Friday, 6 February 2009

It's all about the people...

Lisa always told us 'it's all about the people', and that's why I, along with N and F are sat here composing what will be the final entry on Lisa's blog.

So it's time for me (aka Hubby) to tell you (the people) that yesterday afternoon, just before 3pm, Lisa passed away peacefully at home.

Those of you who have followed this blog will have witnessed Lisa's courage and strength over the past year or so.  It is that courage, strength and well, sheer bloody mindedness that has driven her to excel at everything she turned her hand to during her life.

Since Lisa's passing, I have received many, many facebook comments, emails, cards and letters and I'm sure there will be many more 'whispers in the ether' - telling me of the wonderful experiences people have shared over the years and how their lives have been touched by Lisa.

I for one feel so, so lucky to have had almost twelve wonderful years with her, and words cannot express the emptiness I feel right now.  My life and that of our two children changed forever yesterday and I know that  memories of times past will help fill the void.

So it's time for me to sign off and put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea.

That's all folks!




harriet said...

Dear Nigel
I was teaching English at Edge Hill until a year ago so I knew Lisa pretty well. She used to drop in to my office for a chat from time to time, and I encouraged her to start the PhD when she was wondering if she should embark on it or not. I have been following the blog all these months with growing amazement and admiration for the wonderful courage, humour and strength that she showed, and her incredible ability to keep on writing about it all. There is no way of saying anything that will make any difference to how you will be feeling right now, but I am sure many many people will be thinking of you and your girls and wishing you the very best. You will all have wonderful memories and will feel so proud of having had such a wonderful woman in your lives. Much love to you all.

KayJay said...


I never met Lisa, but I felt I knew her through reading this blog and her contributions to Novel Racers. She was a true inspiration, with her courage, stoicism, humour and positive outlook on life; she will be much missed.

I am so, so sad to hear this news, but feel really lucky to have known her. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. All of Lisa's cyber-friends are sending you their love and hugs.

Rob Spence said...

I am sure that Harriet speaks for all of us at Edge Hill.
Deepest condolences from us.

Debs said...

Dear Nigel

Thank you for the post. I only knew Lisa through the Novel Racers and this blog, but her strength, positivity, humour and above all, love for her family, shone through at all times.

She certainly was an inspiration to me, and I shall miss her.

My thoughts are with you all.

ChrisH said...

Oh, gosh, that's set me off again. I've just logged on and your post was there. It's a strange feeling because I never met Lisa and yet I felt I'd got to know her through her blog. Like many of us, I guess, I was willing her on, hoping that she would, somehow, be given more time.

You are brave and kind to write this at such a difficult time. It helps people like me who were friends to Lisa in the ether. I hope that you and your girls will now get the time you need and deserve to cherish your memories and heal together.

For my part it's time, whenever I'm staring at the screen feeling blank or sorry for myself, to remember what Lisa told us to do - just write.

Caroline said...


I am proud to have met Lisa through the Novel Racers and when she came to my book launch in June 2007.

My thoughts are with you, your girls and your family. Lisa's love for you all shone from her, in a very honest and open way.


Lucy Diamond said...

Dear Nigel,
I am so so sorry for your loss. I never met Lisa but she sounded a wonderful, vibrant person, who faced her illness with such dignity, courage and humour. I always came away from reading her words feeling in awe of her spirit.

Take care of yourself and know that much love and sympathy is being sent to you and the girls from the blog world. Lisa will be missed by many, many people. xxx

Martin said...

She was a good woman. And without her help I likely never would have got myself into a university. I'm sorry that I never got the chance to tell her in person how grateful I am to her for helping me to change my life for the better, but I'll try to do my best to make sure the things she taught me won't ever be wasted.

Kym said...

Echoing Harriet and Rob. I have, and will continue to, miss her at work.

SabineM said...

Dear Nigel and Family
I was one of those bloggers who followed Lisa's blog.
I have been following her blog with admiration in her courage and humour and all of her strength throughout her journey.
I find out from Sabine In Gozo that Lisa passed away yesterday.

My Thoughts are with you and your family!

HelenMHunt said...

Although I didn't know Lisa, I have found her blog an inspiration. She was amazingly brave and so generous to share her experiences in this way. Please know that so many people are thinking of you and sending love to all her family at this time.

Tam said...

What a touching epitaph to this inspirational blog. Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself I think of your wife and remind myself of her grace.
Oh and I'll take her admonishment to heart - I will write and stop making excuses.

