Would you cope without your mum?

My mum and I spoke three times yesterday.

She often rings when it’s feeding time at the zoo or just as the shit is about to hit the fan, but that’s okay.

I used to get cranky when she called at ‘witching hour’ because I thought she should know better.

But you know these days I have learned to calm the farm. (How good is my new favourite saying?)

My precious mumma isn’t calling to annoy me, she’s calling because she has something she’s BURSTING to tell me and so she picks up the phone.

How fortunate am I to have a mum that wants to call and speak to me even when she knows I’ll probably be a bit cranky and stressed because the kids are driving me up the wall?

Sadly there are some women who will never hear their mum’s voice at the other end of the phone again. I have two very close friends who fall in to this category.

Another person is Leigh Van Der Horst, my longtime social media friend and the author of the recently released book Without My Mum.


She lost her beloved mum to cancer in 2008 and her book takes readers on her heartbreaking and honest journey, one that nearly broke her forever.

I was in tears after reading the first page of Leigh’s words, it was as though I was feeling the pain that she was.

With a lump in my throat I carefully soaked up every word she wrote, I had the book read in two days.

The first half is Leigh’s story and the rest includes stories and pieces of advice from dozens of motherless mums from across the globe.

Devastated mums speak of their crippling losses. At times I had to put the book down because I was overcome with sadness at their experiences.

However, the book also made me realise that I have much to be grateful for and that it’s so important that we find happiness in our everyday lives.

To show my respect and admiration for all those without their mum I will continue to soak up every word my mumma says, listen to every piece of advice she gives me and drink wine with her every chance I get.


This book is a must read for women who are dealing with the death of their mum, whether it was recently or years ago.

Sometimes it’s nice to know that we’re not alone, and I believe Without My Mum will help motherless mums across the globe feel less scared and more connected.

Don’t forget to call your mum, send her a message, or go and visit her because life is too short to take people for granted.

Love you to the moon and back mumma.

Click here to find out more about Without My Mum.

 Do you sometimes forget to be grateful to have your mum still alive?

When was the last time you rang her up for a chat?

Maybe you know someone who would benefit from reading this?

 * I begged Leigh for a copy of book as soon as it was published and was not paid or compensated in any way for writing this post. I believe it will help so many motherless mums out there and I want to spread the word.


  1. Dearest Emily, you have made me cry(again!). I used to talk to my darling mum on the phone every day. And I bought the house next door to her just so we could be closer! She was not just my Mum, but my friend, shopping buddy and drinking partner…I cooked her tea, she provided the KGB’s for drinkies!! When she lost her battle with cancer in 2009, I honestly felt my heart break. It’s been a hard journey without her, my brother, sister and I have all needed her love and wisdom, but we are lucky as we 3 are all close to each other. It is hard being a motherless mother, there are times when I desperately want her reassurance. When my sister had her babies, I flew to oz both times to help her as I know that’s what mum would have done. Enjoy the phone calls, glasses of wine and spending time with your mum, she looks like a fun mum. X

  2. I speak to my mom every day sometimes twice, she’s in England i am here, she was Diagnosed With Cancer the Christmas before last. I am going to visit her in two weeks i can not wait to cuddle her xx

  3. My beautiful mum passed away suddenly in 2003 aged 85 , I was 46. I still yearn for the phone to ring and hear her voice . She would ring everyday and I would tuck the handset between ear and shoulder and continue my chores etc while chatting . ( so grateful that we no longer had a wall phone where I was stuck fit ages unable to move ) my kids would also ring her constantly to share their news , their wins , their wounds or just to tell a joke .
    I have no regrets about our relationship except that I no longer have her but I treat my mother in law the same because I know my time with

  4. My time with her is limited .
    The ache for my mum never leaves and I find myself watching other women with their mums hoping they appreciate how lucky they are .
    Enjoy every single moment you have with your mum , that load of washing or floor that needs vacuuming can wait , it will still be there tomorrow !

  5. This is such a hard notion for me to think about, considering that my mum is alive and well living in the same city but we have no relationship or contact whatsoever.

  6. I have the same situation as Ana and I’m sure there are many more of us. Never underestimate the huge blessing of having a mother who genuinely loves you and cares about you so much that she rings you several times a day. What I’d give to have that. Your mum sounds like an absolute sweetie.

