A Series of Small Rooms

POSTED BY Laura, 3 May, 2019

The news comes slowly, over a series of meetings in small rooms.

In the first one, we look at each other, wide-eyed, not knowing what to expect. They don’t like to spell it out. They don’t like to use the word. They talk about malignant-looking masses, clusters of lymph nodes. They hope you can work it out for yourself.

In the next one, my heart beats so loud and so fast I can’t believe the doctor can’t hear it as he talks about curative and palliative treatments, and how he is ninety percent certain my husband will be able to have the former. I don’t cry in any of these small rooms until a kind nurse asks us if we have any children. Two boys, I say, tears flooding my cheeks, but those two words don’t seem enough for my two beautiful, fiercely individual children.

Part of the reason I try not to cry is to save the doctors’ feelings. It must be so awful, having to give this news day in and day out.

Later, in another small room, I avert my eyes as the doctor examines the screen, looking at the lump my husband has found in his neck after a whole year of debilitating treatment that was meant to cure him. I don’t look at the screen, or at the doctor’s face, in case I see something that frightens me. I also try not to look at my husband, hollow-eyed with fear on the bed. I keep my eyes on the wall, remembering another room, me on the bed this time, another scan. More than twelve years ago. I’d been bleeding all weekend and I was sure it was over, but there it was, the tiny heart beating away inside me. It happened again two and a half years after that, but that one stuck too. Our babies were tenacious and resilient before they were even born.

In yet another room, when a different doctor tells us it is treatable, but not curable, we both hurry to reassure him. We know, we say. That’s what we were expecting. We are trying to save his feelings again.

As the leaves turn, bonfire smoke lingering in the air, those words hover, unspoken, in the space between us. Treatable but not curable. They press at the backs of my eyes, swell in my chest. Tears don’t come though, or not at the appropriate times. Not when a doctor calls us one evening and says we need to go to A&E right now for an injection because they’ve seen on a scan he had three days before that he has two blood clots in his neck and shoulder. Not when I call a dear friend who’s already in her pyjamas and say can you come and stay with the boys, we have to go to A&E, and she’s there in ten minutes, no questions asked. Not when we get to A&E and despite a full waiting room of people with grey faces and homemade bandages, we are rushed straight through, not having to wait for even a minute. Aren’t we lucky to be seen so quickly, we say, but we know what it means. It means my husband is the most seriously ill person here by a country mile. At those times, I am Being Strong, I am Being Positive, I am Being Supportive. I don’t cry. But one day when I leave the immersion on too long and near-boiling water spurts from the tap onto my fingers like an electric shock, those words are there in the tears that spill from my eyes like water from a burst dam. Treatable but not curable.

Just over two weeks ago, in another room, I watched as my husband slipped away from me, his two brothers at my side. This room was probably the biggest of the lot. You’ve got the best room, they’d said to us as they wheeled him down the corridor at the hospice. I smiled, breathless, trying to pretend it was the hotel it so nearly looked like, trying not to look at the people dying in the other rooms as I passed. It was different, though, this room. We both wanted to be in it. If this had to be happening, and it did, it was, this was the place. I don’t know why they made the word hospice so like the word hospital. It’s completely misleading. My husband had spent the previous two days in hospital, and this was a world away. I thought I’d experienced care and kindness before, but this was on another level. I will never stop being grateful for that. Once they had settled him in to the bed, he fell asleep and I put the TV on, hoping for distraction. The first thing I saw was Notre Dame cathedral in flames, the spire first ablaze, then crashing to the ground. My husband was a news junkie, and I wanted to turn to him and say Oh my God, Notre Dame is on fire, but he wasn’t there, not really. He was beyond earthly concerns, in a place where I couldn’t reach him.

And now I’m in my own room, at home. Without him. He’ll never be here again. I can’t really fathom it yet, it doesn’t seem real. Those little hearts that beat away inside me on the scanner’s table beat inside our twelve and nine year old sons now. Boys who are showing a bravery, along with that resilience they had when they were just dots on a screen, that makes me so proud and breaks my heart.

I won’t give up though. I will be here every day for our boys. And for myself. My heart is still there too, beating away inside me.


Couldn’t not comment. Sending comfort and love. X

Amanda Nason , 3 May, 2019

My heart goes out to you and your boys and the rest of the family. Hugs xx

Sarah Hardy, 3 May, 2019

Beautiful words. So very sorry for your loss.

Laura Danks, 3 May, 2019

Sending you lots of love xx

Mihaela , 3 May, 2019

Sending huge love. Thinking of you all. XX

MotherGeek, 3 May, 2019

Painful, but inspiring. Sorry for your loss.

PD Flynn, 3 May, 2019

Beautiful words, so sorry for your loss.
Your strength will come from being mum to your boys x

Rachel , 3 May, 2019

Sending love to you all. xx

Cal Turner, 3 May, 2019

You are so brave. The pain is unbearable, I know. But I also know you can and will do it for your boys. We your CBCfriends send you all our love and prayers. You are an inspiration. God bless you always

Chris Law, 3 May, 2019

He sounds like such a brave and determined man. I am so very sorry for you and your boys. Surround yourself with those who love him and love you. Just gave one day at a time dear Laura. X

Nicki Pettitt, 3 May, 2019

Love and strength from a stranger. For you and your sons. I lost my father when I was 14 and, while losses cannot be compared, it made me who I am today - in good ways as well as difficult ones. It’s a crucible. But you’ll know that. xxx

Nicky Singer, 3 May, 2019

So very sorry for your loss. Lots of love to you all xx

Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love), 3 May, 2019

Brave and soulful care for the man you love. You did your best, together. He lives on in your children, who will be your reason to stride into the future. Beautifully conveyed in your writing Laura. XXXXXX

Polly Geoghegan, 3 May, 2019

There is no way out but through. Your sons and your writing will sharpen and also ease your pain. With deep condolences & my warmest wishes. AB.