Peace be with you and your family.

Nicola said...

I've been following the blog for quite a while and I so admired Lisa's love of writing,energy and zest for life. Sending you love and light.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Nigel, thank you so much for posting. I'm another Novel Racer who was privileged to correspond with and meet Lisa as part of our group. Her unique combination of warmth, wit, bravery, intelligence and vitality are irreplaceable. She reached out and touched the lives of many, many people, always giving so much of herself. The impact of her loss on you and the children must be enormous. I'm glad the 'whispers' and the memories can bring you some comfort. Sending love.

Chilli said...

Lisa, you were my best friend and I shall never forget you and the times we spent together. You're at peace amongst the stars and unicorns. Love you loads xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sabine said...


I'm yet another "ether friend", who never met Lisa in person, but only got to "meet" in cyberspace. But her positive energy and sheer will to enjoy life has left a huge mark on me. Words fail me to express my shock when I read the last message on facebook yesterday. Naively, I thought I knew she'd overcome this obstacle, and this day would never come.

Thank you so much for concluding Lisa's blog so beautifully, for the sake of us, her readers. Her words seem to shine through your post.

Ando so, ,y thoughts are with you and your children - total strangers to me (as I am to you!), yet so strangely familiar through Lisa's blog... My sincere condolences to you and your family.

Ann said...

Nigel and girls,
I met Lisa as a student at Edge Hill she was the year ahead of me in the English degree. It was her determination and enthusiasm for the subject that helped inspire me. In future years I was lucky enough to work with her in preparing students to return to education and again it was her passion for her subject that motivated so many others to complete their studies.
She spoke at length and with great pride about her wonderful husband and lovely girls. There are no words I can say to ease what you are feeling now. i join Harriet and Rob in saying how much Lisa will be missed by everyone at Edge Hill and I am proud to say I knew her.

B said...

I never knew Lisa; I never even interacted with her on here, but I read this blog, and I am so sad that she has had to leave you all. I hope it helps to know that she was so loved out here in cyberspace and that she has touched so many people. I'm thinking of you all. beth xx

Pat Posner said...

Thinking of you and your family and friends.
Treasure the precious memories


Annieye said...

Nigel - thank you for posting the final blog. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Aisha and Katie - as a mother myself, my heart goes out to you. Treasure the memories of your incredibly special mum and remember her words of wisdom as you live your lives. Make her proud, for she lives on in you, and always will.

I only knew Lisa through our shared love of writing, Facebook and the Novel Racers, but felt she was a friend. I'll be thinking of you all on Thursday.

liz fenwick said...

Thank you Nigel.

I too am a Novel Racers and knew Lisa through the blogs. My heart and thoughts have been with her as she showed us what it means to have strength, courage and love. She gave us an incredible gift is sharing her journey. I cherish it.

My thought are with you and girls.

Allan said...

Lisa. Kind, Strong, Vibrant, Gone.

I knew Lisa from when she was a small child. I even babysat her on occasion. She came to live with us in her teens when the force that pulled her towards her destiny finally took hold. It carried her on the journey that made her writing rich through experience. Experience that, at times, she seemed to ride like a surfer rides a wave- not in it, but on it. That wave has now folded over her.

To those of you who never met her in person, her fellow scribes, I ask you consider this.

Although we believe we touch each other as we pass through life, the real magic is in the spaces between. That place where words fly. As sound, ink, or as with this, pulses of power exchanged at the speed of light. I am very aware of this space. It is before me now, and seems greater without Lisa. That is a gift she has given us all, the space between us now she is not here. A place where words can fly in her tribute. Fill this space now, and in the future with her sense of energy, and her kindness.

To Nigel, whose gentle strength gave Lisa the support to achieve; my thoughts are with you and for you.
For Agnes and Mike, who as Lisa’s parents illuminated her with the light of their love and pride, you are in our prayers.
And for N and F, the best of all she created and left behind, there is always space for you in my heart, my home, my life.


DOT said...

You have said it all, Nigel, she was indeed an inspiration.

I hope you keep this blog live so future readers who might stumble on it can take similar encouragement from the example Lisa set. It would be a fitting memorial.

My thoughts are with you and your girls.

Denise said...

Lisa had an impact on people, including the many like me that she'd never met. The world does not just go on as before. She made a difference and lots of us will live our lives differently because of her.
I hope some of Lisa's wonderful spirit helps sustain you now.

