A Heartbreaking letter from a mum with terminal cancer to her kids
Sara Chivers' letter is a poignant message of hope, and a bittersweet form of connection between her kids and their mother.
At 34 years old, Sara Chivers is fighting the battle of a lifetime. She’s a mum with terminal cancer, but that isn’t the end of it.
The mother of two had just learned that her brain cancer had become terminal when a few months later, her 18-month-old son was diagnosed brain cancer as well. Her son Alfie’s cancer is a rare kind called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor.
“Alfie’s diagnosis has given me something else to fight for,” Sara told Australia’s The New Daily. “It’s not about me anymore. It’s all about him.”
After three surgeries and chemotherapy, the mum with terminal cancer was able to live her life more in nine years than all the years before. However, her cancer is still terminal, as her sister described it on their family’s GoFundMe page. They set the page up to help cover their medical expenses.
Even with the terminal nature of her sickness, Sara continues to fight the good fight and work for a better quality of life. She continues to fight with her son Alfie, who’s been through multiple surgeries and treatments because of his “very rare and aggressive” cancer.
In spite of her terminal diagnosis, the mum with terminal cancer wrote a heartbreaking but hopeful letter to her kids: three-year-old Hugh and baby Alfie. In it, she talked about the things she wants her children to know even when she’s gone.
Dear Hugh and Alfie,
I won’t be around to see you grow up. It’s a hard thing to say and even harder to face. You will have to hear from others the little things that made me, me: my perfume of choice is Michael Kors, my favorite meal is spaghetti bolognese, Winter is my preferred season. I wish I was a better cook . . . I know your Dad, and our village of family and friends, will keep me alive for you as much as they can, but there are some things I want you to hear from me . . .
Love hard. As they say, it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. That’s how I feel about you both. Heartbroken doesn’t come close to describing the pain I feel at not being in your lives in the future, but I would never change or forego the time we have spent together and the immense joy you have brought me. You are without a doubt my proudest accomplishments.
Pay attention to study but know there is so much more to school life than textbooks. Play team sports. Try a musical instrument. Learn a language.
Be kind to your Dad. It won’t be easy for him raising you alone, but every decision he makes will be with your best interests at heart. He is an exceptional father and role model. Don’t let him doubt himself or the wonderful job he will do shaping you into the men I dream of you growing up to be.
There will come a time when he wants to find happiness again with a new partner. Accept and embrace his choice, and know she will be a positive female influence in your lives, too. I have absolute faith that he will make the right decision, for him and you both, and I hope she enriches your lives as much as you’ve all enriched mine.
Your Dad is the most admirable, courageous man I have ever known. He is my companion, my rock, my everything. He has shown true grit in the face of our adversities, and without him beside me, I would have crumbled.
I will be forever grateful for the time we spent together, the memories we created, the love we shared. It was always him. Always will be.
Sara Chivers’ letter is a poignant message of hope. She isn’t just a mum with terminal cancer. She’s a mum who exhibits the value of hope and bravery in the face of death, and she’s an inspiration to all parents in the world.