Wife helps complete husband’s bucket list

Alex Sismey holding her late husband Roger's ashes. By Lee Hellwing.
Alex Sismey holding her late husband Roger's ashes. By Lee Hellwing.

A loving wife is helping her dead husband complete his bucket list - by taking part in the experiences he planned to do with his ashes by her side.

Roger Sismey suffered from lung cancer which spread around his body and died aged 63 on March 31.

He started the list following his diagnosis in July last year and hoped he could complete it as doctors gave him until September this year to live. But sadly he never got the chance.

Despite Roger’s unexpected death his kind widow Alex Sismey, 45, is determined to make sure everything on Roger’s list is ticked off in his memory.

On Saturday Alex brought a box containing his ashes to the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre to see a performance by poet and musician, John Cooper Clarke, who he had planned to see before he died.

And during this week, Alex took Roger’s ashes along to a screening of Beauty and the Beast at the Showcase cinema in Peterborough with their daughter Erin, as it was a film he desperately wanted to watch.

She also brought Roger’s ashes to her father’s funeral this week, as Roger was determined to attend it.

Alex, of Stamford, will be taking her late husband’s ashes to Rutland Sailabilty, a sailing club based at Rutland Water, as Roger, a father to six children, had never been sailing but always wanted to.

Roger wanted to visit Cadbury World in Birmingham; watch a performance of musical comedy Spamalot; go on a motorbike ride; visit Hunstanton and swim in the sea - and Alex will see that his ambition is fulfilled be completing each of the experiences in the coming months with his ashes in tow.

Sadly there is one item on the list that Alex can’t complete - to ‘live till Christmas this year’.

Alex said that her late husband had lived a very active life up until two days before he died and would be pleased to see that she is helping him complete the list

“He was a very strong and determined man and if he wanted to do something, he always was determined to do it,” Alex said.

“He just desperately wanted to do all these things. Unfortunately he couldn’t do that.”

Alex admits that what she is doing is unconventional but said she has received largely positive reactions when she has explained to people why she is completing the tasks.

She said: “There has only been one person that has been a bit creeped out, most people have been very very helpful.

“Judith Mackie, manager of Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre, said we are happy to have him in the theatre. I went to see Judith and said that it is really important that he saw the show.”

There is one challenge that Alex is struggling to organise, flying a plane, and she is appealing to flight schools and pilots to help her have an aeronautical experience.

She said: “I just wondered if anybody has a small plane and could help me complete this.”

Roger, a former Freemason, who worked at Cummins in Stamford, did manage to complete some items on his bucket list, such as walking his daughter Kate down the aisle on February 18 with the help of his zimmer frame and visiting The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for the majority of Freemasons, on March 25, just six days before death.

Although he didn’t manage to complete a charity head shave to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support, Alex did it on his behalf and raised nearly £2,000.

Alex is hoping to complete all the challenges by Roger’s birthday on August 24.

If you can help her complete the flying experience call the Mercury on 01780 758951.