Gifts Of A Lifetime

23 years ago this week I got to marry the woman of my dreams at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

23 years ago this week I got to marry the woman of my dreams at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. The day was remarkable in many ways, but none more so than the snow storm that arrived just as Fiona was walking through the double doors of the cathedral, like a snow globe coming to life.

We celebrated 20 years of marriage together, and the last three years we have celebrated apart in spirit as a result of Fiona losing a battle with cancer in July 2021.

What it has taken me two and a half years to realise is that Fiona has left me with a number of gifts of a lifetime that I will forever be grateful for:

Loss of Fear of Failure – having experienced perhaps the lowest moment of my life when I lost Fiona, my perspective on failure has changed significantly. If I can survive, recover and learn to thrive from the devastating loss of a life partner and best friend, I can face any potential ‘failure’ in the future.

Loss of Fear of Risk – while I am not reckless and still take calculated risks, my sense of ‘life is short’, ‘you only live once’ and ‘what is the worst that could happen’ play a much more significant role in the way I make decisions.

Loss of Fear of Judgement – I have lived a life seeking validation and positive feedback, from family, friends and clients most of the time. Losing the only person whose opinion really mattered has released me from a fear of judgement, and I am no longer scared to share a controversial opinion, hide my ambition or take a risk that might affect my reputation / perception with others. The only exception to this rule is my desire to help my sons feel proud of me and the journey we have navigated together.

Loss of Fear of Death – the most sacred moment of my life was the day Fiona passed away, and my sons and I had the privilege of being with her at the hospice when she took her last breath. She accepted her 13 month journey of two brain surgeries, radiation therapy, huge successes and elation, and massive lows with grace and dignity, and did not complain once about the cards that had been dealt to her. Having witnessed first-hand the death of the person I loved most in this world, death no longer scares me as it is something none of us can avoid, and perhaps represents a new beginning rather than an end.

I am so grateful that I got to spend 24 years with an extraordinary woman, and to have been married to her for 20 years. She was generous in spirit in so many ways, and she continues to give me profound gifts even after her passing.


With love,



About the author

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Christopher Miller

I am passionate about helping and inspiring small business owners to create their purpose, live their values and experience success, happiness and fulfilment by owning a business they can be proud of.
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