Amanda Brookfield , 3 May, 2019

Oh Laura, I’m so, so sorry xxx

Clare Mackintosh, 3 May, 2019

What beautiful words at such a sad time. Thinking of you and your beautiful boys. So sorry for your loss ❤ xxx

Louise Martin , 3 May, 2019

So brave, all of you, so desperate for you and your loss. I know those rooms , those left empty.

Rosina , 3 May, 2019

Love, love and more love, wish I could do more.

whelanjimandhelen@talktalk.net, 3 May, 2019

A touching, loving post. Sending love and strength to you and your family. Thank you for sharing. X

Sam, 3 May, 2019

I am so very sorry for your loss. Your words brought me to tears. I can’t imagine the feelings you must be going through nor your sons’.

Tinuke, 3 May, 2019

This is so, so sad. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Mary Torjussen, 3 May, 2019

Laura, words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. I am a stranger, but I wish you strength and energy. Thinking of you and your boys x

Monica Balt, 3 May, 2019

So sorry to read your words.  Sending love and strength to you and your boys.

Di, 3 May, 2019

Oh Laura, I’m so so sorry. What a terrible time for all of you. Ask your friends for as much help as you need, because everyone will be longing to help but won’t always know what to do.
What you’ve written is beautiful.
Much love
Jill xxx

Jill Mansell, 3 May, 2019

Maybe it’s my giant cup of coffee but my heart was beating fast as I was reading, rising and falling. Thank you for sharing. May God give you and your family peace.

C.L. Donley, 3 May, 2019

so beautifully written but heartstoppingly heartbreaking laura.my lovely husband has been diagnosed with cancer last month,we lost our lovely sister in law aged 42 last yr and my sons friend is terminal aged 28
my love and prayers are with you and yours xxxxx

suzanne, 3 May, 2019

Beautifully written, so poignant. I’m so sorry you went through this. Love and strength to you & your boys

Sheila, 3 May, 2019

This is the most beautiful thing I have read in a very long time. Thank you. I hope the generosity of sharing these poignant words has brought you some comfort. Stay steong one heartbeat at a time.

Natalia, 3 May, 2019

Both unbearably sad and beautiful; a true testament to love and the power of words to show the universe just how much and how little death really means. ❤️

Ian McLoughlin MBKS, 3 May, 2019

Such a beautiful description of your loss Laura.  You and the boys are in my thoughts constantly at the moment.

Darren Machin, 3 May, 2019

Bless you and your boys. Sending love and strength to you all xx

Sarah, 3 May, 2019

My parents are going through this right now. It’s heart breaking to know you have been through this too. Sending you love at this unfathomably awful time

Sarah, 3 May, 2019

Dear Laura, forgive me - I’m a stranger to you but I don’t feel that way- and want to send you and your little boys love and heartfelt sympathy

Rosamund Lupton, 3 May, 2019

Sending love and strength to you and your boys xx

Lou, 3 May, 2019

I am so sorry to read this Laura, my heart goes out to you and your boys. Thinking of you xxx

Sue Ridley, 3 May, 2019

Oh Laura what a beautiful blog at such a devastating time for you and your family.
I can’t even imagine your pain at loosing your wonderful, brave husband.
Stay strong, massive admiration for you.

Angie , 3 May, 2019

So sorry to hear this Laura. Thinking of you and your boys xx

Lisa Kembrey, 3 May, 2019

I felt your pain and numb grief reading this. A beautiful tribute to your husband im sending strength to you and your boys - hearts beating with love

Pat Sowa, 3 May, 2019

I am so very sorry for your loss and your lovely children. I lost my husband when I was 29 we have 3 girls. Children show there grief in quite different ways to us. You are all very brave , always talk about there Daddy it does help you through.Cherish the lovely memories you all have of him they will help you through hard and very difficult times. Ask the boys if you can do Memory books with pics and funny stories it will give them comfort. My heart goes out to you all. Please be kind to yourself hun and take care xxxx

Suzanne, 3 May, 2019

So saddened by the news! May God grant you and your boys comfort during this difficult time. My prayers are with you. May he RIP.

Tanya, 3 May, 2019

Such an inspirational woman you are.
Sending much love and light to you and your incredibly brave boys xx

Sharon, 3 May, 2019

Feel so sad for you.  He has left you with two wonderful sons and you have the gift of being able to write.
May you find happiness eventually through your writing and your boys.

Alison Oakes, 3 May, 2019

What honest, brave, heartbreaking, truthful, real, lovely words. I send you and your boys love, and sunshine for your cloudy days. xx

Samantha, 3 May, 2019

The tenderness and depth of your love is overwhelming. I am crying for you because I feel your loss.

Noreen Seebacher , 3 May, 2019

Oh Laura, I’m so sorry for you and your children. Your writing here is just beautiful x

Marie C , 3 May, 2019

Oh Laura I’m so sorry to hear your sad news. My thoughts are with you and I will keep you and your boys in my thoughts. Big hugs to you. God bless you all xxxx

Julie Turner, 3 May, 2019

I’m so very sorry, Laura. Sending love and prayers to you and your boys.

