A Positive Letter for Hilary

A new reader left a comment on my blog today. I visited her blog and was deeply moved by what she is doing there.

Hilary’s blog posts are positive letters written to bring her mother happiness in her last months, and to keep other family members updated. Every letter is her way of telling her mum “I love you.”

Positive Letters is the most beautiful, meaningful, purposeful blog I’ve come across. I wanted to send Hilary a personal note to tell her so, but there was no contact page on her blog, and my email to her bounced. So I’m publishing my letter to Hilary here.

Hello Hilary,

Thank you for leaving your comments on my blog.

I wanted to drop a personal note to tell you that you are doing a beautiful thing for your mother. My dad died two years ago from liver cancer, and thank goodness there was time for the whole family to say their goodbyes. It was a blessing to be able to walk with him on that final journey, until the last part which he had to walk alone.

So I know what you are doing with your blog, and my heart goes out to you. This wonderful gift you are giving your mother will last for a lot longer than you know.

It’s also a gift to yourself, because when the person we love is no longer with us, it’s the little things – the ordinary words that become extraordinary because they were the last, the brave laughter in the face of pain and fear, the last few smiles, every little connection between you two – these become so important when they’re all that is left of the person we love. Those memories are all I have now, and I’m happy that you are creating beautiful memories with your mum.

I wish I had the chance to go back two years and do for my dad what you are doing. I truly feel what you’re going through, and want you to know you’re not alone. It can be tough to watch a parent dying and feel helpless to make things better. It’s also difficult as a caregiver because you’re perpetually tired, and perhaps feel some guilt that death in a way will come as a relief.

For me the sadness comes in unpredictable waves. I can be walking down the street, sitting on a bus, and basically feeling just fine, when suddenly I think of my dad and tears roll down my cheeks. This started a few months before he died, and continues even now. At the same time I am happy because he died a good death. We all drew strength from that final journey and today my family talks of him often with fondness and laughter, not sadness.

This is just my personal experience, and I don’t know if you are going through the same. The book Facing the Final Mystery, written by a nurse, has a much more knowledgeable approach to prepare you and your family for what’s happening now, what will happen soon, and what to expect after.

Please know that you are doing a beautiful, wonderful thing by being a faithful, loving companion on your mother’s final journey. I’m rooting for you and your mum.

With deepest respect and heartfelt wishes,


Visit Positive Letters and cheer on this amazing lady and her mum!