Mum Geraldine Magill has penned a poignant open letter to fellow bereaved parents, admitting that she is ‘haunted by the pain’ of losing her daughter to cancer and fears spending her first Christmas alone without her.
Her daughter Lisa Magill, who blogged under the name Terminally Fabulous, wrote about her experiences with terminal stomach cancer before she died in from the disease in March.
Lisa, who spent four years battling the terminal condition, covered everything from ‘dating while dying’ and FOMO on the blog.
‘To every carer, to every person that is hurting either physically or mentally hurting at the moment and to those beautiful soles who just want to help others going through difficult times, I want to help by sharing my own personal struggles with Christmas fast approaching,’ Geraldine wrote in a Facebook post on Lisa’s page, which has the same name as her blog.
‘For the last couple of Christmas’s December brought so much stress and heartbreak. That constant wee voice in the back of my head reminding me that Lisa may not make it to her favorite day of the year.’
‘Where normally she was hyped up with excitement, decorating the tree, buying way too many gifts and wrapping them with meticulous care whilst listening to Christmas music, sadly her last couple of Christmases were a constant battle.’
‘I can’t stop myself thinking of what was happening this time last year. I’m haunted by the pain, the struggling to breathe, eat, move, everything just screamed cruelty.’
Geraldine hopes to write a book about Lisa’s condition which will provide advice on how to look after someone who is terminally ill, and advises other parents in similar situations to reach out for help at this difficult time of year.
‘Do some digging around on the intranet to find them the support resources they may need,’ she recommneded. ‘Get a group of family, neighbours and friends and between you put together a roster of who can do what to make there Christmas a lot more stress free and enjoyable.’
‘You have absolutely no idea of the difference you could make to a families last Christmas with their loved one. You might just be the person or group of people that gives your friends or family members precious memories of Christmas rather than haunted by passed regrets.’
‘Caring for your beautiful loved one at the end of life is the most precious thing you could ever do. You will struggle but you will have such special moments together that you will hold in your heart forever, by seeking support and help, doesn’t make you any less of a person or show that you love any less, it does the exact opposite.’
‘Treasure every special moment and make lifelong memories.’
In her final post, Lisa thanked the people who she shared her journey.
‘I don’t have the strength to hold myself. I’ve now got to have my mum or a nurse of a friend take me to the shower and shower me so that’s a lot of fun,’ she said.
‘I wanted to let you all know that I love you and without you all I wouldn’t still be here. I truly believe that.’
‘You kept me going and you gave me strength. Stay fabulous please, and keep on rocking.’