War widow becomes mother again
War widow Christina Schmid, who has campaigned for the armed forces after losing her bomb disposal expert husband Olaf in Afghanistan five years ago, has become a mother again.
She has shown off her new baby Isabelle Rose, with partner Mark Clarke, to Hello! magazine as the nation remembers the war dead this week at remembrance events.
Ms Schmid gave birth 11 days before what would have been the fifth anniversary of the death of her Staff Sergeant husband - known to friends as Oz.
She told the magazine: "Anniversaries are tough. No matter how many you have, they are always raw and you always feel different on that day and in the days just before and afterwards.
"Then, almost straight afterwards, we have Remembrance Day and it's there again, that heaviness in your heart."
She went on: "But this year, for the first time, I've felt less overwhelmed because I've had something so wonderful to focus on. It's no longer a time of year that I'll approach with dread. There's something positive to celebrate that balances out the grief."
Ms Schmid already had a son, Laird, before she married Olaf but he brought him up as his own.
She explained that she had received an overwhelmingly positive reaction since she has found love and happiness again with her new man.
"You are never going to please everyone, but 99% of the correspondence we got was encouraging. Widows and widowers from all walks of life got in touch to say 'Thank you for showing me that it is OK for my life to carry on and that I can find love again'.
"Old friends of Oz have been in touch to say they're happy for me. They loved him and want to see the cycle of life continue."
Her husband died on his last day of duty in Afghanistan and was posthumously awarded the George Cross for making 70 devices safe.
"If you find someone special, you have to harness that and live in the moment. Otherwise the grief will choke you and you'll go down with it. It's so important to grab life's positives," Ms Schmid said.
"When I look at Mark with Isabelle, I feel so emotional, like my heart could burst with love. If losing Oz taught me anything it's to cherish what's precious to you and live in the moment."
:: The full interview is in the latest edition of Hello! magazine which is on sale now.