‘Her needs had to come first’: becoming a father and a widower in a week

Tom Malmquist’s partner died seven days after their daughter was born. How would he make sense of life as a suddenly single parent?

The doctor in the intensive care unit leaned over Karin and said, “I’ve just spoken with our haematologists, and it’s not looking good: you have a massive build-up of white blood cells. It’s highly likely that you have acute leukaemia.”

It was 19 March 2012. I remember that date as a dividing line, sharp and unforgettable, between what used to be and what came after.

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