Thursday, 25 September 2014


My mum died yesterday.

She retired in July.  She toddled off to France, expecting to spend her whole summer there.  Unfortunately she was taken ill while there and told to return to the UK.  On her return, she was diagnosed with pleurisy.  While investigating this, they found malignant cancer cells.

She was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer on Monday 8th September.  I flew out to see her on Saturday 13th.  I got to spent 6 days with my mum.  She came out of the hospital on tuesday 16th September, for palliative care at home. She has had a great support network of friends and her husband, my step-dad, Lee looking after her. I was sad to leave her last wednesday, but happy that those around her would take good care of her.

Her sister flew out Monday to see her.  Her brothers were supposed to be flying out on friday.

Mums friend Marie called me yesterday to tell me the news.  It is very sad, but she died peacefully, holding Lee's hand, and being her usual cantankerous self to the end.

Words cannot describe how much I am going to miss her.

We told the boys yesterday afternoon, Oliver took it well, Seb doesn't understand.  Isaac got a little teary.  Their school has been awesome, they all said a prayer for Nanny this morning.

I am sitting here in tears writing this.  A date for the funeral has been set, and we are arranging our travel plans as we speak.

I expect the stages of grief to hit soon.  At the moment everything is numb, and this just feels like a big surreal experience.

One of mums friends has set up a memorial page on Facebook, you can find it here if you wish.


  1. Dear Clare - we are so sorry for your loss. This is the worst thing about being an expat: the distance from loved ones, the feelings of helplessness, the physical hours/days required to get back in a hurry. We hope you can remember all the happy moments with your mum/grandmother, safe travels back home. If there's anything we can do to help, please let us know. x

  2. Oh Clare, there are no words for the loss of a parent. My heart goes out to you. If I can do anything for you all please just let me know xxx