Monday, 7 December 2009


Its been a good few weeks since I last posted (well months if I'm honest), but life has changed dramatically for us all in the past 6 weeks. This has not been an easy post to write, and I dearly wish it will not unduly upset anyone who reads it.

I took this picture on my daughters 6th Birthday, Hope is her middle name (& it would have been her first, had the pesky husband not intervened). Hope, because after a tottering old time of it with her brother, I had hoped that my second child would allow me to hope that I was a good mum, and that this time I would enjoy my baby.

However the word hope has been even more pertinent to me in the past few weeks since.

6 weeks ago I sat with my mother-in-law whilst the GP gently told her that she had multiple secondary spreads of cancer in her liver, and that even when they found the original site, treatment would only be palliative.

My feisty 75 year old, 5"2 pocket rocket of a mum, who line danced, rambled, swam & yoga'd her way through the week. My mum who claimed looking after my two little people twice a week kept her young.

Her decline and death last Wednesday morning, was rapid & a huge shock for us all, we are still feeling the full force of what we have faced. But all through the past few weeks I have hoped that she would not suffer, hoped that we would draw strength as a family, hoped that I could be strong to support my husband and children.

The nature of my job has often meant that the children have had open and honest discussion about cancer and about death. I think this has helped in their understanding of what has happened to Grandma. For the 9 year old, Cancer has been explained as a gang of cells misbehaving & not doing what they have been told to do, a bit like teenagers, they have gone where they shouldn't & done what they have been told not to do (Yep, my 9 year old thinks that teenagers are rebels....)

I am so hugely proud of my children - at 6 & 9 they have shown an emotional intelligence that I had not expected, dealing with Grandma's rapidly declining health with amazing sensitivity, yet with a natural approach to it fitting in with daily life.

She died at home, as she had hoped to do, on as ever, her own terms. The hospice and district nursing teams provided the support and care I had only hoped for.

I hoped she would not die on her birthday (or mine), instead it was in between our special days. (I have to admit not knowing whether to put my birthday cards next to the sympathy cards - surely 38 yrs old isn't that bad?!)

I hope that this week that my mum's funeral & cremation is not to distressing for my husband, and most of my little people who wanted to attend, and I hope that I have prepared them well.

I draw strength from knowing that I did all I could to help her, and that I was blessed to have the last conversation with her, to tell her how much I loved her & to thank her for all she had done for me, before she fell into a deep pain free sleep. I have been touched from the kind words & cards of support from the most unexpected people.

I hope that time will be a healer, and that we can gather the memories of her with hope in our hearts that whilst much loved and missed, she will always be with us.

I hope that in the new year we can settle into a new routine of childcare without to much stress for the little ones. I hope that I can settle my mind, so I can go back to work able to do my job well. That a sense of normality will resume.

And finally-

Thankyou for all the lovely posts I have been able to dip & read, to be able to share in the warmth and pleasures of day to day life. It has helped so very much.

Love Lydia xx


  1. Oh Lydia I am speechless and so saddened for you and your loss - you seem to be a very strong lady and part of that must come from your mum by the sounds of things and I hope you can draw on that strength when you need too. You are in my thoughts xx

  2. How sad and what a moving and poignant post Lydia ..... you have said it all so eloquently. If we don't have hope we may as well all give up. Take care of yourself.

  3. Lydia, I am so very sorry for the pain and sadness you are all feeling at the loss of your mother-in-law. I am thinking of you and your family and sending you lots of love. I'll be thinking of you during this difficult week.
    Take good care of yourself.
    Lisa x

  4. What a very heartfelt, honest and moving post Lydia. Thank you so much for sharing. I am so very sorry to hear your very sad news but I hope you can gain strength knowing she shall live on in those of you she loved and who loved her.

    I have been talking to my daughter only last week about Cancer a friend of hers had been very upset at school and was sad becuase her grandfather had died, My DD gave her lots of cuddles and we had a chat about it at home. I feel is always best to talk.