Kathleen, 3 May, 2019

13 years ago, I sat in a doctor’s Office with my husband and heard those three words “it’s cancer.”  While he is in remission reading your blog post has me sobbing because the pain you feel and the fear and your courage resonated to my soul   I am so very sorry to hear that your husband passed away and know that a stranger all the way down here in Miami Florida is praying for you today.

Kelly Santi , 3 May, 2019

I am so, so sorry for yours and your boys loss. Sending you all big hugs xx

Kaisha, 3 May, 2019

Trying to type this thru the tears I shed for you & yours. So sorry for your loss.

Lisa Compton , 3 May, 2019

Beautiful words Laura. Xx

Vicky Monaghan , 3 May, 2019

Such beautiful words.
So sorry for your and your boys loss x x

Nicola, 3 May, 2019

I feel your pain & your strength! Sending kind thoughts!!

Aideen, 3 May, 2019

I’m so sorry. I understand every word as I heard it about my child. God bless you and keep you

Amanda, 3 May, 2019

What can I say. There are no adequate words. My heart goes out to you and my thoughts are with you. I want to say call me if you need anything, but I know we’re not friends, I just read your books and feel like I know you. It’s easy to say, but try and be strong. I’m sending you very big hugs and love.
June xxx

June Russell, 3 May, 2019

I’m sending hugs and love. I wish you and your boys great strength during this very sad time. Xx

Linda, 3 May, 2019

Such beautiful words - bravo for writing them and much love and strength too you x

Alison Woodhouse, 3 May, 2019

With heartfelt sympathy and love to you and your boys x
Your words are so real and resonate with so many families x
You are so lucky to have loved and so sad to have lost x love and strength to you all x

Amelia, 3 May, 2019

I’ve been in those little rooms too! There aren’t many words of comfort that I can give you, but stay strong for your boys!

Pamela Linton, 3 May, 2019

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Orla, 3 May, 2019

So sorry for your loss.

Adi, 3 May, 2019

Darling friend, this is such a beautiful, devastating blog. I’m so proud of you and of how you have navigated your way through this heartbreaking time, surrounding your boys with love and strength all the way. Your bravery is utterly inspirational.  All our love to all of you xxxx

Hattie Ladbury, 3 May, 2019

Laura I am so sorry for your enormous loss but I salute your bravery. To be so scared and yet love so fiercely. I know how cruel life can be and yet that very cruelty can perversely bring to us the meaning of life. I cried for you and what pain you are in. Take good care of yourself.

EMILY , 3 May, 2019

I am but a stranger, but I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending all my best. Jason

Jason, 3 May, 2019

Condolences to you and your family. Xx

Lorraine Durnfird, 3 May, 2019

There are no words - just big hugs for you and your boys xx

Claire , 3 May, 2019

Such heartbreaking news but such beautiful words too Laura. May your husband Rest In Peace and may he send you and your boys the strength to carry on and live the life he would so wish for you all. Xx

Marcella Brannigan, 3 May, 2019

Thank you for including us in this tight story of love, loss, and resilience, a testimony to your relationships with husband and sons and your depth of concern for others. May you find comfort and peace, freedom to cry, and strength to create a fine and happy new life from the ashes of a grand one.

Kathleen McCoy, 3 May, 2019

A privilege to read this. Just as you have shared your experience I hope you will gain strength from your readers sharing their strength with you.

Sylvia, 3 May, 2019

I am so, so sorry. Holding you and your boys in my thoughts. Take care x

Susan, 3 May, 2019

So sorry that your husband has passed away.  Your post bought tears to my eyes and reminded me that the pain of losing someone you love never really goes. They remain with you in your thoughts as memories forever. Sending love x

Vicky Hesson, 3 May, 2019

So very sorry to hear your sad news. There are no words, hugs to you and your family xx

Jacqueline , 3 May, 2019

So sorry and sending so much love xx

Madeleine Black, 3 May, 2019

I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending strength and love to you and your boys, so sad xx

Sarah , 3 May, 2019

Your words are so achingly beautifully articulated, despite the pain you and your sons are suffering. My deepest condolences on your loss. Sending love and strength to you all.

Marian, 3 May, 2019

We too couldn’t help but comment. Empathy isn’t possible is it? Devastating to the core. You have been so strong, I hope you can maintain that strength for you and the boys. Thinking of you all. Love the Nash’s xxx

Simon, 3 May, 2019

So beautifully written. I’ve just been two years of the same but my husband survived. At least he’s here but he’ll never be the same. It just takes the wind out of life loving sails and I feel wretched for you. Stay strong for your boys. They need you now more than ever. Lots of love.

Jo Ashburner Farr, 3 May, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you will have the support of your friends and family to get you through this.
Beautifully written, thank you.

Julie Taylor, 3 May, 2019

Beautifully put and so poignant. From a stranger who has known recent loss, my heart goes out to you. With parents like you in their lives, your boys will grow into wonderful, caring, fabulous men.  Sending heartfelt condolences.

Niccola, 3 May, 2019

I’m so so sorry for your loss. I’m sending much love and an abundance of hugs your way. Filza x

Filza , 3 May, 2019

All of this, Laura. After living with cancer for 5 years my wife died in the Summer. Our 3 boys were with her throughout, she lives on in them which is why/how we keep going. It’s shit, it’s what she would’ve expected.
Wishing you strength x

Richard, 3 May, 2019

Thank you for sharing your loss and your grief. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Abby D, 3 May, 2019

You are a gifted writer. Sending prayers and love and sympathy to you and your boys. Keep writing. You know how to touch hearts.

