In a poignant tribute to her late husband, to mark what would have been their 10th wedding anniversary next week, Belfast singer/songwriter Bap Kennedy's widow Brenda is to launch a previously unheard recording in aid of Marie Curie.
Heartbreakingly, the couple had planned to renew their wedding vows in Paris to mark their 10th wedding anniversary on October 1.Instead Brenda will announce details of the launch of a fundraising EP featuring a special recording by herself and Bap of their version of the hit song, Love Hurts. The EP will then be released on the second anniversary of Bap's death from cancer in the Marie Curie hospice on November 1.
Brenda and Bap's sister, Marian Bunton, are to jointly cover the costs of making this very special limited edition CD. The song will also be available to download. Every penny will go to Marie Curie who looked after both Bap and Brenda in the last two-and-a-half-months of his life.
Bap was on a concert tour when he took ill in May 2016.He was admitted to hospital with severe stomach pains and just a day later was told he had pancreatic and bowel cancer. He went through major surgery only to be told his cancer was terminal.
He was admitted to Marie Curie Hospice where he and Brenda shared a room together for the last two months of his life. Brenda was by his side when he passed away on November 1.
It has been a tough two years for her without her soul-mate and she has spent much of the past year shut off from the world to try and make sense of her loss.
This weekend she should have been packing a suitcase and looking forward to marking her anniversary with a romantic trip to Paris. However, she believes the EP is a fitting way to remember Bap and what should have been a special time for him.
She says: "Bap had plans for our anniversary. Some years ago we went to Paris. We had great memories of that trip and he always said we would go back for our 10th wedding anniversary and renew our vows.
"The first year after he died I was very busy and in the past year I have come offline completely as I just felt I needed to be alone to grieve.
"I remember Bap talking about the healing power of music and I couldn't lift my bass guitar because I played it with Bap, so I lifted his guitar and it made me feel closer to him and has helped me to heal.
"We both loved to write songs and in the summer I came across a recording we did in 2009 of Love Hurts which I had forgotten about.
"At first it knocked me right back emotionally as it caught me completely off guard but then I thought of how we loved singing together and all the happy memories.
"I asked myself 'What would Bap want me to do it?' and I thought he would want me to get that song out there.
"It just grew from there and the more I thought about it, the more sense it made and it has made me feel really close to Bap.
"I always feel that he is with me anyway but I thought it would be good to announce it on October 1 to celebrate our anniversary and then launch it on November 1 on the second anniversary of his death."
Brenda plans to issue just 500 copies of the EP which will feature other songs yet to be confirmed.
Bap's sister Marian, who has raised funds for Marie Curie in his memory, has come on board to help cover costs so that the charity will benefit from every penny received from sales.
Brenda adds: "Marie Curie was fantastic. I could never forget what they did for me and Bap. We lived in the Hospice for the last two and a half months of his life and they were like family, they just couldn't have been kinder and I could never thank them enough."
Read at Belfast Telegraph