L-Plate Author said...

Nigel, I met Lisa as a novel racer in Manchester (that's where she handed out her cards).

Two things that stuck in my mind.

One, such beautiful children.

The other was when she was on her mobile phone talking in Spanish. She was so fluent that me, and a few of the other NRs, stopped talking to listen to her command of the language. It sounded so...vibrant.

My thoughts are with you all.

Mel x

Pacha said...

Dear Nigel, I have been following Lisa's blog for a long time - always fascinated by/attracted to the stories she had to tell. I feel honoured to have been able to read her words and to witness her incredibly brave/positive attitude to her battle with cancer. Without ever having met her I feel I have learnt so much from her.
Warmest thoughts to you, your children and Lisa's family.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for your loss. xxx

Leigh said...

With much love, and very much sorrow.

Anonymous said...

So very sorry.

wordtryst said...

My condolences to you and your family, Nigel, from another Novel Racer. Thank you for posting this.

Lizzie said...

I have followed Lisa's blog for about a year, and think it has given me a good understanding of the sort of person she was - strong, individual, and very brave. I shall miss her - she was very much admired and appreciated in the blogosphere.

Cathy said...

As a fellow Novel Racer, I have followed Lisa's journey and been inspired by her words and humbled by her courage.

My thoughts are with all the family.

Paul said...

I remember a little girl playing in our front yard 34 years ago with my youngest sister Michelle. They were both the same age and very close friends. I remember also hearing the screaming and the empty feeling in my stomach as I raced towards Lisa to see what had happened. She had stubbed her toe and was crying loudly. I told her it was okay and the pain would go away. She responded quite firmly that she wanted the pain to stop right now. So with a smile, I cleaned the wound put a band aid on it and gave her a big hug. She gave me a big kiss and said thank you which melted my heart.

Lisa moved to England with her mom and dad a couple of years later so I never got to see her grow up, but based on her achievements, friends on this blog and facebook, I can see she became courageous, humorous, intelligent, strong and a well respected woman among her peers. She used to call me her Big Bro in our correspondence and I am proud that I warranted such acclaim. I definately thought of her as my little sister.

Nigel, she once told me that you were the man of her dreams and a wonderful father to both of your beautiful girls Aisha and Katy. All three of you were definately the wind beneath her wings.

Uncle Mickey and Auntie Agnes I wish I was there to ease your pain as I know you worshipped the ground she walked on.

Lisa was taken from us much too soon and my heart breaks every time I think of her. You are all in our thoughts and I'm sending you our love and strength from all of us on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Paul (Big Bro)

Kathy said...

Dear Nigel

I am a student at Edge Hill in my final year and would not be here without the help and encouragement of Lisa. Wonderful, kind, inspirational, too few words to describe a wonderful woman. I still have her comments on my essays from the Fastrack course she taught me on. Thank you Lisa for everything. We will miss you. My thoughts are with you Nigel and your girls.

Anonymous said...

Nigel, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Lisa taught me for only 1 module of English Language, which I left before it finished, but I can honestly say she was the nicest, most supportive person (and tutor) that I have ever met. She was so up-beat and enthusiastic about everything, and to hear of her passing brings me great sadness.

You were blessed to know such an inspirational person for so long and I hope that you and your children remember Lisa fondly forever. She was a great person, and she will be missed by every person who spent even just a moment in her company.

If you ever need anything, even just someone neutral to email/call about something, please do get in touch. My email is

All my kindest blessings,
Scott Davies

Mistlethrush said...

Dear Nigel,
I knew Lisa via Edge Hill as we were both mature students. As you said, I also recall her as being a perfectionist and always full of life.
Alongside many others here, I'm full of admiration for her talent and spirit. It goes without saying that the support of you and the family must have helped immensely.
My thoughts are with you.

Lorraine said...

I am currently a student at Edge Hill and Lisa taught me as a first year. As a mature student I had many worries and doubts and Lisa went out of her way to help me. She convinced me that I could do this and 4 years later here I am due to graduate later this year. She was a wonderful person and such an inspiration. I have also followed her blog and just want to say, I cannot believe how brave she was. Rest in peace Lisa and my thoughts are with her family at this sad time.

Clare R said...

