The Final Chapter

It’s so strange that I see the date of the last blog and how much changed so very quickly. The date I posted “Planning the End” was the day that Simon was admitted to St Lukes Hospice in Plymouth.

He had not wanted to go into a Hospice or Hospital, but this decision was abruptly taken out of our hands by Simon contracting pneumonia and the oxygen levels we could supply for him at home we not enough to sustain him. He left the house via ambulance, blue lights, sirens, the lot, he certainly told everyone he was going somewhere and again I was left standing on our road as the ambulance left, for me to follow.

We didn’t at that time know how things were going to unfold, his first night in the Hospice I was told they did not expect him to live through the night, but in true Simon style he did. I stayed with him day and night for the first 4 days, not wanting to leave him for any length of time (I only did to shower at home, change clothes etc).

I am unsure why we were so scared of Simon being under the care of the Hospice as an inpatient, but the care for both of us was exceptional. Now people use the word “angels” frequently when describing people in the care sector, I do not want to be flippant in any way when describing the staff members at St Lukes (but I am not sure I can do them justice either). Simon received just unbelievable care, from daily washing and shaving, staff available when needed, ice cream any time of the day, and trust me Simon has ice cream for breakfast. I was provided with a bed and meals, family were provided with hot drinks throughout the day.

For the first week Simon saw Merryn and Jack, and his niece Tamsin, he then decided he didn’t want to see anyone, except myself. This was difficult to manage as family wanted to see him, but I had to abide by his wishes for him to work through things. He gave us some scares at this time, and I could see he was getting weaker every day. His spirit however stayed the same, he wanted to know if he could get home, in his words only for an hour, this dream was never taken from him, but he knew the truth.

We had great conversations, and a lot of poignant ones too, we said everything we needed to say to each other at those times, listened to music, watched films and had periods of quietness. This is time I will value forever. It was after some time that Simon was happier to see family again, I feel he had to work things out in his own mind and know that his time with us was drawing to a close. And so visits were arranged, and time with loved ones had.

On one of our many conversations Simon asked about how confused he was as to which “one of himself” he was, I asked what he meant and he went on to explain there he could see himself, the unwell Simon but there was also present a healthy version of himself. I explained to him that the healthy version of himself was his heavenly version, and that when he was ready he just had to step towards that version of himself, where pain and sickness would leave him. I told him I would then take care of the unwell version of himself, he asked me to promise, which I of course said yes.

Simon after three weeks in the Hospice wanted to see family again, and so we arranged for the family and Simons closest friend to see him. He was on great form for these visits, and was a time that we will all value. Following the busy days of seeing people Simon and I had a quiet day, we watched Mrs Doubtfire (for the millionth time) and were just together. That night , on the 26th September Simon left this world, and my world fell apart. For four years we have documented our lives, we have laid everything bare, have told you all this day was coming, but nothing prepares you for it when it comes.

Simon was a force of nature, and huge character who never said “why me” or “life’s not fair”. He took everything in his stride, he fought bowel cancer with every ounce of his strength, he will not be defined by cancer, he will be remembered for being a Husband, Father, brother and son, for being my soulmate and best friend.

We will take with us his love for life and laughter, to enjoy the lives we have. In his words “He kicked the arse out of life and had no regrets”.

His leaving has left me heartbroken, I will give myself time, but then I know he will send me a heavenly kick up the butt. This blog will now close, and this will be my final entry, but I plan to start another on life moving forward. I feel this would be a positive thing for me going forwards.

Onwards and upwards my love, I miss you beyond words. Until we meet again.



Planning the end


  1. Steve & Marie Boot


  2. Pauline Williams

    Oh Ali my heart was breaking reading your final blog. However there were also smiles as I imagined you being left to follow Simon to St Lukes.

    He certainly did kick cancers arse and I have no doubt he will kick yours if you don’t get yourself up and at ’em. You did Simon proud and gave him so much love. Now rest a while my love, hope to catch up with you when you’re ready. Sending much love and a million hugs. Pauline xxxx

  3. Sue Mitchell

    No words can help you at this time of great grief but know that we are thinking of you and sending our love xx

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