Kerry, 3 May, 2019

I lost my wife a year ago tomorrow and I still get upset. To lose the person you love most is the hardest thing anyone has to go through.
It’s going to be raw for a long time but having read your words I can see you have the strength.
Love Jay xx

Jay, 3 May, 2019

My sincere sympathy to you and the boys.  Having your boys will help get you through this toughest of times and I am sure you and the boys have many beautiful memories.  Such a beautiful piece of writing.  I am sure in time your writing will prove to be your solace as it’s such a gift.

Lorraine Corbitt, 4 May, 2019

A poignant, beautiful, and raw piece of writing, Laura. It moved me beyond words. I’m so sorry for your loss xxx

Fionnuala, 4 May, 2019

Thank you for sharing. I used to volunteer at hospice, I’m so glad you found kindness there. Praying for you and your boys.

Rashida B., 4 May, 2019

What a beautiful piece to write at such a sad time. I’ve been there, it does get better, but it never goes away. My love to you and your sons. As someone else says, it will make you and them who you are, but embrace that. Feel the pain, feel the comfort of each other. Talk to those who lift you, soldier on through the things that just have to be endured. I do understand your point of not wanting to “hurt others feelings”, but make sure you make time for your family to be and grow. X

Caroline Bolam, 4 May, 2019

I don’t know you, but my heart goes out to you and your family.

Megan McNeill, 4 May, 2019

Such beautiful and heartbreaking words. Am moved to tears and desperately sorry for your loss. I don’t think anyone gets over something like this but gradually you learn to live with it and the pain slowly becomes more bearable. My heart bleeds for you. Try to take things very easy now and be kind to yourself during this devastating time. Your husband lives on in your sons and in your heart and in your words…
Much love and heartfelt condolences to you and your lovely boys - from a stranger. xxx

Tabitha, 4 May, 2019

Am a fan of your writing and sending you much love at this time.

Mikk , 4 May, 2019

Such beautiful words. I am heartbroken for you, for your loss. Thinking of you all ❤️.

Laura Turner, 4 May, 2019

All strength to you in the darkest of days.

Melanie , 4 May, 2019

No words feel adequate but I wanted to send love and thoughts and to thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry your husband has died. Thinking of you and your boys x

Anna Lyons, 4 May, 2019

My thoughts are with you and your family. My husband died six months ago and I’ve struggled to articulate the pain and anger that I’ve felt. It may be too soon for you but there is a fantastic charity called Widowed and Young, that exists to support those of us who are under 50 and have lost a partner, spouse, lover. The membership is far larger than anyone would wish for but the support, in person and online, has helped many people, me included.

Jude, 4 May, 2019

I’m so so sorry for your loss. Sending love and strength to you and your boys. Lots of love xxxx

Kerri, 4 May, 2019

What beautiful but heartbreaking words. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

Joanne Schofield , 4 May, 2019

Beautiful words. Thank you for sharing them.

Tim birch, 4 May, 2019

Sending love. Your words are beautiful.

Lisa, 4 May, 2019

Feel so sad for you. We are going through this awful process too. I hope I can be as brave as you are x

Marji Coulson, 4 May, 2019

Words seem inadequate in the face of your loss and pain.
Thank you for sharing your stunning writing. Warm wishes to you and your sons.return

Louise , 4 May, 2019

So sorry for your loss. But you’ll have lots of memories to share with your boys xx

Marian, 4 May, 2019

Heartbreaking so sorry for your loss x

Tracy, 4 May, 2019

The most beautiful words for such a devastating time. Sending you all lots of love. Xxx

Nic Jordan, 4 May, 2019

I watched Notre Dame burn too. From a chair in a hospice. My mum had been in there for three weeks, but left us that weekend too.

There is such beauty in your words.  In the honesty of an experience I recall myself. I was in most of those little rooms, watching my dad play you and my mum play your husband. My little girls, asking about a Nanny Sue, played your resilient precious boys. Everything was so real bar one thing, the passage of time.

In all of our horrors that was what that word “treatable” meant. It meant a couple of days holiday for Mum. A meal out with her line dancing friends. Her beating me at scrabble, me retaliating with countdown. The quantity of the time you had, the before and the during, is what is important. Treasure every f*****g drop.

Your comments on the hospice are bliss too. It was heaven in the hell.  Tea and toast, practicality when needed, a look or a check when required. Compassion on tap.

Right now life is incredibly hard. You’ve made me cry buckets. Thank you.

I wish you and your boys all the love in the world.

Ian Dickens, 4 May, 2019

Such an achingly poignant piece. So sorry for you and your boys x

Emma Robinson, 4 May, 2019

Deepest sympathy to you and your two boys.

Maria , 4 May, 2019

Laura, I’m so dreadfully sorry for your huge loss. Words are truly not enough. My thoughts are with you and your precious boys.