I will always be grateful to you for introducing me to Lisa. That night in the pub when you said "you must come round for a chat with the wife!".
Lisa was a great support to me at that time when I was raw from divorce and dealing with a toddler; sharing stories of breastfeeding and homebirth. We bonded over shared relationship experiences and issues with kids, friends, parents, teaching, everything.
Marriage and two more kids later, Lisa was always there with a bit of down-to-earth wisdom. I guess I just thought that would be ongoing, through all of life’s ups and downs. Had no idea it would be cut short so soon.
You and the girls have been a great inspiration to my family; dealing with Lisa’s illness with so much optimism, grace and patience. It certainly puts my trivial troubles into perspective.
I wish you peace and very many happy memories to sustain you through the months and years ahead.
Lots of love, Clare (& Graham & the kids)

Ladybird World Mother said...

I am someone who has stumbled onto this blog. I have read lots and lots of Lisa's posts and have been sitting here for what seems like ages, getting to know someone through what they write.
It has knocked me sideways, and I would love you to know that something in me has shifted. As if Lisa was shouting to the world... ENJOY! LOVE! WRITE!
So I shall do just that. Thank you Lisa.
My thoughts are with you and your daughters. The very best of everything for you all now. God bless. X

Juliet said...

I have been an occasional visitor to Lisa's blog over the past year and was amazed and humbled by her courage, humour and spirit throughout. I hadn't looked in for a while, so was devasted to land on your final post just now, Nigel. My thoughts are with you and your family.

NoviceNovelist said...

Hello Nigel, I know Lisa only through the Novel Racers and from reading her blog - her spirit was amazing. My thoughts are with you and your children at this sad time.

Jean Pascer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean Pascer said...

This news sadden me deeply...I "met" Lisa through her interesting blog... a "cyber-meeting"
Strange... Even, an exchange of a few words make someone alive in your soul, perhaps for ever...
Good experience. Thank you, Lisa.
I shall carry on reading your blog.
Shall I forget you? Probably for a long time...

But, but I am sure Lisa will come back at the end of Times, back in my mind
Deepest sympathy to you and your children.

Ann Pope said...

Again echoing so may other writers, thank you so much for concluding Lisa's blog. I'm so sorry to hear about Lisa's passing. She is and will be missed hugely by all who knew her. My thoughts and love are with you and your girls. x

clairesgarden said...

sorry. so sorry.
many blessings.

Karen Brown said...

I did not know Lisa, although after reading the entire contents of her blog over the last three days, I feel as though I do. I was supposed to have been writing an essay for my English module. Lisa would have called this procrastination, I call it, me learning to appreciate everything that you have and not let stupid fears hold you back and that the things I moan about are silly compared to what you have all been through the past 18 months or so.
I really wish I'd known Lisa because some of the things she has written are so brilliant. They show strength, positivity, defiance against tragedy and most of all a humour that actually made me LOL! But most of all, I wish I'd known her because I could have helped her realise at least one of her dreams, spending time with horses. I have one, who I love to bits and if only Lisa could've met him, she could've loved him too and she would have been welcome to spend as much time playing with him as she wished.
Lisa really has made me think seriously about things and tackling issues that I have. She has touched so many and I'm sure that you're so very proud to have been her hubby.
Take Care.

Anne Orchard said...

Dear Nigel,
Although I have come on this blog a little while after Lisa's death, I know that your journey has not ended - it is still in the early days.
If you feel a copy of my book 'Their Cancer - Your Journey' would be a help to you, do email me on anne at and I will gladly send one.
With best wishes to you and your family,
Anne Orchard
Author 'Their Cancer - Your Journey'
Families Facing Cancer

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Ivone said...

Hello Lisa,

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Thank you very much,


Matthew West said...

Dear Nigel,
I imagine you still keep tabs on this account and I'd just like to say that having typed 'after four weeks not smoking' into Google, I came across your Lisa's blog page, and have been moved by her story, a year after your last posting. I hope you don't mind, but I've linked a blog entry to Hesitant Scribe's page, and hopefully Lisa will get some new readers who will benefit from her experiences and her life.
Kind regards,

李智淑 said...

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Anonymous said...

Just to say - still thinking of you all, especially at this time of year - with love from the blogger formerly known as Zinnia.

. said...


Just ran across this blog after reading through listings for literary magazines and learning that Black Market Review published some of her work.

I'm on the job right now and have spent eh last hour reading through Lisa's wonderful, inspirational words and just hope that you and the family are doing well nearly three years after her passing.

You were fortunate to know such an open person.

Best wishes,

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