Five Things I didn't expect to feel when my mum died, by Jo Fardoe.

By Jodie Fardoe   whose mum died from cancer in January 2019

By Jodie Fardoe whose mum died from cancer in January 2019

My brave, selfless Mum died in January 2019 after living with small cell lung cancer for 18 months. She wanted me to do something for Cancer Research. So far I’ve run a 10k Race for Life and I’m training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon. I am an only child and live two and a half hours away from my family so the pressure is intensified, though I have an incredibly supportive husband and friends around me.


1. Heartache is a very real, very raw thing that physically hurts. The pain seeps incredibly deep and your heart feels heavy.

2. You feel immense relief when they take their last breath as they are now at peace, then immediately feel guilt for even letting this feeling come over you. You forever live with that guilt.

3. You doubt whether you ever want children. They'll enter this world without knowing or meeting their Grandmother who you know would have been amazing at that role and who explicitly told you to have children one day.

4. You feel alone, even though you're surrounded by lovely, supportive individuals who all want the very best for you.

5. Hearing the words 'I'm so sorry, there is nothing more we can do' is like an outer body experience, like you're stuck in a film, a different reality. It feels like a dagger to the stomach and that feeling makes you physically sick (outside the hospital, away from your loved one so they don't see your hurting).

Jo Fardoe

About Jo Fardoe
After sleeping on the ward for days on end, Jo (29) lost her Mum (57) to Small Cell Lung Cancer in January 2019, eighteen months from terminal diagnosis. She's now trying to navigate life without her Mum and best friend. A Generalised Anxiety Disorder adds further complexity. Jo dreams of writing a book in the future on life, loss and anxiety, with the aim of helping others. You can follow Jo on
Instagram.