    I shall be thinking of you and sending you warm hugs



  5. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you all at this sad time.

    BH x

  6. How sad for you all,it is very hard to explaine this type of thing to children but you did a great job.I will be thinking of you and i know you are a very strong person, sending you lots of hugs Pat

  7. hi Lydia, that was a lovely post, touching and moving. sending you and your family lots of hugs love through this difficult time. Take care and have a peaceful xmas x

  8. Hi Lydia,
    So sorry to hear of your very sad loss. We lost my hubby's mum 6 years ago and although she had been in slow decline for several years (Early onset of Alzheimers), her death was a shock still to us all. Brenda's funeral was almost too sad to bear for us all, but we did find the healing process started immediatley after. When we interred her ashes, my son asked if that would be the last time we would all be sad, because he didnt want to be sad anymore. That made us realise that we needed to focus on the positive and "hope" a bit more - for their sake. Sending you love. xxxx

  9. Oh dear, that is very sad. I am so sorry for for loss x

  10. I'm so sorry for your loss, and hope you and your family can get through this terrible time.

  11. Oh dear. I am struggling to think of what to say. What a terrible time you have been through. When my poor wee gran died of cancer twenty odd years ago it was a shatteringly sad time for us all but I took such comfort from seeing her downright bravery. I think it's true that people's true characters show through in times of extreme stress and I feel truly proud of her. It sounds like your mum was cut from the same cloth and that you can be truly proud of her too.

  12. Dear Lydia

    I am so very, very sorry to read of your loss - bless you for such a brave and open post.
    Sending you love, and holding you and your family in my thoughts.

    Julia xxx

  13. Hi Lydia
    Been thinking of you all and hoping you're all doing ok.
    I like the thought our keeping our loved ones warm in our heart, that really cheered me when I read that in your message the other day. Thank you.
    Take care
    Lisa x

  14. Hello Lydia

    I read your post with sadness. It must be hard for all of you. Especially as Christmas approaches. It is true that time is a healer but understand that right now you must all be feeling your Mother's death very deeply.

    May the support and love of your family and friends help you.

    Thinking of you.

    Take care
    Isabelle x

  15. Lydia, I am so sorry for your loss, thinking of you and sending lots of love your way.
    Beki xxx

  16. Hi Lydia, Just wanted to send you love and Hugs for you and your family for Christmas. Thinking about you. xxxxx

  17. Hi Lydia , so sorry to hear your sad news .
    Sending you and your family a huge hug x x x

    Sara x

  18. I found this post very encouraging, in so many ways...thank reminds me of pandoras box, when the only creature left in the box is hope...and it is isnt it...hope chases away the darkness and brings in the light...every blessing H

  19. Hi Lydia - just wanted to pop by and say hello and hope you and your family are doing ok.
    Happy New Year as well and hope you had a nice Christmas x

  20. Hi Lydia. Just popping by to say I hope you and yours had a good Christmas and I wish you all a happy and healthy new year too.
    I cried quite a bit during Dr Who too, the part when he was re-juvenating and said 'I don't want to go.' It made me think of losing my dad, it was such a simple sentence and yet so much emotion was packed into it.
    I didn't post my picture on Christmas day with the hat on as I looked like John Prescott's not so glamourous younger sweaty sister! Mind you I hope you got a giggle from the one of mw with the scarf in my hair posted the next day!
    Take care
    Lisa xx

  21. Thinking of you!
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment it brought a big smile too my face.

    Love to you and all your family…love Lou xxx

  22. Thank you for such a lovely message about Tilly. She lived with us for less than a year but we do have lots of happy memories. It has meant so much to receive such kind words.
    Hope everyone one is ok with you.
    Lisa x

  23. You poor thing. I hope things have been as good as one can expect in the circumstances and you have all the support you need. She sounds like a wonderful lady to have known.
    Victoria. xx