Claire Bolitho, 4 May, 2019

Laura, thank you so much for posting this. I hope it helps you in the way it helps those who love you, and want to support you in this dreadful time. Courage and strength don’t always go together, but I pray you and your boys grow into both, the way you all deserve. Grief is a measure of the love we have for the one who’s gone. The more we loved them, and they us, the more we grieve, that’s right and proper, though it breaks our heart.  As it’s out so well above: there is no way out but through. May the memories of the love you all still hold help you through.X

Jeff Richards, 4 May, 2019

Sorry sorry, Laura - sending love and hugs to you and yours xo

Belinda Missen, 4 May, 2019

Beautifully written. Sending love x

Annie , 4 May, 2019

Tears reading your post. Thinking of you and your family and hoping you find strength over the coming days, weeks and months… there are no words. I’ve been there, my best friend, my mum.
Sending you lots of warm wishes. Xxxxxxx

Ashley Clayton , 4 May, 2019

So beautifully written and I felt every word so carefully chosen. Love and comfort to you and your boys. I hope you allow yourself to feel the grief. Strength is so admirable but we only get to move forward (when you’re ready) if we allow the grief to wash over us and emerge from the other side with beautiful memories and love in our hearts.

Claire, 4 May, 2019

My heart breaks for you and your boys, I’m so sorry for your loss. Beautiful words. I admire your strength and courage. Let those tears flow. Xx

Joanne Jobling, 4 May, 2019

Sending you love and courage and comfort and strength.

Laura, 4 May, 2019

Laura, this is such a beautiful piece of writing. I’m in awe of your courage and strength. Sending love xx

Francesca Jakobi, 4 May, 2019

Such beautiful words , such a heartbreaking time in you and your boys life.

Gill, 4 May, 2019

My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

Maggie , 4 May, 2019

Laura I am so very sad and sorry to hear of your loss. This is such a beautiful and poignant post. Wishing you much strength for the journey ahead. X

Jo-Mother of Teenagers, 4 May, 2019

Laura I’m so very sorry for the loss of your husband and friend. I’m sure you are utterly exhausted too. MOLOs are here for you if you need/want us. Sending virtual love. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure it resonated with many. Your storytelling gift is beautiful. X

Lyndsey, 4 May, 2019

A moving tribute. Thank you for sharing your story, it will always help others.

Jordan McDowell, 4 May, 2019

Sending love, strength and hope. We are moving from room to room too on a seemingly inexorable path. Your description has helped me so thank you. X

Sue Lennon, 4 May, 2019

This is so full of love, so honest, so painful to read. Thank you for writing it and for letting others see a tiny bit of what you have been going through. Very sorry for your loss and for your sons’ loss. Sending love and best wishes to you all.

Harriet Davies , 4 May, 2019

As you and your boys adjust to life without him remember you do not have to be brave, love will help you be a strong family. I wish i had the words to take away your pain.

Suzanne Barber, 4 May, 2019

A moving account. Thoughts are with you all x

Matt B, 4 May, 2019

So much to relate with in your words. Sending love and strength to you and your boys and may happier times be with you

Laura, 4 May, 2019

I am so, so sorry for your loss. I cried when reading this and I don`t know how you managed to write so beautifully when in so much pain. I pray that somewhere in the midst of all this you and you boys will find and know God`s peace. Love and prayers. Neil.

Neil Bromage, 4 May, 2019

Thank you for sharing your words. It is a privilege to read this beautiful well written tribute to your husband. Your children have a wonderful mother who will mind them through life and although he may not hold your hand but he will help you in other ways.  Write more to help yourself too.

Elaine H, 4 May, 2019

You are amazingly brave and beautiful, to be able to write with such love and understanding.
I have been in those rooms far to many times in my life, my thoughts are with you x

Daphne Monk, 4 May, 2019

You write well and that’s not easy at such times. It’s even writing, laden but not overburdened. Write again about it, in a few months or when you are less raw - see if you write differently. Express always.

Stephen Cardew, 4 May, 2019

Thankyou for sharing this.  My heart goes out to you and your boys.  I hope that you will all heal together and sometime soon laugh at the lovely memories that you have.  xxxxx

Zoë Chamberlain, 4 May, 2019

My tears reading your words, are nothing compared to your tears in losing your soul mate. My condolences to you and your family xxx

Georgie Logan , 4 May, 2019

My most sincere condolences.  May he Rest In Peace disease free and may you find comfort. 

Your story is beautifully written straight from the heart.  I live with lung cancer and am blessed by a loving supportive husband as you were your husbands support.  Take care of yourself and your boys and may God bless you.

Marie, 4 May, 2019

Until you reunite, in that next room on. Sincere condolences…

Rasu Shrestha, 4 May, 2019

We are both shocked and saddened to hear this Laura, and unfortunately can relate to your very moving words. Thinking of you and sending love and strength to you and your boys.

Paul and Sarah Drury, 4 May, 2019

wow. so profound and moving. Sending warmth your way, i’m sorry for your loss.

Jillian, 4 May, 2019

So sorry for such a terrible loss.  Such a stunning piece of writing.  I couldn’t not comment.  Sending heartfelt warm wishes to you and your boys x

Karen S, 4 May, 2019

So sorry for your terrible loss. When you feel ready, the WAY foundation provides peer support for people who have lost partners. It helped me to survive after my husband’s death. Thank you for sharing your experience - you’ve expressed in words what many of us have been unable to say.

Sarah, 4 May, 2019

No words, just loving prayers for peace beyond understanding. X

Yvonne , 4 May, 2019

My deepest sympathies to you and your boys and all your extended family and friends x

Gillian, 4 May, 2019

I lost my husband 2 months ago - sending love xxx

Kelly Bird, 4 May, 2019

I am heartbroken for you. Sending love xx

Jane , 4 May, 2019

Excruciatingly heartbreaking…lost my husband at age 29 with 3 small children…❤️

Katherine, 4 May, 2019

This is heartbreaking yet deeply beautiful, Laura. I’m so very sorry for your - and your boys’ - loss.

