Goodbye Mum, Let’s Do This For You


There is no actual post this week in terms of it being writerly, coherent (possibly) or long. Words are failing me right now.

On Saturday my amazing mum died. The world has altered into one that has a prominent mum-shaped hole in it. It will never be the same and I don’t know how to negotiate it anymore.

I’m not sharing this for attention. Please view this as a a tribute to a woman who fought with such strength and dignity to live. May she now know peace.

I have written about her bad ass battle against cancer in the past: A Letter to My Loved One’s Terminal Cancer and The Cancer Waiting Game.

Her Fight Against Cancer and Receiving Hospice Care

Mum and I at Christmas in the 1980s
Mum and I at Christmas in the 1980s

She fought a great fight against cancer but unfortunately the cruel bastard finally won. My family and I are mourning her right now but we also want to be proactive and honour both her memory and the hospice that cared for her.

From her diagnosis of incurable cancer eight months my Mum’s battle was made more bearable with the compassionate care of Sobell House Hospice in Oxford: Sobell House Hospice website. They were there for her and her family from that diagnosis to her last breath.

Helping Sobell House Hospice to Care for Others

The staff at Sobell are amazing but they are always working against lack of funding. Hospices don’t run on fresh air unfortunately. I’ve set up a Just Giving page to raise money for this hospice right here: Sobell House Hospice Donations in Memory of Kay Cross

If you are kind enough to donate, no matter the sum, as a testimony to the memory of my amazing mum and to this incredible hospice that gave us peace in an horrific time, I’d be truly touched.

Thanks in advance for giving us hope for those who need this hospice in the future and that mum’s life is more enriched than it is already by this last act of kindness on her part.

This One’s for You, Mum

Good night Mum. This famous poem fits the moment, just for you. I may have had to literally let you go but I’m still holding on in my heart:

There’s little joy in life for me,
And little terror in the grave;
I’ve lived the parting hour to see
Of one I would have died to save.

Calmly to watch the failing breath,
Wishing each sigh might be the last;
Longing to see the shade of death
O’er those belovèd features cast.

The cloud, the stillness that must part
The darling of my life from me;
And then to thank God from my heart,
To thank Him well and fervently;

Although I knew that we had lost
The hope and glory of our life;
And now, benighted, tempest-tossed,
Must bear alone the weary strife.

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

16 comments on “Goodbye Mum, Let’s Do This For You

  1. Lisa I have read your previous posts about your mum and I was so sorry to hear your news
    Last July I to lost my mum to cancer she too fought a brave battle and she was so strong , for five days she was unconscious and we stayed by her side at the hospice holding her hand stroking her hair and telling her how much we loved her and would continue to love her x
    The staff were beyond amazing and caring and kind words are not enough
    We have been raising money to support Arthur rank hospice in Cambridge and will continue to do so for others who need their care and kindness in the future
    This year has been about accepting mums gone from this world – if only I could drive somewhere and bring her back I would
    It doesn’t matter how much we kick or scream or cry – mum won’t come back
    So I have decided to fill my life with as much happiness as possible and continue to make her proud
    Because that’s all us mums want for our children to be happy
    I’m thinking of you Lisa take your time to grieve there is no right or wrong way
    A piece of me died the day I watched my mum take her last breath and nothing prepares you for that x
    Lots of love

    1. So much of what you’ve written rings true for me Philippa. I’m not the same person I was before. I hope that I will be someone Mum would have been proud of in the days to come. The grief of your mum’s death is unique because she gave us life.

      I was also by her side as much as I could be and specifically on her last day. I feel it was a privilege to be holding her hand as she passed away. I’m so truly sorry that you’ve been through this too.

      1. Lisa , your mum will always be proud of you , She would have put so much of her love into you .
        Every day I think of my mum and we were so close and it doesn’t matter how old they were when they died they were our mum and we loved them.
        I’m not sure if time is a great healer and all that ….but I hope one day we will unite again.
        Take all the love and support from friends and family , share your memories and cry when you need to
        Take care x

        1. Thank you Philippa. It really helps to hear from someone who has been in this horrible situation too. It just feels like the world has changed now and I’m not sure how it will be now that she’s no longer in it. It’s so tough. Thanks for reaching out and showing such compassion. I’m so genuinely sorry that your mum is no longer with you either. x

  2. I’m genuinely sorry for your loss Lisa. Mum’s are hard to let go but I’ll bet she was proud of you, sometimes more than she could probably put in to words. And you know something? She will never truly go away because she lives on in your heart and memories forever. Thinking of you.

    1. Wow Ian, you summed my mum up to a tee! My dad told me on her last day that she was proud of me even of she didn’t always tell me. It gave me such comfort. Thanks for your lovely words and kindness. It means a lot.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss Lisa. She’ll live on in your heart and memories and the stories you write about her. I think there is a special bond between mother and daughter so I can understand your heartbreak. You are a strong lady to share one of the hardest moments of your life. Massive hugs xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.