her friends and family, and everyone had a great time.


After the last guest had gone home, we sat on the sofa, both tired out. Helen wanted to take a selfie. I grumbled – I’d already changed out of my party clothes and I’m not the most photo happy person at the best of times– but I agreed.

What I like best about this photo is that Helen wanted to capture the whole feeling of that moment: after the party, the two of us, just being with each other. We were both so happy and completely in love.

Helen was caring, loving and kind, and I will always treasure our time together. She inspired me with her laugh, her jokes, hugs and smiles.

Goodbye Helen, I love you.


Donations to Helen’s favourite charity, Ovarian Cancer Action, will be warmly received.  I’m sure even the smallest donation will lead to better treatment and care, and in turn allow victims of the disease to live happier, zestful lives, like Helen’s. this tribute page allows you to donate as well as adding any tributes. http://helen.redfern.muchloved.com/

As regular followers of this blog will know, Helen’s achievements were inspirational. The BBC have done a wonderful article which covers her work and this blog: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40290563

20 thoughts on “

  1. Oh…so very sad. Have followed her blog for a long time. Thinking of you and all her friends and family x

  2. Too many good people taken far too soon. Helen was inspirational and that is a beautiful picture of you both. Sincere condolences on your loss. Look forward to reading your musings when you feel ready

  3. Rest peacefully Helen, your spirit through the words on your blog will inspire a very long time. I admire your honesty and courage through your journey….

  4. I followed Helen’s news for a long time, and am so sad to hear that she has passed away. Helen was so inspirational. My sincerest condolences to you

  5. So sad to hear the news of Helen’s passing. Deepest sympathy to you and all her family and friends. She has been inspirational to lots of people and will live on in our hearts.

  6. Dear Luke. Thank you for your lovely words. Helen really was an inspiration. She’ll be missed by many. Sending you and her family my very best wishes.

  7. I followed Helen’s story for a long time and I am so so sorry to hear this sad news. The photo of you both is beautiful and you were so lucky to have found and loved each other. As others have said, Helen was a total inspiration and will never be forgotten. Sending my very best wishes to you and her family and friends..

  8. So very sorry to hear of Helen’s passing. I’m rather shocked even though I knew she had been suffering ill health for some time now.

    My deepest condolences to everyone who loved her.

  9. I have been following Helen’s story for quite sometime now. I always loved her positive, heartfelt, warming posts giving hope to so many. Thank you Helen for sharing your journey you are an inspiration to the world. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. She will live on through all of you….what am amazing lady. RIP dear Helen thank you once again for making the world a brighter place….heaven is so lucky to have you ❤️Xxxx

  10. Helen will be missed. Her blogs were always an inspiration. God bless her.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this post with us. I’ve been a long-time follower of Helen’s blog and find her to be such an inspiration. x

  12. Luke, I am very glad and it is so very fitting that you have written this. You write beautifully and the photograph speaks volumes about your love for one another. We met and spoke at a party in Helen’s garden just before you two became an item. She had told me, with a twinkle in her eye, that she had met someone, that she’d invited him to the party and that she was hoping…I was so happy when her wish came true. Gill x

  13. Thank you Luke for letting us know of Helen’s passing. When I saw Helen’s news of your marriage & the wedding photos, I knew she had found the greatest gift on her list for living! The photo of the two of you after her birthday party exudes love & contentment. She was truly a brave, strong woman whose enthusiasm & zest for life during her trips & adventures in between chemo treatments inspired me greatly! May you, her family & friends find comfort & peace in the memories you shared & in the remarkable life she lead.

  14. so sad for all her close friends, the bible says “it is appointed men once to die….” and we are all vulnerable to this mortality. I pray that the Supreme God of the Universe will comfort you all. Ed

  15. My condolences to you Like and all of Helen’s family. Her life was an inspiration. May you be comforted by precious memories.

  16. Hi Luke,

    We’ve never met unfortunately. But I met Helen in the 2000s in Ukraine when I was often there as a journalist. I, like so many others, instantly liked her because of her friendliness, sense of humour & her enormous spirit of generosity. She was always ready to help other journos with intelligent background info, contacts & advice. Her reporting on Ukraine was excellent & many here are sad about her death. Her journalism from everywhere she went was of a high order & bore her unique character. I have followed her FB reports for a number of years & was happy she found somebody like you – it’s clear you enriched each others lives immensely. I haven’t lived in the UK for many years & have lived in the US since 2011 thus I haven’t had the opportunity to meet her for many years. But the times I did spend, nattering to her over food & drink, I remember fondly & as a privilege. Thinking of you at this difficult time, Askold (Krushelnycky)

  17. My thoughts are with you. As a follower of Helen she will be missed. But thank you for carrying on her wishes and life x

  18. I have followed Helen for many years tho had never met her. I went to her photography exhibition and followed many of the interests she enthused about. I was so sorry to see she had died and felt I had lost a friend. My heart goes out to all her true friends and family but of course mostly to you Luke. I am sure the love you shared and your wonderful memories will carry you through the bad times, I know from experience it gets worse before it begins to get better but you will carry that love with you for the rest of your life. Thank you for carrying on with this blog … it was a delight to see it in my inbox … especially as it was what Helen wanted. I am so sorry for your loss

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