Terri Giuliano Long, 4 May, 2019

You have given love in the most purist form by being there for him and in the care given. My heart goes out to you.

David Wade, 4 May, 2019

Such a powerful story, at the same time deeply sad and intensely uplifting. As a physician who has been in the same series of small rooms for twenty-five years, at both ends of the stethoscope, I can only applaud the grace and the bravery you, your boys and your children showed. God bless you all.

Peter Hogenkamp, MD, 4 May, 2019

Wow.. your beautiful words just blew me away.. your love for your husband and your boys shines through the heartbreaking sadness..in the days, weeks, months to come. Be kind to yourself..laugh, cry and remember.. True Love never dies it walks beside us everyday. Xxx

Ann Taylor, 4 May, 2019

Laura, you are such a strong, brave and inspirational lady. Wishing you and your family hope and comfort at this terribly sad time. When my mum died unexpectedly I was recommend ‘The Swallow, the Owl and the Sandpiper’. It’s a beautiful book.

Joy Corrigan, 4 May, 2019

I’m so so sorry.

Lorraine , 4 May, 2019

I’m so very sorry. I was weeping for you as I read this. I was able to picture very clearly what you have been going through. Thank you for writing this so beautifully and conveying the pain. My heart breaks for you.
My husband died 8 years ago, leaving me with 3 children.
There are no words big enough for this, only that even though you probably can’t imagine how you are to survive this, you will.
My deepest sympathies to you and your boys.

Melanie Hughes , 4 May, 2019

Beautiful words, absolutely heartbreaking. Thinking of you xx

Sally, 4 May, 2019

No word.
Love and light being sent your way.

Maria, 4 May, 2019

Dear Laura, I don’t know you but this is beautifully written. As a mum who also has two little beating hearts to love and care for, I am sending you and your little ones love and peace xx

Laura, 4 May, 2019

There will be other rooms where joy will happen and pride and life. You’ve walked in and out of these rooms well though. Love to you and your family and others who face the same journey.

Pamela Gordon, 4 May, 2019

Beautiful words - a true testament to the love and strength at the core of the family grown by you and your husband. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the sheer depth of your pain. I am struggling to find words that will bring you any comfort at such a devastating time yet I so wish I could find some. I am thinking of you and your beautiful boys. Your husband sounds like a beautiful person. Cherish those memories. Sending so much love to you and the boys x

Lou, 4 May, 2019


Rebecca Spence , 4 May, 2019

Having been in those small rooms, been deafened by that heartbeat, felt that scream rise from the depths I never knew existed only to know I had to suppress it to be there for my love…... I Thankyou for your bravery, your courage, your sharing Laura- we are members of a club we never even knew existed - take care - Carmel

Carmel O Sullivan , 4 May, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss - your post is so well written and reminds us of the fragility of life. Sending you love and strength. Your boys will be fine - they have an amazing Mum and you will be ok too.


Jenna Gravelle, 4 May, 2019

Heartbreaking to read, I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending my best wishes to you and your children.

Confessions of a New Mummy, 4 May, 2019

So beautifully expressed.
As a palliative nurse was very impressed. As a mother know your pain.  Every good wish for you and your family as you continue the journey.

Julia Hodierne , 4 May, 2019

I have two boys. 7 and 2.  I am also treatable not curable. I don’t talk about it but I think about it all of the time. Your love for your husband and boys is precious and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Chris, 4 May, 2019

Said goodbye forever to my wonderful husband last September.  25 years of loving and laughs. Now life seems so lonely but at least you have your brave sons to comfort you. They will always be there to help you get through the tough days and believe me, they come and hit you when you least expect it. Good luck with your journey and remember the good times.

Irene Wright, 4 May, 2019

Your husband was a very lucky man to have your strength by his side. Love to you and your boys.

Keith Thomas, 4 May, 2019

Sending you much love xxx

Lisa, 4 May, 2019

Such beautiful words that convey such pain. Much love to you and your boys, be kind to your memories as they will give such comfort.

Sinead , 4 May, 2019

Though we’ve never met, your story gives me a sense of knowing something important about you and caring about you and your boys. I send my sympathies and hope for good memories and friends nearby to comfort you all.

Rebecca, 4 May, 2019

My deepest condolences to you & your lovely boys. Your words literally made a stranger’s heart ache for you all. Sending love & strength x

Kate, 4 May, 2019

Beautiful words, sending you all love xx

Cathy, 5 May, 2019

In awe of sharing and baring the vulnerabilities and heartbreaking loss palpable through your words to even the strangers who read your story. Praying you have all the comfort and support your need!

Jen, 5 May, 2019

Your words touched my heart. I just lost my mum on March 31st.  I’m sorry for you and your sons, but he lives on in them and your memories. Thank you for sharing!

Ann, 5 May, 2019

Love shines through this heart-breaking account and love is so strong…...!  My love to you and your amazing boys.

