‘She was so loving and full of life’

Ursula May Sharpe
Ursula May Sharpe

A LOVING tribute has been paid to a Sturton By Stow woman who was found dead by her husband.

Ursula Mary Sharpe has been described by her husband Matthew as a ‘positive and bubbly’ person and it was ‘extremely out of character’ for her to have taken her own life.

Ursula was just 48-years-old when she was found suspended by ligature at her home on Bradway, Sturton By Stow on Tuesday 22nd February, an inquest heard at the Cathedral Centre, Lincoln.

Now, Matthew wants to encourage others who may be feeling vulnerable or under pressure to talk to someone and consider the consequences of their actions.

Matthew and Ursula met in 1999 when she worked for an importing company at the Cannes Palais des Festivals in France and he worked as a lorry driver for exhibitions and music tours.

They married in July 2002.

“We enjoyed each others company and had a happy and committed marriage,” said Matthew.

“She’d been in France for about 18 years and we lived there for about four years.”

Matthew continued: “I suppose we just became comfortable and started to take each other for granted - but that’s the sign of a good marriage. I loved her and she loved me and you just always expect the other person to be there.”

Ursula, who worked for Ruddock’s printers in Lincoln, was very popular in the local community and actively pursued a number of hobbies.

“She was involved in local drama groups and was a very good artist,” said Matthew. “She also enjoyed bell-ringing and was a demon for car boot sales.”

“Urs was also starting to get into Zumba. She wasn’t a big one for exercise but she really did enjoy that.”

He went on: “She was very outgoing and everybody who met her liked her. You could tell by her bubbly smile what kind of person she was, that’s why she she was so popular.”

Matthew said that Ursula’s positive outlook and happy disposition make the idea that she could have killed herself all the more surprising.

“We has everything,” he said. “Even up to the night before, we were discussing going on a holiday that she’d won and were really looking forward to it.”

“The next morning we were talking about the earthquake in New Zealand and she said ‘we don’t realise how lucky we have it,’ and when I came home that evening she was dead.”

He added: “Every issue she faced, she overcame. I always looked up to her as the stronger one of the two of us and to those of us who knew her, this is so totally out of character, especially as she was so anti-suicide.”

Now, Matthew wants to encourage others to talk to others about their problems - no matter how small they may seem.

“I think she must have just snapped in a moment of madness,” he said. “If this was properly pre-meditated she wouldn’t have done something so catastrophic.”

“But if you’re feeling this way then just bite the bullet and talk to someone - whether it’s your nearest and dearest, a friend or the Samaritans. Those who are closest to someone may miss the signs - if someone is acting out of character then do something.”

Matthew added: “For God’s sake, please just take a step back and think about what you’re doing and who you’re leaving.”

“Urs lost 30 years of life and in the process totally destroyed her family and mine.”

When The Standard approached Matthew, he also wanted to thank everyone who had supported him and his family through this difficult time.

“My friends and neighbours have been excellent and so kind. I’ve found friends that I never expected who have made this a little easier to bare.”

A Samaritans spokesman said: “Following this tragic death, we urge anyone feeling distressed to share their problems rather than letting them spiral out of control.”

“Samaritans believes it is important to encourage people in struggling to cope to talk to about how they are feeling as this can allow them to put their thoughts and emotions in order.”

He continued: “Talking can help someone understand the way they feel, find hope or solutions and offer huge emotional relief.”

“Our volunteers are available to offer confidential support to anyone experiencing feeling down and depressed or suicidal.”

Samaritans are open around the clock 365 days a year. You can call them on 08457 90 90 90, email jo@samaritans.org, or visit a Samaritans local branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.

At an inquest on Thursday 16th June, the coroner returned an open verdict as no note was left and intent could not be proved.