A fiancée has describe her heartbreak at having to bury her childhood sweetheart after his death a week before they were due to get married.
In May 2021 Lisa Clark and Jason Burton rekindled their relationship after they first met and fell in love as teenagers. Around 30 years on, the pair realised they were soulmates and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
But just eight months after the smitten couple got back together, Jason was diagnosed with terminal cancer on November 3. It was his third time being diagnosed with the disease, which also claimed the lives of his mum and brother.
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(Image: Lisa Clark)
In a race against time and determined to marry the love of her life, Lisa proposed to Jason on December 9, 2021 in the hope they would get married on January 30 this year.
But devastatingly, Jason died aged 48 on Sunday, January 23 exactly one week before the wedding.
At Jason’s funeral on Tuesday, February 15, St Paul’s Church in Pontyclun was packed full with hundreds of Jason’s family members and friends who gathered to say goodbye to him for the last time. He was buried with his mum, Wendy, and brother, Darren.
Lisa estimated that around 200 people attended Jason’s send off, which made her feel “really blessed and proud” despite her pain.
Jason was born at East Glamorgan hospital on November 12, 1973 where he was the oldest of three children born to Selwyn and Wendy, he was the older brother to Darren and Rebecca.
He lived in Talbot Green until he moved with the family to Pontyclun in 1993, and then he finally settled down and married in 2006 and not long after welcomed their beautiful daughter Emily and he couldn’t have been more proud that he had become a dad.
Unfortunately his marriage broke down and after this Jason settled into a life of spending time with his daughter, his family and friends and spending a lot of time in his local pubs – but that was our Jason.
Jason never seemed to settle in one place for too long and this is where he came up with the bright idea of asking his sister if he could move in with her for a couple of months so he could save some money. Seven years later, he was still there.
His sister Rebecca took on many roles such as mother, carer, cleaner personal assistant, you name it she did it. But if you were to ask him, he would describe her as a flipping nag but he was always grateful for everything she and her partner Richard did for him.
Family was everything to Jason. The special bond he had with his father will forever be remembered and we all know how much he loved his auntie Ann’s Sunday dinners – memories that will never be forgotten.
As fate would have it a past girlfriend from thirty years ago by the name of Lisa came back into his life and we could instantly see a difference in him, he was happy. She had her work cut out mind, knocking him into shape, but she slowly got there. You could see the big change in him for the better. He moved in and settled with Lisa and life was good, but sadly their plans weren’t to be. But we as a family take comfort in knowing he was happy, content and most importantly, loved.
The 48-year-old said: “In the run up to the funeral, I’ve been missing him so much. In the house it’s just so quiet, there’s nobody to cook a meal with or talk to or do any of those normal things with. It’s all gone and it’s just me walking around like a lost soul.
“I still feel like he’s going to come home. I just feel so blessed about how loved he is and how popular he is. I knew I had a good guy from day one. He knew he was loved, everyone who was there was there because they genuinely loved Jason. He’s been a great guy to everybody, it was really nice to see them all there.”
(Image: Family handout)
(Image: Family handout)
In the weeks leading up to Jason’s death, Lisa said she had been focused on creating the perfect day for her and Jason as well as for their families and friends in the short time she had. However, she said she became worried when she noticed his health decline.
“I spent a lot of time trying to get the wedding organised. We had lots of people offering lots of stuff, we were really lucky,” she said.
“In the last two weeks I had to spend my time running around which was awful because I wanted to spend time with him. It started to get a bit worrying as he deteriorated shockingly fast. In the last week we went to the wedding venue Pencoed House to finalise all the last few bits and he was struggling then.”
(Image: Family handout)
Lisa said her hen do had been arranged at a cottage in Tenby for the weekend of January 22, but she didn’t want to go and leave Jason. However, she said Jason was adamant that he wanted her to go and have a nice time away before the wedding.
Despite her worries, when Lisa left, she had no idea it would be the last time she got to spend with Jason.
“The night of the hen was January 22 which was the night of the last message I had from him,” she said.
“We left and he went to watch the football with his mates which he hadn’t done for years. Then [later] he went home and ordered an Indian and he seemed okay. He messaged me when he got home saying the dogs were fine. I told him, ‘I hope you had a good day, I love you’, and that was around 10pm.
“That was the last conversation I had with him. I thought he just must have been exhausted as he had been out all day. I messaged him in the morning saying I hope he slept well and then his dad and mates tried ringing him because they were going to go out together and couldn’t get through to him.”
Lisa said she started to worry and that her son and Jason’s best friend went to check on him at his home in Beddau. She said the pair found Jason unconscious and called for an ambulance which arrived in about six minutes.
“After speaking with them, panic set in. I said just keep him breathing and tell him I’m on my way,” she said. “They were resuscitating him for around an hour and a half”.
But heartbreakingly, when Lisa arrived at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital at around 12.30pm hoping to see Jason, she was told he had passed away at around 12.14pm in the ambulance. She said she sat with him for around five hours.
“He said he didn’t want to die in hospital as he didn’t want to be a burden so it’s comforting that he went how he would have wanted and he wouldn’t have been aware of what was happening,” Lisa said.
“Doctors reassured me he wouldn’t have been in pain long at all which is comforting.”
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Following Jason’s death, Lisa said she felt like she had been in a nightmare which didn’t feel real. However, she said she had gotten through it with the support of her and Jason’s family and friends.
She said: “I spent the rest of the week in my pyjamas with my family coming up to feed me. I had a lot of family and his friends come over in the evenings and people bringing flowers – my house looked like a florist.
(Image: Lisa Clark)
“It’s been a rollercoaster. One day I feel fine, the next day I totally crash and spend all day and all night crying my eyes out. I can talk about it to someone and feel fine and then talk to someone else about it and not been fine. It’s very up and down. The first week and a half I was in shock and shaking all the time. I feel like I’m stuck in a dream that I can’t wake up from. It feels really surreal.”
Lisa thanked everyone who attended the funeral as well as everyone who offered help, support and services for the wedding and funeral.
The family said they would gratefully receive donations in Jason’s memory to Cancer Research Wales.
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