Carol Rasberry, 5 May, 2019

Such beautiful words I could relate to.
I lost my husband in a very similar way 5 years ago. He was 48.
I refused to believe he was not going to be here with me, even on the day he died.
You are incredibly strong and you will continue.  I can’t say you will get through it or over it but you will learn to live with it.
Sending love x

Anne Brophy, 5 May, 2019

Your post bought back so many memories - of small rooms and conversations about ‘treatable not curable’ . The works of cancer became well known to me having been beside my partner every step from stage 4 diagnosis in summer 2013 to death in summer 2015.  My life turned upside down but I’m here . Mainly because of such wonderful support and care - I have learnt to draw on it . I hope you are wrapped in it. Go gently ...

Ginny, 5 May, 2019

So well written. It cuts right to the soul. Yes I cried for all of you. Hoping the support being sent from the lovely messages above help in some small way.

Mags Foster, 5 May, 2019

<3 <3

Leticia, 5 May, 2019

Laura, thank you so much. As a hospice chaplain I very often am part of that last small room and your perspective has given me a different way of seeing it. I’m so sorry for the grief you and your boys and your brothers-in-law have to go through. I hope as time goes on (which it has to do) the grief will become more bearable and the memories will bring as many smiles as tears. Love and blessings Chaplain Annie

Annie Houghton, 5 May, 2019

I’m so so very sorry for your loss, Laura.

Rebecca Bradley , 5 May, 2019

I couldn’t leave here without comment. Your strength and courage will help you through this terribly sad time, with your beautiful children.
Your husband lives on in your heart and theirs and you will hold that dear.
You are in my thoughts and the lump in my throat is in the throat of every other person who reads this post or knows you.
That lump is our compassion and heartfelt sympathy.

Julie Goodswen, 5 May, 2019

Never commented on a blog before, but wanted to. I didn’t start with an idea of what to say, but I figured not saying anything would be worse than saying something unplanned and unpolished. Your words touched me, your sons sound wonderful… I am sure you’ll hear lots of cliches, none here, just some kind words and thoughts from a stranger.  Xxx

Lauren, 5 May, 2019

How beautifully you write about something so unbearably sad. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you & your boys find strength & comfort in each other.

Lorna, 5 May, 2019

Be kind to yourself. I don’t know you but i am so sorry he has died. Sending you love.

Elizabeth , 5 May, 2019

So beautifully written. I’m
heartbroken for a complete stranger - who has two beautiful boys like me. You are in my thoughts, as your words moved me and compelled me to keep reading with tears streaming down my face . Take good care of each other x

Sarah , 5 May, 2019

Beautifully written. So compelling and heart wrenching, that I had to keep reading despite the many tears for a complete stranger streaming down my face . Thinking of you and your boys x

Sarah , 5 May, 2019

I don’t know you but I understand that journey through ‘small rooms’. We’re on the same path, just a little earlier than you on it and with two little boys who have watched their dad fall ill. Thank you for sharing this. It makes what we will face less ‘unknown’ and is a real kindness. May we all stand strong together. I wish you all love and peace.  Jess x

Jessica Shaw, 5 May, 2019

Oh Laura, this is such a beautiful painful post. My heart breaks for you, your boys and your husband. Sending you so much love. XXXX

Darcie, 5 May, 2019

I lost my wife on the 29th Dec 2019 after a 4 year fight against ovarian cancer. She died in my arms at home, we chose hospice at home. I wanted to care for my wife right till the end. We were given support daily and everyone in the medical team were fantastic. Not once did they question our decision everyone went the extra mile to help.
Now Sue has gone my life seems empty, I seem to not have a purpose in life. Now 4 months down the line I am slowly coming to terms with what has happened, I break down less now.
I still have many hurdles to get over. My children unlike yours are all grown with children of their own so I do have their support, but they have their own lives to lead.
I now at some point have to come to terms with this new stage in my life but it’s a road to to take alone…..
Anyway my thoughts are with you at this hard time, rest assured that it’s seems hard now but I have been told that it all becomes easier as time passes.

John, 5 May, 2019

Dear Laura, thank you for sharing your writing. I’m so sorry for your devastating loss.  My sister lost her partner when her children were all under ten and I have so much admiration for how she’s brought them all up. Very very hard but they’re all wonderful young adults. You’ve already shown huge strength by transforming your complex feelings into a moving piece of writing. Ali

Ali, 5 May, 2019

Such incredibly beautiful words when it must feel like there are none xxx Sending love and strength.

Katy, 5 May, 2019

Thank you for writing with such clarity. Your words have helped me understand some of the people I meet at work who are being braver than brave ... whilst receiving earth shattering news. I had not appreciated that they may well be worried about upsetting the professional. Your blog will stay with me, as I continue my work in a hospice.

Sharon Witton, 5 May, 2019

I’m so sorry for you and your families lost. Thinking of you all xx

Joanne Roberts , 6 May, 2019

A touching and living post. So sorry for your loss.

Marlene , 7 May, 2019

Beautiful painful words that will be poignant for too many. I hope you are surrounded by love so you get the chance to let those tears flow when they need to xxxx Kirsty

Kirsty, 7 May, 2019

Laura, my heart cries for you. I just can’t even begin to imagine how difficult and painful life must have been for you, is for you, and will be for you in the future. I’m thankful you have your boys who are and always will be, part of your husband just as they are a part of you. Being strong for them will help you and they’ll help keep you going on a one day at a time basis. Lots of love to you, from an avid reader of excellent books xx

Hannah, 7 May, 2019

Laura, my heart is breaking for you and your young ones. I wish there was something I could say or do that might make you feel better, but I know nothing can.  I’m glad your love is now free from his pain, but your pain is raw and real. I send you my heartfelt condolences. I will keep you all in my prayers x

Dawn (Angelfruit) O’Brien, 7 May, 2019

Sending love and positive thoughts to you all. Thank you for writing this.

