Last week, Bob Hawke, Australia’s 23rd prime minister, died at the age of 89.
The Labor legend, who served as prime minister from 1983 to 1991, was widely seen as a popular ‘larrikin’ figure well into his old age.
Now, one week on from his death, his widow Blanche d’Alpuget has opened up about her late husband in an interview with the ABC.
.@leighsales: How do you think the love of old age does differs to young love? Because people don’t talk about this very often.
Blanche: There’s a great deal of softness. There’s a great deal of intimacy. There are no secrets, there are no pretenses. #abc730 #auspol pic.twitter.com/5wUgkJqqqx
— abc730 (@abc730) May 23, 2019
Speaking to Leigh Sales on 7.30, d’Alpuget explained that the last year she spent with her husband had been difficult, but also “one of the best times of our lives”.
“We were so close and intimate during that time, while I was his main carer. And we often said to each other, we’ve been blessed to have this period together,” she said.
“We didn’t have the joy of young love. He had that with Hazel. We had the joy of mature love and then the love of old age,” she added.
The 75-year-old writer became Hawke’s full-time carer when his health began to deteriorate.
“People don’t realise – now I really am not going to cry – how wonderful it can be to look after somebody you love when they’re old and dying,” she said.
“There’s a great deal of intimacy. There are no secrets, there are no pretences. You’re getting the true human being on both sides.”