This is a total heartbreak for my family and I. Linda was, and still is, the love of my life, and the past two years we spent battling her disease have been a nightmare.
She never complained and always hoped to be able to conquer it. It was not to be.
Our beautiful children — Heather, Mary, Stella and James — have been an incredible strength during this time, and she lives on in all of them.
The courage she showed to fight for her causes of vegetarianism and animal welfare was unbelievable. How many women can you think of who would singlehandedly take on opponents like the meat and livestock commission, risk being laughed at, and yet succeed?
People who didn’t know her well, because she was a very private person, only ever saw the tip of the iceberg. She was the kindest woman I have ever met; the most innocent.
photo by Mary McCartney All animals to her were like Disney characters and worthy of love and respect. She was the toughest woman who didn’t give a damn what other people thought. She found it hard to be impressed by the fact that she was Lady McCartney. When asked whether people called her Lady McCartney, she said, “Somebody once did once, I think.”
I am privileged to have been her lover for 30 years, and in all that time, except for one enforced absence, we never spent a single night apart. When people asked why, we would say — “What for?”
As a photographer, there are few to rival her. Her photographs show an intense honesty, a rare eye for beauty.
As a mother, she was the best. We always said that all we wanted for the kids was that they would grow up to have good hearts; and they have.
Our family is so close that her passing has left a huge hole in our lives. We will never get over it, but I think we will come to accept it.
The tribute she would have liked best would be for people to go vegetarian, which, with the vast variety of foods available these days, is much easier than many people think. She got into the food business for one reason only, to save animals from the cruel treatment our society and traditions force upon them.
Anyone less likely to be a businesswoman I can’t think of, yet she worked tirelessly for the rights of animals, and became a food tycoon. When told a rival firm had copied one of her products, all she would say was, “Great, now I can retire.” She wasn’t in it for the money.
In the end, she went quickly with very little discomfort, and surrounded by her loved ones.
The kids and I were there when she crossed over. They each were able to tell her how much they loved her.
Finally, I said to her: “You’re up on your beautiful Appaloosa stallion. It’s a fine spring day. We’re riding through the woods. The bluebells are all out, and the sky is clear blue.”
I had barely got to the end of the sentence, when she closed her eyes, and gently slipped away.
She was unique and the world is a better place for having known her.
Her message of love will live on in our hearts forever.
I love you, Linda.