Faye Godfrey, 7 May, 2019

So sorry to read this. Much love to you and your boys xxx

susanna, 12 May, 2019

Your words are so utterly beautiful while totally devastating.  Sending you and your boys so much love and strength x

Luci, 16 May, 2019

Having just finished listening to your exciting book “Friend Request” I went to the internet to learn more about such a talented writer, as I often do. Here I discovered your heart-wrenching story of your husband’s death. I immediately flashed back 20 years to when my dear love/soulmate died, also from cancer (which the doctor said they could “treat”, even as her eyes slid away from ours).
But I had him for 43 years and my children were grown and gone from the nest, a far cry from the pain you’re feeling as you must be far younger than I was. I can only tell you that your deep love for him will never go away; the pain will dull a little in time and will let you find peace in going forward. You will watch your boys become fine young men in his image.
I send courage and peace to you today.

Marilyn Nielsen, 19 May, 2019

I sat at my computer and wept.  I can’t put into words what your piece did to me, for me.  Thank you for writing it.  I hold you all in my heart.
I’m a friend of your mother’s from London days, way back in the 1960’s, now living in the US.

Antonia Matthew, 7 Jul, 2019

Feel so very close to you Laura although we have never met, so sorry for your sad loss, your husband will live on through your sons, you will always have part of him with you,take comfort from any place you can,hold onto precious memories

Brenda Anderson, 4 Aug, 2019

Sending lots of love. I hope all the beautiful words of comfort can help to take the edge off the pain and loss you must feel. Ride the emotions and know there is no right or wrong but only what works for you.

Lynda Smith, 8 Aug, 2019

I was very moved by this and simply couldn’t not comment.

Who are you, you ask.

I’d say you’re still the wonderful person your husband married you for, and you’ll carry on being that person.

richard, 9 Aug, 2019

Reading this helped me a lot. I lost my husband three months ago, 4 weeks after being diagnosed with Cancer. We had just moved to our dream home and were looking forward to the next stage of our life together after our youngest had started at University. What I would like to add to this beautifully written piece and to the comments is something that is not really talked about. I sense because it seems too practical and cold. As soon as a spouse dies one is faced with a plethora of admin tasks starting from the registration of death itself. In most cases the only person who can do this is yourself. Then the financial and estate details flood in. There is no way that this can be avoided and if your spouse is in receipt of a pension numerous forms have to be sent in and one is faced with pension payments having to be refunded to organisations because of overpayment in the week or so after death and before registration. Marriage certificates have to be found and this is both worrying and upsetting at an emotional level. Then frankly there is the fear that financially things will be difficult. This is something very difficult to talk about because it sounds cruel and heartless but it is the reality. Also these days is the added difficulty of dealing with previous marriages and any offspring there might be. The need to stand up to what you want at the funeral is of great importance. So suddenly at a time of terrible grief you are having to deal with the practical details. Not forgetting taking on the tasks that were once done by ones partner. In all the books I have been lent in the last few months this was never addressed. But thank you Laura for this thoughtful piece of writing.

Victoria, 10 Aug, 2019

I’m slow breathing as I write this, to try and stem the tears.  February 2019 my mum was diagnosed with colon cancer.  All that you say about not crying, being strong, I completely get.  I didn’t show my family my emotion - my sister saw a bit because we leant on each other and did our best to be strong for my parents.  My dad is tricky - he’s the strong one that holds everyone together, and at diagnosis he briefly let his guard down with me and cried - then for the next few months punished me for having seen his ‘weakness’.  My mum was the strongest of all of us - claimed she knew she would be ok in the end, and thankfully she got the all-clear in November. But I still think she must have been terrified, just not wanting it to show.  My sister and I gave her all the support we could, whether she seemed to need it or not.  We needed to do it - does that sound selfish? Cancer is so out of everyone’s control, we just took control of whatever we could!  My mum was my grandma’s full time carer so my sister and her husband moved in and took over.  They run pubs so my brother-in-law took the strain there. 
We didn’t have to face the outcome you did.  But it was the worst year ever.  You said about the boiling water; my boiling water moment was actually when my Grandma died in October.  I stopped eating, couldn’t sleep, got sick, got depressed, and let everything slide, including my work (I’m self employed).  It took me over 3 months to get back to some semblance of normal and I now know my grief wasn’t just about my Grandma, close as we were, it was all the pent up grief and trauma from last year.  I hadn’t released it.  I hope writing your blog entry above has helped you.  Writing this has helped me.  I’m so sorry for your loss, but he lives on through your lovely sons xxx

Natalie, 10 Feb, 2020

I came onto your site excitedly, having just devoured Friend Request & Three Little Lies, to see what else I could buy that you had written.
I had know idea that I would find this blog by you. I am so very sorry for your loss.
Unfortunately there is only one thing that is certain in this life, that is that we are all going to experience loss, some more tragically than others, one of the things that keeps me going is the wonderful memories I made with my parents before they died. No one can take away those memories.

One day at a time, if I got up and had a bad day when I went to sleep I told myself that I had managed to get through it and that tomorrow would be better.

Thank you for your books Laura, I look forward to the next one on your journey.

Maureen, 22 Oct, 2020


(Your email address will not be shown)

Keep me updated

Sign up for news, events, book giveaways and more.