And So There Must Come an End

Charlotte Kitley has blogged on The Huffington Post UK since 2013 and sadly passed away on Tuesday 16 September from bowel cancer. She wrote one final post that she wished to share with all of her readers.

Everyone should read her beautiful words of wisdom.

Charlotte Kitley

I’ve always been a good planner. I like lists and tick sheets, to-do notes and objectives. I’m very good at starting things, but honestly, I am also easily bored and quickly lose interest once the original excitement passes.

I haven’t had the luxury of being allowed to be bored of having cancer. It isn’t something you can just give up if you don’t fancy doing it that day. There isn’t a switch you can chose to turn off one day from the next. At least not for me. From my first day as a cancer patient, I have attended every test, scan and appointment. I have tried every treatment offered, from the standard medical therapies, to eating oiled cottage cheese, having acupuncture and juicing kale. Cancer has become our life. Holidays, haircuts and helicopter lessons have all been timed around good or bad chemo weekends. Danny and Lu, unwittingly as innocent by-standers have had their childhoods protected but also dictated by my various regimes. This is all they have ever known and, I hope, have still managed to turn out to be pretty good, well-rounded, loved and treasured children.

The innocence that we have protected them from has now had to be revealed. Following my birthday, I started to feel ‘unwell’. We ‘popped’ to hospital where the usual set of tests were carried out. Unfortunately, when combined with a recent scan, the results were nothing short of devastating. We were no longer looking at a month by month action plan with a couple of months buffer at the end. I was given days, perhaps a couple of weeks to live. I wasn’t expected to leave the hospital, but somehow, have managed to pull it out of the bag at the last moment and return home, to spend what little time I have with my darling children and loving husband.

As I write this, I am sat on the sofa, relatively pain-free and busy doing my little projects, sorting out the funeral and selling my car. We wake up every morning, grateful I can have a cuddle and kiss my babies.

As you read this, I will no longer be here. Rich will be trying to put one foot in front of the other, to get by, a day at a time, knowing I will no longer awake next to him. He will see me in the luxury of a dream, but in the harsh morning sun, the bed will be empty. He will get two cups from the cupboard, but realise there is only one coffee to make. Lucy will need someone to reach for her hairband box, but there won’t be anyone to plait her hair. Danny will have lost one of his Lego policeman, but no one will know exactly which one it is or where to look. You will look for the latest update on the blog. There won’t be one, this is the final chapter.

And so I leave a gaping, unjust, cruel and pointless hole, not just in Halliford Road, but in all the homes, thoughts and memories of other loved ones, friends and families. For that I am sorry. I would love to still be with you, laughing, eating my weird and latest miracle food, chatting rubbish ‘Charleyisms’. I have so much life I still want to live, but know I won’t have that. I want to be there for my friends as they move with their lives, see my children grow up and become old and grumpy with Rich. All these things are to be denied of me.

But, they are not to be denied of you. So, in my absence, please, please, enjoy life. Take it by both hands, grab it, shake it and believe in every second of it. Adore your children. You have literally no idea how blessed you are to shout at them in the morning to hurry up and clean their teeth.

Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return. Don’t settle for less. Find a job you enjoy, but don’t become a slave to it. You will not have ‘I wish I’d worked more’ on your headstone. Dance, laugh and eat with your friends. True, honest, strong friendships are an utter blessing and a choice we get to make, rather than have to share a loyalty with because there happens to be link through blood. Choose wisely then treasure them with all the love you can muster. Surround yourself with beautiful things. Life has a lot of grey and sadness – look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.

So, that’s it from me. Thank you so much for the love and kindness you’ve shown in your own little ways over the last 36 years. From the mean girls in the playing fields who pushed me into the stinging nettles aged six to the bereaved husbands who in the last week have told me what their wives did to help prepare their young children and everyone in between. They and you have all, in some small way helped me become the person I have been.

Please, now use that love for me and pass it to Rich, my children, family and close friends. And when you close your curtains tonight, look out for a star, it will be me, looking down, sipping a pina colada, enjoying a box of (very expensive) chocolates.

Good night, Good bye and God bless.

Charley xx

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  1. WOW!!! I know she is watching all of us read this… and from one charlee to another… thank you for passing on your spirit of love to us all. May your journey on the other side be grand beyond words! Bless your family and come see them in dreams! Aho


  2. All I can say is wow. Thank you for sharing this, I know something was awakened in me after reading this! May Charley R.I.P. wish I knew about her blog before, but I am so glad I know who she is now, thanks to this post. I have to reblog to honor and keep her memory alive. #CancerAwareness


  3. Reblogged this on Black Women Stand Up and commented:
    This blog post touched me and I had to share. Thank you to the IdealisticRebel Blog for sharing this which allowed me to learn about Charley Kitley and take the opportunity read/share her last blog post.

    May God continue to bless and keep her husband and two children.
    #CancerAwareness #LiveLifeToTheFullest #CharleyKitley #IdealisticRebel


  4. Having lost my mom to cancer at 7:07 07/07/14 in her home, this was very inspiring read and a needed part of grieving at this point. I know how much she will be missed…


  5. This is a wonderful post that says volumes about hope and love.

    It strikes home as my mother is in the process of dying of metastatic breast cancer. At age 83, she was offered chemo and other things that might have added a month or so to her life; or she could let nature take its course. This is what she has decided to do, and she is currently having a hell of a good time living. (If interested, please go to my blog,, for my posts on her, especially “Legacy of a Legend.”)

    She is visited daily by family and friends, and gets lots of phone calls. Loving friends stop by with wonderful meals for her and my Dad (who will be 91 later this month), and I go up each weekend. She has Hospice now, and embraces it as deeply as she does with everything. She is having a ball planning her own funeral, and I am in the process of writing her obit, which is as varied as she is.

    She inspires everyone, and despite her protests to the contrary, she is a teacher of how to live life to the best and fullest. She continues to inspire and no doubt will be doing it from the other side. I treasure these days, and I learn every day from her.

    To all going through similar, do as the amazing Charley says–live life, and love, embrace change, and have hope always.

    Liked by 1 person

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