When Bob Hawke died 89 years ago at the age of 89, he felt that he had done everything he could for Australia and had nothing left to give.
As his health faded and his last days approached, the beloved former prime minister was not afraid of his coming death – he welcomed it.
But he was determined to go out on his own terms and died in his home in Sydney with his wife Blanche d & Alpuget by his side.
Bob Hawke and his wife Blanche d & # 39; Alpuget. Hawke did not apologize for the fact that he had fallen in love with his second wife, with whom he shortly afterwards split with Hazel
Hawke also refused to cast a vote two days after his death prior to the election, with the intention of rolling up to a booth in his wheelchair – & # 39; but he didn't come there & # 39 ;.
& # 39; He was more than prepared, he was very enthusiastic & # 39 ;, his 23-year-old wife told ABC & # 39; s 7,3 in her first interview since Mr. Hawke's death.
& # 39; He said to me: & # 39; I cannot make any further contribution. I don't have a contribution to earn now.
& # 39; That was one of the reasons he wanted to die because he thought his life was contributing to society. & # 39;
Mrs. d & # 39; Alpuget said that it was & # 39; probably a good thing that he died when he did, & so he did not live to see Labor shock election defeat two days later.
His wife said that she & # 39; was in a terrible state & # 39; when it was clear that Mr. Hawke was dying and that most of her was mourning.
Mrs. Alpuget kept her calm during the interview, paused a few times as she reflected their love in his final weeks, while promising not to cry for the camera
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and his wife Blanche d & # 39; Alpuget are coming to his 80th birthday party at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, December 9, 2009
& # 39; I lost 3 kg or something that was too heavy in my size to lose and I couldn't sleep and I burst into tears in the fall of a hat, & # 39; she said.
The emotional 75-year-old kept her calm during the interview and paused a few times as they reflected their love in his final weeks, while promising not to cry for the camera.
& # 39; People don't realize … I'm really not going to cry … how wonderful it can be to care for someone you love when they're old and dying, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; There is a lot of intimacy. There are no secrets, there are no pretexts. You get the true person on both sides. & # 39;
Mrs. d & # 39; Alpuget acknowledged the debt she made for Mr. Hawke's first wife, Hazel (shown together in 1987) during their affair and since the divorce in 1995
Mr. Hawke was determined to go on his own terms and died in his home in Sydney with his wife Blanche d & # 39; Alpuget by his side
Mrs. d & # 39; Alpuget said that Mr. Hawke's last year of life was both difficult and one of the best times of their lives because of how close they were.
& # 39; We were so close and intimate at the time, while I was his main caretaker. And we often said to each other: we are blessed to have this period together, & she said.
& # 39; We did not have the joy of young love. He had that with Hazel. We had the joy of adult love and then the love of old age. & # 39;
Mrs. Alpuget remembered how Mr. Hawke had been following her for years and called her because, as he told her friend, "he couldn't stop thinking about her."
However, she also admitted that she had the guilt she felt for Mr. Hawke's first wife, Hazel, during their affair and since the divorce in 1995.
& # 39; I felt very sad for Hazel … my feelings for Hazel's sadness didn't change. I still really felt sad until the end, & she said.
Take it easy: with a crossword puzzle and a cigar on his balcony, the last photo of Bob Hawke with his beloved Blanche shows how he smiled to the end
Bob Hawke in 2002 with Blanche d & # 39; Alpuget (center) and Collette Dinnigan on a fundraising for the homeless in Sydney
Mrs. D & Alpuget said that the outpouring of sorrows from Australians who loved Mr. Hawke was a consolation to her in the past week, but also painful.
Painful because it brings to the surface all the emotions of his dying. But one of the things that have been great for the country to soften its heart is the thought that some of them will disappear forever, & she said.
& # 39; He had tremendous integrity. And he stayed right through it. Integrity, honesty, very, very strong character. And I would say a nobility of the soul. & # 39;
When Mr. Hawke's health deteriorated, he could only treat two or three people at a time, and only about 20 minutes.
Hawke married his second wife Blanche D & # 39; Alpuget in 1995 in Sydney, Australia
Paul Keating visited Mr. Hawke during his final months, reconciling their hostility of their last years in politics and & # 39; tired and overcooked in ancient times & # 39;
Mrs. d & # 39; Alpuget said that the outpouring of sorrows from Australians who loved Mr. Hawke offered her consolation over the past week, but also painful
One of those people was Paul Keating, with whom he was reconciled in his last years and saw himself as a united front in support of Labor's election bid.
& # 39; Paul really wanted to come and see him, it was wonderful. And it was great, & # 39; said d & # 39; Alpuget.
& # 39; They sat and yarn about old times … and laughed a lot. (They talked about) things they did together. And also how they hoped the country would develop. & # 39;
She said the pair never pulled & # 39; daggers & # 39; was, as their rivalry during the last years of his prime ministers that led to the overthrow of Mr. Hawke by Mr. Keating in 1991, was presented.
& # 39; Paul came a few times. In fact, he'd been eating here earlier when Bob was healthy and strong and they always grabbed each other's calls when there were party issues to discuss, & she said.
Hawke met with the vice-president of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela days after he was released from prison in October 1990 and was proud of his role in making that happen
She said that their hostility had completely disappeared from the early 1990s.
Mr. Hawke's most proud achievements were forbidding mining in Antarctica, to Nelson Mandela and his & # 39; very large role & # 39; in ending apartheid, D & Alpuget said.
But one of the things he preferred to do was a small charity called Engineering Aid, which encourages indigenous children to become engineers & # 39; or at least continue their education & # 39 ;.
& # 39; And that was a source of great joy and pride for him, because a number of those who would never go to college or continue their education did so. And some were engineers, & his wife said.
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