Many story arcs on the housewives franchise are touching and personal, but it’s rare to see such a vulnerable side of Real Housewives of New York’s Carole Radziwell. She tends to offer comic relief and snarky commentary regarding her often dramatic co-stars, but this season viewers have seen an entirely different side of Carole’s life. We followed her to London to retrieve the ashes of her late husband Anthony who passed away from cancer a few short years into their marriage. While there have been accusations that Carole is exploiting her her husband’s death for a story line, she explains why she felt compelled to share something so intimate with fans.
LuAnn DeLesseps continues to stir the pot, claiming that Carole angered her mother-in-law by bringing her son’s tragedy back into the public eye on a reality show, but newbie Dorinda Medley feels differently. Having also lost her husband and lived in London, Dorinda feels differently about Carole’s journey and her decision to accompany her friend to London. In her Bravo blog, Dorinda begins, “As I wrote last week, I was quite hesitant about going on this trip. I had so much anxiety about returning to London. I lived there for almost 10 years, and it still holds a very special place in my heart.”
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Discussing her first marriage, Dorinda writes, “With my first husband, who was a Brit, I really did think London was going to be my home, long-term. Hannah was born there, and I developed some of my most treasured friendships while living there. After I became Mrs. Medley, things changed, but we still went back often and Richard became part of my London life, where we shared numerous memories. That trip marked my first return to London since he’d died. But it’s always healthy to revisit your past—despite how painful it MIGHT be. It can be an entirely cathartic experience. I think you all saw that it was. Not just for me, but for Carole as well.”
She continues, “I’ll be honest, I was glad I was staying in a completely different part of London than I was familiar with. Going as a ‘tourist’ was a nice way to ease into it, if you know what I mean. Piccadilly Circus and the Hotel Cafe Royal—totally new areas for me to trot around in and not run into the inevitable ‘ghosts from my pasts,’ so to speak. Didn’t see old cheese stores I would frequent or walked by old flats I once called home. This all helped me be much more present for Carole on this trip, which was so healing and ultimately such a gift. I couldn’t have been happier to be a part of it.”
Waiting for Carole to get Anthony’s ashes was nerve wracking for Dorinda. She explains, “I was anxious while she was visiting the church, and as I was waiting for her return, I had cup of tea after cup of tea. And biscuits. And more biscuits. And butter. And tea. I didn’t even think of wandering far from the hotel, in case she returned and was a bit shaken. When I saw her, she seemed drained but relieved. Like she’d had a good, cleansing cry and a warm hug from an old friend. It got me a little welled up, because I know that feeling. Silly of me to be impressed by how graceful and reverent she was when I saw her again. Of course she was—duh,” adding, “What I was impressed by was how we managed to dive into such a personal, profound, and painful subject as the loves of our lives, their deaths, and our lives since. There are three things that bring people very close: new babies, a jar of bleu cheese olives, and the deaths of loved ones.”
Dorinda is grateful for the trip and the opportunity to share her story with such a supportive audience. She concludes, “The latter thread, clearly, was the common thread that has bonded us, unexpectedly, in the most beautiful way. Watching it play out while you all reacted on Twitter was making me smile, making me cry, making me entirely and completely happy and proud. I’ve met several widows and though the subject has come up before, never had I had such an involved, compelling sharing of experiences with another widow before. Now Anthony is back home, with her, and she has a new dimension to her personality and her public persona that commands nothing short of utmost respect and admiration. Not to repeat myself, but being there for Carole was also a true honor for me. It’s really a new beginning for her, I feel. This may sound odd, but I am so grateful to have been part of it and see it all unfold. It really helped me face my fears about going back and having a gander at all those old ghosts of Londontown. It’s a gift that I will hold special forever. Thank you, Ms. Radziwill.”
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]
Photo Credit: Bravo TV