Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Twitter
Reverend Richard Coles has shared that his husband David died of alcoholism.
The Strictly Come Dancing star announced David's death in December 2019, saying he'd "been ill for a while" but stopping short of revealing what the illness was.
"I’m very sorry to say that @RevDavidColes has died," he said on Twitter at the time. "He had been ill for a while.
"Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at @KettGeneral. Funeral details to follow. 'The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended'."
I’m very sorry to say that @RevDavidColes has died. He had been ill for a while. Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at @KettGeneral. Funeral details to follow. “The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended”. pic.twitter.com/usvLDIBDv7— Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) December 17, 2019
However, in The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss, Coles confirms alcohol was the cause of David's death.
"It was really, really tough"
In the memoir, radio presenter Coles explains: "It was really, really tough to see somebody you love destroy himself.
"It is like someone is drowning and you throw them a lifebelt but they are just not taking the lifebelt. And I did try everything I could think of to help him stop drinking, and in fairness to him he did try too, but it was too much for him.
New book’s arrived. pic.twitter.com/VM4f8MfO3l— Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) March 17, 2021
"The second thing is, it is just very awkward, especially if you are a vicar and you are meant to be unflappable and perfect and my life was not and is not perfect and I wasn’t unflappable when David’s drinking was at its worst."
Coles goes on to add: "I often think if someone dies of drink as people used to say, that people filed them under a sort of tragic, squalid death. David was so much more than that.
"I wanted to get a sense of why David was so important to those who loved him before we got to a discussion of what killed him."
The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss is on sale from today (1 April 2021).