Melanie Verwoerd issues statement to mark one year anniversary of Gerry Ryan death.

Released through the Press Association, Ms Verwoerd said: “I feel extremely blessed to love and have been loved by Gerry. It was an extraordinary privilege to have shared the last years of his life with him. Even though it was a very difficult time for him, we shared so much happiness, contentedness and fun.
“The 30th of April will always be filled with horrific memories and sadness for me – as it will be for all those who loved Gerry. However, I also want to remember the happy times and above all the great man that Gerry was – funny, clever, generous, kind and gentle. His insistence on living life to the full meant that he gave himself completely to everything and all that he came in contact with – leaving no one untouched.
“On this anniversary of his death, my heart goes out to all those who loved Gerry, but in particular to the children that shared his life. He was a great father figure not only to his five children but also to my two children. I know that they all miss him beyond description.
“Just over a year ago I pointed out a cherry blossom tree in full bloom to Gerry. I reminded him that even in the darkest times there is beauty around us and I assured him that the horrible time he was going through will also pass. Then we made a promise: next spring when the cherry tree flowers again, we will have champagne under the tree, laugh about the difficult times of 2010 and celebrate a new future. He died two days later.
“Over the last few weeks the tree has been flowering again, but instead of champagne and laughter there is only heartbreak and silence, left by his passing.
“The cherry blossoms will forever remind me of Gerry. It is impossible to describe the void his death has left in my life. I will always love him. I will always miss him.”