WOMAN'S OWN|July 06, 2020
It was my daughter, Laura, who chose my outfit for my wake. I described to her a dress I’d owned years ago and loved. After just a few taps on her phone, she found something remarkably similar – I couldn’t believe it. Shopping for something to wear to your own wake may not be a very typical mother-and-daughter activity. But Laura and I have learnt to cherish every experience.
We both know there will be moments we won’t get to share. I’ll never help her choose a wedding dress, celebrate her 40th birthday or hold her children in my arms. However, when you know your time is running out, everything takes on a special meaning. And when I look back on my life, my wake is certainly one of those unforgettable moments.
I stopped treatment for cancer in February this year. The same month, I threw a party to bring together everyone I love so they could remember me in a positive way. People who say they don’t want a fuss when they die… well, that’s not me! As my mind turned to the end of my life, I realised I shouldn’t miss out on the chance to celebrate it. I didn’t want a sombre affair, I wanted to go out with a bang and for people to look back on what a brilliant night we had.
Eighty-five family and friends came together for an evening of dancing and drinking. I booked a singer, a friend paid for a professional photographer as a gift, and there was lots of reminiscing. It was all very upbeat – I didn’t want people sitting around feeling sad.
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July 06, 2020