Friday, 15 November 2013


At around 8am on Wednesday morning, the 13th, my mum passed away.

I was expecting a few months longer than I got.

She went into hospital on the 5th for the fluid to be drained from her lungs to ease her coughing and breathing. She was supposed to be out on Thursday and her final, vicious round of chemo was supposed to begin today. But they wanted to run some tests so she stayed Thursday too. She was fine. I called her Thursday lunchtime and we were joking and laughing and I was in London on a course for work. She was jealous that I got to have a lunch of excellent Chinese in Spitalfields Market while all she got a sandwich. I picked up a leaflet for her about a night-time antiques market that I knew she’d love. By Friday she had jaundice.

We went to visit her on Saturday. She was drowsy, but alert and with-it, she’d possibly be home on Monday once the doctor had been around to check on her. We left after an hour. It took us all day to get through to her on Sunday. She was even drowsier, but it was just the phone line, right? She’d be home the next day. So I went up to London for another course on Monday and continued as normal. Then the mid-afternoon break arrived and I checked my phone. I had five missed calls and a string of texts. She was deteriorating and there was ‘cause for concern’. I’ve never moved so fast in my life and yet it still took me two hours and forty-five minutes to get home from London and then to Guildford where she was in hospital.

It was awful. She could barely speak, her movements were almost out of her control and she was agitated, trying to get out of bed. I think I cried for most of the three hours we were there. Especially when the doctor took us aside and said that the cancer had progressed much further than anticipated. We’d only have a few days left with her, possibly a week. I held her hand when we went back, it took all of her strength to pull my hand up and kiss it. I told her I loved her when I left and she said it back. That was the last thing she said to me, and the last thing I said to her that I know she fully comprehended.

We spent eight and a half hours by her bedside on Tuesday. She slept most of the day, making small sounds every now and again. She was dosed up on painkillers. She couldn’t speak and she only opened her eyes fully once in the entire time we were there. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a more painful, and long, day. For some reason, when we left that evening, after kissing her goodnight and telling her I loved her, I turned back halfway down the ward and went to look at her again. That was the last time I saw my mum.

My auntie arrived at our house at about 9am on Wednesday to tell us that she’d died about an hour before.

We should have had longer, we were promised longer. It was too quick, too soon, too young. She was 57.

She fought relentlessly for seven years against a vicious, evil and unrelenting disease that, eventually, made her body give up even when her mind and her heart were still fighting. 

At least I can be thankful that she's no longer suffering, no longer fighting and no longer in pain; if only that softened the blow entirely.

EDIT: I'm going to give myself a week off from the blog so all you'll see from me next week is my UKYA blog tour post, an interview with CJ Flood, but I'll hopefully be back with a Letterbox Love to kick me off on the 24th.


  1. I am so sorry to hear that, my friend. Really. All my love to you and your sister.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss, Sophie :( I'm thinking of you and your sister.

  3. i'm really sorry for your loss, i can relate a littel since i lost my father in a similar while diffeerent situation it's feel so unfair because we need them so much still knowing they are finally at peace is only as mall reconfort yes but she got the opportunity to tell you that she loved you and that's what you must remember her love for you that made her fight, her smile at your accomplishments so you keep a part of her with you and a positive one

  4. So sorry to hear this, Sophie. Sending love and thinking of you. xxx

  5. I'm so so sorry. My thoughts are with you.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss Sophie. Sending hugs. Keeping you and your family in my prayers at this hard time.

  7. I'm really sorry for your loss Sophie. Sending my love.

  8. Incredibly sorry to hear about your loss. It was crushing to read what you had to go through and extremely more crushing to have to go through it. Sending my condolences to you and your family. Keep doing what you do well, because Mum is definitely looking down on you!

  9. I'm so, so sorry Sophie, I'll be thinking of you and your sister & sending hugs your way. If you ever need to talk or there is anything I can do to help you know where I am *hugs*

  10. Oh Sophie, I'm so very sorry, sending *hugs*

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss, Sophie.


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