The final update

Jan 2, 2024 | 15 comments


This is a final update about my daughter Tracey. She is being cremated on Wednesday 3rd Jan. It’s a pure cremation, so there is no ceremony. It will be very strange knowing that that is going on, and not being there. It’s what she wanted. I hated the idea at first and wanted to be able to say goodbye at a funeral. But to be honest, I think it was nicer this way. Sam and I went to see Tracey on the morning after she had died and sat with her for quite a while. Holding her hand, stroking her hair and kissing her face. My goodness, that last sentence really hit home, I’m in bits now!

Her last year was well lived and we made many lovely memories. We spent a lot of precious time together, said many beautiful things, did wonderful things together, laughed and cried many tears.

I thought it would be nice to show you some pictures taken during her last year.

Tracey and her daughter Lesley (who is named after me!) last Christmas


Me and my girlies last Christmas, at my house


At a Mothers Day afternoon tea at Sam’s house


Facetime time


Left alone in my car while I popped into the Post Office and up to mischief with my phone!


Her sister took Tracey on a break to a Brighton hotel, where they enjoyed the Prosecco amongst other things!


Walking along the front (Tracey was in a wheelchair) in a gale


My goodness, she loved weather like this!


Tracey loved sloths and we had fun painting one at her house


On another day in the autumn, she painted a Christmas gnome, in the garden, at her house. She absolutely loved Christmas


me and my girlies, at my house. She’s pretty ill by this point


Enjoying her time at the hospice. The nurses called her room the Party Room, there was so much laughter, so many visitors, so many Christmas decorations and twinkly lights. They had got rid of her pain by this time, so she was able to enjoy it all.


And the last picture taken of her. Traceys daughter Lesley arrived triumphantly bearing a birthday cake that she’d made all by herself. Although Tracey’s birthday was in November, this was taken the day before she died, so pretty special

It’s now just 11 days since Tracey died, but I’m feeling better than I anticipated. Maybe that’s because I’ve been adjusting to her loss for most of 2023. Having said that, I’m still reduced to tears by many things, including writing this. This coming year will be hard with so many ‘firsts’ – first birthday without her etc.  I’m going to see her husband and daughter today and I think that will be difficult, seeing her things about the place.

We managed to enjoy Christmas, which I wasn’t at all sure about. Left to myself, I would have ignored it. But Sam wanted to celebrate. So we gathered at her house, enjoyed a lovely lunch, played silly games, had a laugh and raised a glass. I’ve packed away now what few Christmas decorations I had up. I’ve not been going to anything social at all for months. The choir starts up again on the 7th, so I think I’ll go to that, Then ease myself back into society gradually.

Sam has set up a GoFundme page to help support the invaluable work that the hospice does. It takes an incredible £17,000 a DAY to run St Wilfred’s, all donations as they receive no funds at all from central government. If you can contribute a £ or two, it will all go to continuing their incredible work.





  1. Thrifty Lesley

    Fiona – I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, what a horrible shock that must have been. I almost think it’s better to have a few months to do and say what must be said and done. I feel surprisingly alright much of the time, not what I expected. Both my daughter and I have said that it feels like we just haven’t seen her for a while. Very difficult to internalise that I will never see her again.
    As to economising, well, I hope you’ll find lots of interesting ideas, and make some lovely online friends in this great community we have built together.

  2. Fiona

    I have only just found your fb & website. I’m so sorry for the death of your daughter, there can be no loss like that of a child, it’s not the natural order of things. Much of what you have written resonates & feels very familiar, my fit lovely husband drowned on holiday last year, life changed for ever in a few moments. He will only have suffered for a short period, he’ll never get (very) old, he was 65, won’t get sick, have dementia or have to give up running, cycling or walking the dog, I try to appreciate that. But I miss him so badly, he was my best friend.
    As I try to get my cooking mojo back, I also have to economise, which led me to you!

  3. Thrifty Lesley

    Lee – thank you, we are doing surprisingly alright. Little things catch me out sometimes, favourite songs or films, watching videos with my daughter in it, or just looking at photos

  4. Lee

    I’ve not been here for a while Lesley and I’ve just read this.. So sorry to read this, hope you and yours are well

  5. Ms Dawn Gatrell

    What a lot of smiles to remember her by.

  6. Helen Hook

    You have some lovely pictures and lovely memories. My thoughts are with you and all your family.

  7. sarah dunsbee

    Lovely photos. My dad had a direct cremation so I know what you mean. So sorry ,it’s so cruel. Will think of you and her husband and daughter x

  8. Gillian

    Sending you lots of love at this time.

  9. Gill

    So sorry for yours and your family’s loss Lesley. I can never find the right words, but could feel the love and happiness shining through your grief. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I hope you all manage to find comfort in your get together and share the memories that make a life.

  10. Jane

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful family. A tribute to a life well-lived. Bought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Linda Coyne

    I’m very sorry for your sad loss, she will always be precious. I feel for you, xxx

  12. Brenda wyatt

    So very sorry for your heartbreaking loss rip ⚘️

  13. Toni Graham

    Sending love and hugs. So sorry for your loss. You are coping amazingly well x

  14. Tracy Mason

    Precious memeories made. Donation made to honour your Tracey and my bro in law lost to caner. Sincere condolences to you and your family Lesley.

  15. Mike

    My sincere condolences to you and your family.

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