My best wishes, kindest thoughts, love, and support to Joyce and Allen’s family on the 17th Anniversary of his passing
Losing Allen obviously left a huge hole in the lives of everyone close to him. It was similarly felt by the millions who, through his writing and live seminars, also felt a special, close connection with him, not least because he saved their lives. I was extremely fortunate to count Allen not only as my mentor, coach, and colleague but also as a dear friend, and I still miss him very much.
It had been the most challenging of years. I’d known that Allen had been under the weather and was having tests but nothing was confirmed until the day he and Joyce received the diagnosis, it being terminal cancer. I was on annual leave the day I received the call with the news. I had feared the worst, yet the call still sent me reeling.
My sadness and my thoughts for Allen, Joyce, and their family were interrupted shortly afterwards by another phone call; this time, it was from a journalist working for a newspaper group which included the News of the World. My wife and I had taken our children, then aged 3 & 5 years old, to a petting zoo and above the happy noise and hubbub of hundreds of kids having fun, I could just make out what he was saying.
He had apparently received “a tip-off” from someone, presumably at the hospital Allen had attended, and was calling to ask me if I could confirm that Allen had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I found a quiet spot and gathered my thoughts quickly. I had only one thought — that it was inconceivable to allow Allen’s many friends, family, and colleagues around the world to discover the tragic news of Allen’s illness through the sensationalised, exploitative words of a tabloid newspaper.
In order to prevent that I suggested that the journalist and his newspaper could publish the story as an exclusive, along with comments and quotes from Allen and myself in return for him giving me a few days to break the news to Allen’s friends and colleagues around the world, he agreed. Allen, Joyce, and close family spoke to their closest friends and wider family and I set about the task of letting our colleagues in dozens of locations in dozens of countries across the world know the news.
To this day Allen Carr’s Easyway is a tight-knit global community — more like family than colleagues — and I did not want to send the news in a cold corporate email, so I called them all personally. Those hundred or so phone calls over the next 36 hours were the most difficult of my life — delivering the tragic news and offering comforting words and counsel to so many friends who became consumed by tears.
I didn’t cry. I was full of sadness but acutely aware of the immediate requirement for leadership. I pushed through sadness and adopted a mission-like pragmatism that carried me through the following days, weeks, and months.
It carried me through the urgent work required by the News of the World, the writing of press releases, media interviews, planning for the inevitable day which fell 17 years ago today, the announcement of Allen’s passing, the funeral in Spain, and personally arranging the Service of Remembrance in London for Allen’s close family, friends, and colleagues from all over the world (titled, at Allen’s request, ‘A Celebration of Life’).
It wasn’t until I retired to my private office the evening after that beautiful celebration that I burst into tears. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this story with anyone before and have no idea why have done so today. Perhaps it’s because my morning walk inexplicably took me past our tiny former premises in Raynes Park for the first time in 15 years. Having taken that peculiar diversion, I arrived at my desk (still in Raynes Park) and suddenly realised the significance of today’s date.
RIP Allen Carr.
From the desk John C. Dicey, London, England.
Press & Media https://www.allencarr.com/press-and-pr/