  7. I’m liking your new sayings em!
    your mum looks like a darling!
    I lost my mother to lung cancer in 2002! … she never ever smoked! but her parents did!
    she was always there to help us on call! we were close!
    we were devastated throughout her cancer journey, to see her being reduced to a skeleton and loss of dignity! sad and tragic! … but she was the rock! and I called her a goddess! she was stoic and brave and things she did and said to people were amazing! she was grace itself! we loved her so much and were proud of her! …at least we had time to share precious moments and memories! … I wrote her eulogy and went through it and worked on it with her! special times!
    we became as strong as her! she was being the teacher!
    yes we took her for granted! … never under value mothers … women are amazing creatures!
    time is a healer! I can’t always think or look at a photo of her without welling up! but she dwells in my very being and lives on in my heart!
    let me tell you, cherish those moments indeed! love m:)X

  8. Maybe, somehow, your Mum knows that these are the times to call to help you take your mind off whatever is happening even though it might not seem that way sometimes.
    My Mum and I are pretty close although I’ve noticed my reliance on her has changed, out relationship has changed, in the last few years. She is still my Mum though and I love her to bits. I wish I lived closer and hope to again some day.
    I used to call once a week but these days it is once a fortnight or less. Sometimes I wish she would call me but it is always good to chat no matter who does the calling.

  9. I love my mother but we can go months without speaking. I ring Dad and Mum hovers around calling things out to me but never gets on the actual phone. It’s strange. Maybe she has a phobia of the phone or something. I’m sure she drills Dad when he hangs up. Perhaps it just gives them something to talk about. Your Mum sounds beautiful Em.

  10. Rhian Bambry says:

    oh em! I started to read this post this morning while talking to Kimberley on the phone and I said to her ‘will this make me cry?’ she said yes and it did!
    I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I want to read every letter, every word, every sentence, every paragraph and every page. I want to read about someone else missing their mum with their whole heart. I want to know that I’m not the only one pissed off at the world for taking away the most important person in my life, the one that gave me life, helped me breath, nurtured me and guided me to be the person I am today.
    When I had ‘miss V’ I felt like I’d lost mum all over again because she wasn’t there to help me, guide me and reassure me. I was jealous of my big sister because she had mum for both her babies. But I am thankful I had my big sister to be like mum for both my girls. She says things like mum and folds washing like her haha.
    Anyway, I’ve rambled! Great review Em, can’t wait to read it! Give your mum a hug from me (she’s a good hugger!) love you xxx

    • I instantly downloaded this book and am about a third way through . I’ve nodded and cried every page so far as it resonates the terrible aching hike in my heart , even after 12 years .
      Maybe being a mum myself makes it more close to the bone as I look at my adult sobs wishing them to start on a family so I can experience being a grandma before it’s too late .
      My mum was the world to me and I ache every day without her .

  11. Oh, I don’t know how I will cope without my mum… one day…she is my everything, she just knows stuff when others don’t. I’m so checking out this new book.. I think it will probably break my heart, but show me how I am so very lucky… I cherish every word and phone call I get. x

  12. This is a good reminder to cherish our mums if we are still lucky enough to have them. I’ve heard so much about this book, I’m desperate to read it. I still speak to my mum every day even though we’re literally a world apart! Some days, when I’m out of patience and short on time, I remind myself to treasure these chats while we can still have them. I can’t imagine the day when my mum won’t be at the other end of the phone.

  13. I lost my mum to cancer when I was 8 it affects you in so many ways I found the hardest days where when my children each turned 8 & when I turned 33 the age she was when she passed,also grandparents day im lucky to have had her sisters my aunts as apart of mine & my kids lives but there is always a unfilled hole without her 🙂

  14. Lost my mum to cancer in 2008 also. Do I cope without her? I’ve had to. But I can tell you this- I don’t like it one bit. My life changed forever that day and every happiness I’ve had since then is tinged with the knowledge that she’d not there to share it. I miss her every day.

  15. I miss my mum so much… Especially now… I guess it has something to do with being pregnant. I always was very close to her. I speak to her everyday with Skype, sometimes twice a day.
    I can’t imagine how much pain would go with losing a parent.

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